Only two Brits have made it over to the JP Aloha Classic, Robby Swift and John Skye; Boards catches up with Skye (and Swift) ahead of the start of the double elimination.
Watch the double eliminationaction live over on www.boardseekermag.com
For me, since I have been coming to Maui 12 years ago, Levi is always the one to watch.
“I think this must go down as one of the hardest contests I have ever done.
“Only the top PWA guys made it over, so we have over half the fleet of ripping locals and ex world champions. The big difference from years ago would be that half these pro local riders would be on the PWA tour, so it would all be a bit more mixed up, but now none of them are so it’s really tricky.
“Add to that they are not just locals that never compete, they are locals with a tonne of combined experience. Nearly everyone has been a full pro on the PWA at some point with two AWT Champions and six ex-world champions in the mix. The level was/is insane. Some of the 1st round heats could have been finals, but from what I saw the best two guys all day were Kauli and Levi.
“They looked to dominate every heat they sailed and it was fitting that they both made the final, and in the end there was nothing to separate them. It was as close to a draw as possible! I was pretty happy for Levi to win it. For me, since I have been coming to Maui since 12 years ago, Levi is always the one to watch. He is powerful, he has all the tricks and he is great in the big waves too. It’s nice to see him finally take a world cup win after many years getting close.
For me… Out first round, losing to Swifty and Matt Pritchard. I am not one to make up excuses but, launching into the heat it was pretty much my first session sailing Hookipa properly since arriving. Plus, the first big wave down-the-line day I have had in at least 6 months! Not the best training, and certainly everything felt a bit rusty. Swifty killed it. Matt Pritchard went between destroying the waves and destroying his gear, but he did enough. And that was me out first round. Not too ashamed when you see the names that joined me there, but would have been nice to go through at least one round.
In the double I hope Brawzinho will get a roll on. He sailed amazingly in his first heat and I think the luck went against him in the second round. He has the skills to challenge anyone and is now really fighting for the world title. With Koester out in the first round and facing a tough challenge to fight back, whoever finishes higher between Musso and Brawzi will be leading the title race…it’s going to be fun today!