With Day 8 of the NoveNove Maui Aloha Classic under our belt we completed 17 heats of the Amateurs bracket, which saw a good chunk of riders from the Pro-Trials bracket who did not make the Pro bracket. Strong winds and some decent Ho’okipa nuggets made for an exciting day of competition. The WindAlert sensor was averaging 21 with gusts up to 28 by our first start at 11:00 AM.
The first round was completed smoothly with 15 minute heats. We saw a few members of the Youth division impressively advance. The Japanese clan sailed well with Ishi, Daiki, and Sugi all advancing with smart sailing, high wave counts, and calculated cutbacks. Also sailing well is Forli who traveled from Guadalupe with the Jubans.
By the 5th heat of the day, the gusts were reaching 35 mph and the riders were charging hard. Heat 7 appeared to be the heat of the round with Wedeles and Cammarota advancing. By the time we got to the 2nd round, head judge, Duncan Coombs, decided to add a jump score into the judging; this is the first time jumping is being scored at the 2015 Aloha Classic.
The first heat of round two saw Brian Talma throwing the first forward of the competition. Heat 10 was exciting with two seeded Youth sailors, Max Schettewi and Tom Juban taking on the hard charging Baker and Garcia. This heat also marked the most impressive wipe out with Schettewi going huge on a forward attempt but leaving his gear behind. Juban advanced with a big table top and Baker’s big forward was enough to push him through as well.
Other Youth sailors who advanced through round two included Forli, Daiki, Sugi, and Jake Schettewi, all of whom seem to be gunning for the final round. Before the wind diminished in quality an onslaught of forwards, back loops, and table tops appeared to be the jumps of choice by Escario, Lemmens, Bergeron, and more.
With the dropping wind, a hold was put on heat 15 in order to remove the jumping scores. The re-run of the heat had the winds shifting slightly offshore producing nice clean waves while Harley Stone charged hard alongside Rehrer, Cammarota, and event site manager, Pascal Hardy of Eternal Riders, who advanced in first place with Rehrer right behind him.
The beginning of round 3 saw the wind drop a bit more, starting with Juban and Talma exchanging waves, and both advancing to the semifinals despite a good effort by Aguera and Baker. The next heat was extended to 18 minutes but ended up being called off until tomorrow.
Takeaways from the day include the excitement of adding a jumping score. With more wind in the forecast, hopefully we get to see more jumps incorporated. Additionally, it was apparent how well our Youth sailors are doing. In the quarterfinal round, we have five of the 16 riders registered as Youth. Furthermore, the Japanese contingent clearly came prepared. Lastly, we have an exciting battle between Ruben Lemmens and Jake Schettewi for the overall AWT Amateur title. Jake is in the lead coming into this event, but with 3 rounds left of sailing, anything could happen!
As we have passed the halfway point of the contest window we would like to take this opportunity to invite you to the closing party. It is free to all competitors, open to the public, and we encourage any and all to attend. It will be at the gorgeous Maui Arts and Cultural Center on November 10th with a fully catered dinner. Tickets are $35 if you buy them in advance at MauiArts.org/box_office, or $45 at the door. There will be food, drinks, and plenty of entertainment including music and dance performances as well as Kimukao performing another Kumu blessing.
RIDER NOTICE: Skippers meeting is at 10:30 AM for Amateurs and Masters. Pro Men and Women are released.
**Full photo album and video recap posted on our Facebook page.**
**Tune into the live stream at AlohaClassicMaui.com/live.**