Today was the day that the waiting finally ended for the Amateur, Master, and Grand Master divisions. Conditions were great to open the day. There was still swell hanging around from yesterday’s epic conditions and the wind was blowing tradewind perfection across clear blue Maui skies.
The call was made to run through the opening rounds of these divisions, giving everyone across the three divisions a chance to sail and compete. Conditions held throughout the day allowing non stop competition action from 11am right through to 5pm. Another full day at the Aloha Classic.
First up was the Grand Masters divisions. These guys were chomping at the bit and ready to go. The man that appeared to be leading the charge was Jeff Henderson. He chose set waves and ripped them to pieces scoring the highest heat total of the day with a combined 2 wave score of 15.93. Rob Funk, Greg Aguera, and Colin Baker also sailed strong heats taking victory and advancing straight to the semifinals along with Henderson. Everyone else will have to fight through the repechage of round 2 to get another shot at these guys in the quarters.
Next was the Amateur division. Many of these guys were doing double duty today riding also in the Masters or Grand Masters division, so it was a big day for them. Not missing a beat, Jeff Henderson again impressed the judges winning his heat and advancing straight to Round 3. Other standouts included Olivier Meline riding with power and flow. He had one of the highest heat scores of the round and looks to be a top contender. Olivier chose waves with good scoring potential and showed he knows what to do with them.
The Masters would be the last round of the day. They saw the swell start to dwindle a bit, but the wind really increased. It was decided that a jump would be added to their heats. The guys were excited and straight away started an aerial show.
Leading the charge with the jumps was last year’s Aloha Masters champion Kai Katchadourian. He opened up his jumps with a clean Table Top and followed that up a few minutes later with a perfectly executed high backloop. Not only did Kai nail the jumps, but he found the few remaining set waves and sliced them to pieces. While Kai looked very good, it will definitely not be a walkthrough for him. Many of the other competitors in the Masters division were also competing with him in the Pros.
Another notable performance of the day came from long time Maui local, Angela Cochran, past World Women’s Wavesailing Champion, competing in the open Masters division (45+) against the otherwise all male field. Cochran put on a strong performance in her first heat, coming in 2nd against Masters legend and top 16 Aloha Classic professional Pascal Hardy.
The next days look very windy, with swell still in the water, so stay tuned for more action!