The best wave sailors in the world from the AWT and PWA are uniting for the JP Aloha Classic in Maui and many are wondering if we are seeing the dawn of a new era in windsurfing. Even legend Robby Naish could resist tossing his hat into the ring for what has been dubbed 'The Clash of the Titans'.
Fernandez in action
The windsurfing landscape has dramatically changed since the last Aloha Classic some seven years ago and it is the first time that many of the Maui locals enter the PWA competition prepped and hungry for the trophy. With so many of the Hawaiian based riders now fully embedded into the American Windsurfing Tour of which this is the sixth and final event of the season, riders are more prepared than ever to create an upset. This combined event is the first time the PWA and AWT have come together and every one of the 132 registered riders is excited to challenge for a total of six titles through the contest window.
The addition of the PWA to this year's event will create further tension and drama as top European based riders Philip Koster, Thomas Traversa, Leon Jamaer and more will go face to face with the likes and Levi, Bernd and Kevin Pritchard to take Ho'okipa glory.
As the competitors registered and mingled with friends old and new a few shared their thoughts on the upcoming contest:
Robby Naish signs up for the first time in a number of years!
'It’s a positive thing to have everyone together ripping and enjoying this amazing sport. Let’s show how amazing windsurfing can be and bring in the Aloha Spirit!' Levi Siver (Red Bull, Quatro, Goya Sails, Da-Kine, MFC and Positive H20)
'They say Maui >> No Ka Oi … So I say Ho’okipa No Ka Oi ..have fun' Ferdinando Loffreda, (Maui Sails)
'This event is going to be all-time! I am excited to compete at such an iconic location and get inspired by all the pros pushing the limits and charging hard. Can’t wait for the action to begin!' Fiona Wylde, (Sailworks, Quatro, O’Neill, DaKine, Gorge Dental, Big Winds, Vector Fins Maui and NoLimitz)
'Let loose the dogs of WAR!' – Bernd Roediger (Goya, Quatro, MFC) , 2012 AWT Maui Makani Classic Winner
'Ho'okipa is and has always been the place where you see the most radical wavesailing in the world. It’s great to finally come back and have a worldcup event here again! I’m looking forward to see the best of the best of four generations hitting it hard in the next two weeks.' Klaas Voget, PWA (Fanatic, Simmer Sails).
Casey, Norm and Harley make their mark on the event poster.
The last few weeks have been packed on the water as riders have looked to prepare for the contest. Despite the light winds at Ho'okipa today many of the riders were pushing it hard, none more so that three time world champion Kauli Seadi who has returned to competition at the Aloha Classic as he takes a break from his 'Dream Tour'.
'It is great for us at the PWA to be back in Maui and having this event in conjunction with the AWT. Last time we were here was in 2006 and we had a fantastic show which we hope we can repeat this year. The good news for all our fans worldwide is that we will have live streaming during the whole PWA event and windsurfers all over the World will be able to watch, live, some of the best windsurfers in the Planet in some of the most challenging conditions. Down the line surf, incredible aerial moves, etc all is possible at Ho'okipa. On behalf of the PWA Team I hope you will enjoy the event!!' Orlando Lavandera (PWA Brand Manager)
Aloha Classic website