The wind and wave Gods were shining over Ho’okipa Beach Park on the fifth day of the JP Aloha Classic - presented by Nalu Kai - as the PWA single elimination was completed in epic conditions. Just as the forecast predicted the wind and waves built throughout the day, and by the time the competition was reaching its climax the swell was pumping with over mast high sets rolling into Ho’okipa, providing a pulsating finale to a enthralling day. Levi Siver (Quatro / Goya Windsurfing / MFC) sailed superbly and he was rewarded with victory at the end of the single elimination. Will the American be able to hold onto his single elimination JP Aloha Classic crown?
PWA Single Elimination
The final was run as a four-man battle over the duration of twenty-two minutes to give Kauli Seadi (JP / Hot Sails Maui), Morgan Noireaux (JP / Hot Sails Maui / Maui Ultra Fins), Bernd Roediger (Quatro / Goya Windsurfing / MFC) and Levi Siver the maximum chance to really exercise their prowess, and they duly obliged. Siver opened with two aggressive hacks and a trademark tweaked aerial - a wave that wouldn’t count in the end, but a strong start all the same - whilst Noireaux boosted an aerial of his own and a backup slash. In the meantime Roediger combined a couple of setup turns with a sleek one-handed aerial, whilst Seadi bided his time by tacking off his opening wave. The three-time world champions patience was soon rewarded though as he racked up the highest scoring wave of the heat, consisting off a huge aerial off the critical section, which he then backed up with a gouging turn which broke out the fins before adding a couple more of his trademark, fluid hacks. The Brazilian was leading the heat right until the final moments, as he showed off more of his super fluid riding, but with all three of the remaining riders in contention it was a precarious position to be in. Levi Siver upped his game as he hunted out a mast high bomb. The American then delivered one of his stunning trademark aerials and a couple of turns, which sent the spray flying by the bucket load. Roediger and Noireaux were also going for broke at the same time as they attempted air takas and frontside wave 360s respectively, but ultimately it was Siver who stepped up to the plate. On his final wave of the heat Siver lined up the critical section to launch into a frontside 360, which he claimed, before delivering another gouging turn. With no time remaining Seadi tacked onto the final wave of the heat and rotated through a perfectly executed goiter, but it wasn’t a counting wave for him, which left for a nail biting finale. The result proved to be almost inseparable with just 0.02 of a point in it, much to the delight of Siver it was soon revealed that he had clinched the single elimination victory from under the nose of Seadi, whilst Roediger and Noireaux finished in third and fourth respectively.
Levi Siver speaks after clinching the JP Aloha Classic Single Elimination:
“You know we are here with the best people in the world at the best beach in the world and Ho’okipa went off today! I just tried to give it my best and try not to think too much when I was out there. I just wanted to have fun, enjoy it and keep improving. Like I’ve already said I was really competing the whole time, I just told myself that I want to enjoy it. At the end of the day we’re all friends who love this sport and I think we should keep that spirit of Aloha, and just keep encouraging each other. I’m feeling really humble, there’s so many good sailors and they are all first place in my eyes, they all rip so hard! Thanks to everybody!”
Title Challengers Fall Early:
With such an incredibly loaded first round their were some unbelievable battles, which resulted in inevitable upsets and potentially title changing results. Right from the word go the PWA regulars began to fall, firstly with the likes of Ricardo Campello (JP / NeilPryde / MFC) and Klaas Voget (Fanatic / Simmer / MFC) losing out to Kevin Pritchard (Starboard /MFC) and Russ Faurot, who made an impressive debut on the PWA World Tour. In the very next heat the 2010 PWA World Champion - Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / North / MFC) - was the next big name to fall as Kauli Seadi returned with a vengeance in his first PWA event of the year, and the AWT JP Aloha Classic champion Bernd Roediger prevailed in a tightly fought contest. Robby Naish’s (Naish) return to the competition scene for the first time since 2000 resulted in him narrowly missing out in the next round. Alex Mussolini (Tabou / Gaastra) pulled it out the bag to knock Naish out with an exquisite frontside 360 right in the pocket of the wave. The current top ten in the world weren’t safe there either as Thomas Traversa (Tabou / Gaastra), Leon Jamaer (Fanatic / Hot Sails Maui) and the reigning world champion and current world tour leader Philip Koester (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) all took first round exits, and they’ll now have to wait for the double elimination to start their fight back.
Marcilio ‘Brawzinho’ Browne (Goya Windsurfing / MFC) looked in impeccable form in his opening heat as he combined powerful, vertical turns with a stunning air taka to rack up one of the highest scores of the day. Unfortunately though in the next round the Brazilian couldn’t repeat his performance as he missed out on a place in the top eight to Morgan Noireaux and Graham Ezzy (Quatro).
Josh Angulo (Angulo / Gun Sails) caught the attention of the crowds and the judges as he instantly hooked back into his Ho’okipa rhythm to show exactly why he was the last winner of an Aloha Classic. Angulo carved powerful turns with his trademark one-handed aerials to book his place in the top eight. The man from Cape Verde narrowly missed out on a place in the final - just 0.73 of a point in it - and he easily possesses the weapons to storm back through the double.
Bernd Roediger reflects after making his PWA debut off the back of his AWT JP Aloha Classic victory:
“It feels super good to be in the final, I mean it seems like every heat could’ve been a final and almost everyone had the ability to win, so to be up here is pretty cool.”
Morgan Noireaux after finishing fourth on his first appearance on the PWA World Tour:
“I think the conditions and my sailing were a bit better in the final. I kept waiting around for the big set but it never seemed to quite come for me in the final. I’d still like to thank my sponsors and lets see what happens in the double.”
Wave of the Day
Not only did Levi Siver win the single elimination, but fittingly he also connected the best wave of the day in heat 13. Siver selected an over mast high bomb and showed no hesitation of charging straight for the lip as he projected a monster aerial and a couple of radical, vertical hacks to earn 9s across the board from the judges.
The forecast for tomorrow looks almost as identical as today, meaning that we should see more stunning action as the elite of the wave sailing world prepare to do with Ho’okipa once more. The skippers’ meeting for tomorrow morning has been called for 10am with a first possible start of 10:30am. Don’t miss any of the amazing action by tuning into www.pwaworldtour.com where you’ll be able to see the action unfold as it happens via the livestream.
Results After Single Elimination:
1st Levi Siver (Quatro /Goya Windsurfing / MFC)
2nd Kauli Seadi (JP / Hot Sails Maui)
3rd Bernd Roediger (Quatro / Goya Windsurfing / MFC)
4th Morgan Noireaux (JP / Hot Sails Maui / Maui Ultra Fins)
5th Matt Pritchard (Tabou / Gaastra)
5th Josh Angulo (Angulo / Gun Sails)
7th Kevin Pritchard (Starboard / Ezzy / MFC)
7th Graham Ezzy (Quatro / Ezzy)