All photos: PWA / John Carter

Titoun took the title !
4 JP riders made the top-10 !
4 out of the latest 5 Aloha Classic events won by JP riders !

Maui is the Mecca. It’s the place every windsurfer would like to visit and maybe even sail all the legendary wave spots. It is the most iconic and idealized spot of the windsurfing world. And while everybody would love to be there, it is only a few of the best of the best wave sailors who dream about competing and winning a windsurf event there.
So, the pros gather at the end of the season to compete in the only true down-the-line event on the tour calendar and crown their champion of the year.

Having Maui on tour as the final is such a great thing for the sport. To finish the year in huge waves with sunny conditions and starboard tack sailing adds a new dimension to the tour which generates excitement among the sailors and spectators alike. This year the conditions were out of control! The waves were huge and the wind was very light but every now and then there would be a smooth wave and whichever sailor managed to find them, tended to ride them to the best of their abilities and the show was incredible.

Victor – Antoine Martin F-193

He made his name within the windsurf community for his crazy style moves and incredible crashes. He’s fearless and goes for moves, without the chance of pulling them off – like the triple pushloop attempt in Gran Canaria. At the Aloha, he was a totally different athlete: He was focussed, deliberate and patient. He took his time to select the right waves and sailed at the limit but not beyond. Overall it was a very mature performance. Congratulations, Antoine!

Robby Swift about Antoine: “It was a great experience. Antoine Martin had an awesome event to finish a fantastic year. It was great to watch him in the final go all out and not leave anything on the table. He hit big lips right from the beginning and risked everything but in the end he managed to pull off some of the best waves of the event and did it on the biggest waves of the day so he was the deserved winner and finished off an amazing year with his first ever PWA win.”

Impressive ranking – Leon Jamaer G-208

Leon reports: “The Aloha Classic is my favourite event on the tour, probably because it differs so much from the ’typical‘ European competitions. Instead of the usual 12 minutes, the heats last 20 minutes minimum, when you fully can focus on catching two good waves and work them with your best turns. Ho’okipa was and still is the perfect spot for modern wave sailing, because its waves offer everything: sections for turns, airs and tricks. But this year was different because the swell size was at the limit, the channel closed-our regularly and many riders had their meetings with the infamous Ho’okipa rocks.

Experience, trust in your abilities and equipment are vital in such conditions. Meanwhile, I’m quite experienced in big wave sailing. And due to the fact that I’m with the same sail and board brands for years, I know that I can trust in my gear as well: The JP Ultimate Wave 88 and two NP Combats HD (5,3 & 5,0) – that was all I needed and what was ready at the beach. What counted in competition was style, flow, technical turns and the right timing for airs. And the all-decisive factor was the wave selection – and I got that right because against Victor Fernandez, Thomas Traversa and Kai Lenny I managed to achieve the highest heat score. Simply don’t lose track of your sailing tactics and stay patient – that’s how I managed to catch some nice Ho’okipa walls and to avoid mistakes in the important situations and overall this helped me to take the 5th place!” (German original text at the bottom)

Reliable performance – Robby Swift K-89

One of the most consistent riders of this decade is Robby Swift – he regularly finishes amongst the top-10 PWA wave sailors and when it comes to sailing down-the-line competitions, he’s a big threat for every opponent. This was also true at this event where Robby was able to sail super solid heats, summing up point after point with his nice wave selection and flow. Due to hi 7th place he was able to end the PWA wave tour as best ranked British rider – again.

Robby reports: “Having an event at home after travelling across to the other side of the world is wonderful. I’m very comfortable at Ho’okipa and used my production 88L Ultimate Wave. But the conditions were extremely challenging. I had a tough draw with Boujmaa (previous event winner) and Philip Koster (multiple world champion) in my second heat but I managed to make it through all the way to the semi final so I was happy with that. I felt like I sailed very well and picked good waves in the first 2 heats but in the semi final the wind was even lighter and I just wasn’t able to pick out the good waves in that heat so I couldn’t put together my best heat. Towards the end of the heat, I knew I needed something big so I picked off a “medium” sized wave which was still over mast high and did a good turn and pulled off what I thought was going to be a perfect goiter, but when I landed, there was literally no wind and I couldn’t pull the sail out so unfortunately I fell and ended the Aloha on the rocks where so many other competitors also ended their event.” 🙂

Highest wave score of the event – Morgan Noireaux HI-101

The title defender had high expectations: He knows that he sails super strong at his home spot and is hard to beat. But he also knows that it is about luck, too, as the wave selection is vital. Morgan’s experience resulted in the highest wave score off the whole event – but in the next round he could not find a good scoring second wave.

