With a new 12 second swell hitting Ho’okipa on Sunday, day two of the 2023 The Maui Strong Aloha Classic Grand Final saw the Men’s and Women’s single eliminations completed in solid logo to mast high surf, while the wind remained on the light side meaning timing and positioning were critical in order to succeed.
Women’s – Single Elimination
Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) claimed a convincing victory in the Women’s single elimination to guarantee her the 2023 PWA/IWA Wave World Championship as the Aruban can now finish second at worst – meaning that she cannot be caught. Offringa’s latest world title means she has now amassed an incredible 23 world titles and counting, while her latest success means she has now held the Wave world crown since 2019. In the final, Offringa was able to pick off the best of the waves, while showing off a powerful variety of turns to deservedly claim the top spot on the podium in the single.
Coco Foveau (Flikka / GUNSAILS) and Maria Behrens (Duotone / Duotone Sails) endured an intense tussle for second place in the final with just 0.04 of a point separating the two of them by the end of the heat, however, in the end, Foveau just came out on top, while Behrens will still be delighted to have secured the final place on the podium – for now at least – in her first Aloha Classic. Shawna Cropas (Duotone / Duotone Sails) had to settle for fourth place after qualifying for the final as she was on too small gear in the light airs to be truly competitive in the final.
Men’s – Single Elimination
Antoine Martin (Starboard / North Sails) did everything in his power to hurl his name into the world title race conversation by winning the single elimination, but with Marcilio Browne (Goya Windsurfing) now guaranteed at least fourth place in this year’s Aloha Classic that rules the Frenchman out of the running. Martin may be out of the running for the world title, but is firmly on course to win his second Aloha Classic after producing a brilliant display in the light airs. In the final the 30-year-old intricately linked together two waves in the excellent range – 8.53 and 8.43 points – to fend off Bernd Roediger (Flikka / Hot Sails Maui / Black Project Fins), Marcilio Browne and Camille Juban (AV Boards / S2Maui).
Antoine Martin immediately after winning the single elimination final: “It’s feels incredible. I was far from ready for this comp. This year has been really tough and I can’t even realise what has happened yet. It was super tough out there and all the guys were sailing super well, so now I just need to try and digest it all and believe that it’s real.”
With Ricardo Campello (Naish / Naish Sails) being eliminated in the semifinals of the single elimination that left the door open for Marcilio Browne to move into the world title race lead, which is exactly what he did with the Brazilian finishing third in the final. That means that as things stand Browne would finish the season on 27,429 points, while Campello would agonisingly miss out on a maiden wave world title on 27,253 points having led the title race for the majority of the season.
However, things aren’t over and done with yet and the title race remains delicately poised on a knife edge. If Campello was able to defend his current 5th in the double elimination that would see the 38-year-old jump back into pole position as a 5th place in the double is worth 6,370 points compared to 6,150 points in the single. In the above scenario, Campello would finish the season on 27,473 points, while Browne would just miss out on 27,429 points. If Campello was to finish 4th or 5th, then Browne would have to finish at least second to be able to win the title.
If Campello was to fight back into third place then Browne would be required to win the Aloha Classic to deny Campello, while a top two finish guarantees Campello the title.
Kai Lenny (Quatro / Goya Windsurfing) was the other standout sailor today as the all-round water-man impressed the judges with his surf style turns, but without the aerial trickery to go with it on this occasion, he just fell short in the semifinals.
With light to moderate trade winds predicted for tomorrow the green light has been given for tomorrow with the ground swell set to continue as well. The sailors meet at 10:30am (GMT-10) for the skippers’ meeting with the action commencing from 11am onward.
Current Event Ranking Maui Strong Aloha Classic Grand Final – Women’s Single Elimination
1st Sarah-Quita Offringa (ARU | Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins)
2nd Coco Foveau (FRA | Flikka / GUNSAILS)
3rd Maria Behrens (GER | Duotone / Duotone Sails)
4th Shawna Cropas (USA | Duotone / Duotone)
Current Event Ranking Maui Strong Aloha Classic Grand Final – Men’s Single Elimination
1st Antoine Martin (FRA | Starboard / North Sails)
2nd Bernd Roediger (USA | Flikka / Hot Sails Maui / Black Project Fins)
3rd Marcilio Browne (BRA | Goya Windsurfing)
4th Camille Juban (GPE | AV Boards / S2Maui)
5th Ricardo Campello (BRA/VEN | Naish / Naish Sails)
5th Morgan Noireaux (HI | JP / NeilPryde / Black Project Fins)
7th Kai Lenny (HI | Quatro / Goya Windsurfing)
7th Thomas Traversa (FRA | Tabou / GA Sails)