First off, this was definitely the best run event I've been part of. Everything from judging, organization, parties, stoke and good vibes. Mahalos to everyone that made it happened.
Here is my quick recap of the event that has consumed my life for the last week.
Time on beach: 20+ hours
Time competing: 12 minutes
Total time on water: 2 hours
Number of unforgettable waves: 1
Epic solo sessions I will never forget: 1
People who ripped:
Camille-Pure talent. He brings his own style to wave sailing and will change the future of wave riding like Polakow, Levi, and Kauli have.
Browzino-Mixes freestyle moves over the lip in critical sections.
Kai-Sailed like a machine. I was rooting for him. He needed one more set in the final and he could have taken it.
Levi-He is one of the best at Hookipa and I wish he had done the contest. I'm sure he has his reasons for not doing it though.
P.W.A.-for restricting the top ten from doing the event, no Kauli, no Victor. Lame.
I'm not a competitive sailor and never have been. When I used to race I would be looking for ramps to jump the entire time. When I went to events I was enjoying the traveling much more than the sailing and competing.
Small waves and side-on wind. Had fun in my heat but got the boot by Fabrice and Nat. I was pretty miserable for an hour since the forecast was looking great for Monday and Tuesday and there wouldn't be time for a double elimination. Laura put everything in perspective for me and cheered me up.
Saturday/Sunday-Spent the days cooking in the sun watching the event. People pay to come on vacation and sit around and do nothing???
Monday-Tricky light wind and a decent swell with bomb cleanup sets coming every half hour. If the surfer rule was in affect there would have been no windsurfing for sure. Exciting! Kai, Josh, Francisco in the same heat. Three legends of the sport. After watching them rip my hands started shaking and I NEEDED to go sailing. It was firing. Light wind, glassy waves, and jet ski rescue service. No brainer. They put the contest on hold and I got a few waves before they started it again. I watched from way out the back because I wanted to respect the contest and not interfere in any way. I was secretly hoping they would be done after that heat as well. After the contest was over I got on the water right away. I had flashes of the 2004 Aloha Classic. It was too big for me then, but all the pros went out after the contest and destroyed it in the light offshore wind. Some of the best sailing I've ever seen at Ho'okipa. I managed to avoid the rocks and dodge a couple sets and then the bomb came. I saw it on the horizon and tried to signal to my fried John Gangini who was surfing that a bomb set was coming. He was sitting on the inside and was going to and did take a serious beating. I picked the fattest, lumpyest, one of the set and probably the day and pumped like hell to get on it. Usually at this size it closes out and there's a huge rip running through the wave making it a sloppy mess. Not this one, 4 glassy turns and I was all smiles. That wave will keep my stoke meter at ecstatic for at least a week for sure. Got a couple more and called it a day as the surfers paddled out. This shot might be the third turn of that wave, not sure though