Morgan reports: “I’m very proud of the fact that I won the two IWT events (Oregon and Peru) before the Aloha Classic to put myself in the race for first place against Antoine. Unfortunately, the Aloha this year didn’t go as well as I would have liked. I felt like I was sailing really well and I felt really confident in the bigger waves. I had the highest heat score of the event in my first heat and then had a close heat in the next. It’s disappointing that there was no double as it took my chances to improve my ranking from 9th place. This is only the second time in the past 6 years I have not made the final here though, so, I can take confidence in that and look forward to the next events.”

Causing uproar – Jake Schettewi US-25

The young Hawaiian local sailed impressively in this event: his local knowledge of his home break helped a lot and he threw some spray when carving up the waves and going into aerial-off-the-lips. The crowd on the beach honoured this performance and cheered over his victory against Ricardo Campello – but Jake lost this run due to Ricardo’s protest. Ouch. Jake performance in both – the Men’s and Youth division – gave a strong impression about his future wave sailing career!

French Power – Jules Denel FRA-41

Spending most of the time wave sailing in the North of France and winter holidays in South Africa, Jules is an excellent allrounder and feels home at every wave spot in not time. He enjoys sailing Ho’okipa and when he came here, his ambition was to finish with another top-10 ranking in this wave event, too. At the Aloha, Jules sailed consistently and with a nice flow, with scores which would have been enough to advance in most other heats, but not his one. So, Jules can look back at a very good season where he sailed well in all his events.

Family business – Zachary Schettewi US-225

Hawaiian Young Gun and brother of Jake, Z Schettewi ‘only’ competed in the Youth class but ripped like a big one! You can see the passion in his sailing and it’s a matter of time until he’s able to catch up and match his big brother. In the end Z was able to claim 4th.

Future force on the PWA tour – Miguel Chapuis E-99

This was the first time Miguel sailed Ho’okipa – on days when the waves were clearly above mast high. In a competition here, you can’t do without detailed knowledge about this special place and how this waves breaks. In this respect, his sailing here was awesome and you have to pay tribute to his performance in the Men’s and in the Youth Class. Overall Miguel managed to finish 24 on the PWA wave tour – in a year when he still had to finish school.

Aloha Classic 2019 – Men

#1 – Antoine Martin F-193
#5 – Leon Jamaer G-208
#7 – Robby Swift K-89
#9 – Morgan Noireaux HI-101
#13– Jake Schettewi US-25
#17 – Jules Denel FRA-41

Aloha Classic 2019 – Youth

#2 – Jake Schettewi US-25
#4 – Zachary Schettewi US-225
#6 – Miguel Chapuis E-99

PWA Wave Ranking 2019

#4 – Antoine Martin F-193
#8 – Leon Jamaer G-208
#11 – Robby Swift K-89
#14 – Jules Denel FRA-41

IWT Ranking 2019

#1 – Antoine Martin F-193
#2 – Morgan Noireaux HI-101

Leon Jamaer G-208 berichtet: “Der Aloha Classic ist mein Lieblings-Event der Tour – wahrscheinlich, weil er sich so stark von den “normalen” Wind von links Veranstaltungen in Europa unterscheidet. Statt 12 Minuten haben die Heats eine Länge von mindestens 20 Minuten. In dieser Zeit kann man sich voll und ganz darauf konzentrieren zwei gute Wellen zu nehmen und diese mit seinen besten Turns und Manövern zu bearbeiten. Hookipa war und ist die perfekte Welle für modernes Windsurfen, denn sie bietet gleichermaßen Sections für Turns, Airs und Tricks. In diesem Jahr war es etwas anders denn der Swell war grenzwertig groß, der Channel hat regelmäßig dicht gemacht und viele Fahrer wurden auf die Steine gespült. Bei solchen Rahmenbedingungen sind Erfahrung und Vertrauen in das eigene Können und sein Material gefragt. Erfahrung bei größeren Wellen habe ich mittlerweile eine ganze Menge und da ich nun schon seit einigen Jahren auf dem gleichen Brett und mit den gleichen Segeln unterwegs bin, auch jede Menge Vertrauen in mein Material. Zwei Combats HD, 5,3 und 5,0, und ein Ultimate Wave 88 waren alles was am Strand lag. Auf der Welle ging es vor allem um einen flüssigen Stil, technische Turns und das richtige Timing bei Airs – entscheidend für das Gelingen: die richtige Wellen Auswahl. Ich musste früh gegen Top-Fahrer ran und wusste, um weiter zu kommen muss die Wellenwahl stimmen. Im Heat gegen Victor Fernandez, Thomas Traversa und Kai Lenny hatte ich den höchsten Score. Mit etwas Ruhe und Geduld erwischte ich ein paar schöne Hookipa-Wände und mir gelang es, im richtigen Moment Fehler zu vermeiden und bei extrem starker Konkurrenz auf den fünften Platz vorzufahren.”