Starboard & Severne Aloha Classic - Day 3
The title race is still poised on a knifes edge with all three contenders still in the game
After the first day of the PWA contest of the Starboard Severne Aloha Classic the title race still hangs in the balance with all three contenders – Thomas Traversa (Tabou / GA Sails), Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / North / MFC) and Ricardo Campello (Patrik / Point-7 / MFC) – still in the single elimination, with just one semifinal and the final to be sailed. Traversa holds the advantage at the moment though as he is the only man to have booked his place in the final, whilst Fernandez and Campello must navigate their way past AWT Pro Fleet winner – Boujmaa Guilloul (Starboard / Severne / Mystic / MFC) – and Morgan Noireaux (JP / Hot Sails Maui), respectively. Ho’okipa was firing from the word go and conditions improved throughout the day with over mast high bombs rolling in.
Men’s – Single Elimination
In the opening round of the single elimination, Robby Naish (Naish) and Scott McKercher (Starboard / Severne), took down PWA regulars, Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) and John Skye (RRD / RRD / MFC), in heat three as the two former champions showed they still have what it takes to compete at the very top of the sport, with Naish progressing all the way into joint fifth after consistently showing superior wave selection and execution as showed off his flowing and fluid style, whilst staying right in the pocket of the wave.
Elsewhere in the first round, Graham Ezzy (Quatro / Ezzy) and Jason Polakow (JP / NeilPryde), advanced past former two-time PWA wave world champion – Philip Köster (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) – and Casey Hauser (Tabou / MauiSails), but the biggest shock came in heat six as last year’s Aloha Classic winner – Levi Siver (Quatro / Goya Windsurfing / MFC) – was knocked out by Morgan Noireaux and title challenger Ricardo Campello.
Marcilio ‘Brawzinho’ Browne (Goya Windsurfing / MFC) was one of the standout sailors today and he recorded the highest scoring heat of the day in heat nine, where the Brazilian produced the highest scoring wave, which consisted of two critical, vertical turns under the lip before racing down-the-line and rotating through a perfect goiter to be awarded 9.38 points.
Thomas Traversa didn’t show any sign of nerves, at any point today, as he kept his title charge firmly on track with wave after brilliant wave. The Frenchman could’ve been forgiven for looking a little shaky with so much on the line, but TT revelled under the pressure – if anything – as he posted three out of the top six scoring waves – 9 points, 8.7 points and 8.5 points respectively. Traversa demonstrated brilliant reading of the wave as he hit the lip time-after-time in his usual fluid manner, as well as boosting several stunning aerials, including a one-handed rail grab.
Ricardo Campello took his second chance in heat eleven, which required a re-sail due to a timing error with the flags. Originally Morgan Noireaux and Jason Polakow had advanced, with Polakow unleashing the wave of the day on a monster set – receiving almost perfect scores with 9.75 points. The Australian delivered two of his trademark super vertical turns, whilst charging for the lip, before ending the wave with a sick tweaked aerial. However, whilst Noireaux successfully navigated his way into the top two again, unfortunately Polakow couldn’t quite repeat his earlier heroics as Campello pulled it out of the bag with two great waves to advance – which crucially keeps his title hopes alive.
Wave Move of the Day
Alex Mussolini (Tabou / GA Sails) claimed the best wave move of the day as the Spaniard picked up a mast high bomb from out the back before unleashing one of his trademark frontside wave 360s, right in the critical section.
As Things Currently Stand
Thomas Traversa holds a commanding position as the only man to have secured his place in the final. In order for Victor Fernandez to head to the top of the rankings by the end of the single elimination, the Spaniard must first navigate his way through the second semifinal, before beating Traversa by at least one place in the four man final. Meanwhile, Ricardo Campello’s title challenge hangs by the skin of his teeth, and his fate is now out of his own hands. Campello cannot lead the world rankings even if he is able to win the single, but still has a slim chance in the double, but only if Traversa finishes fourth, as Campello would require Traversa to drop back to fifth place, whilst also winning the event and seeing Fernandez finish worse than fifth too.
Tomorrow is set to be another superb day at Ho’okipa, which should see the single elimination completed before the start women’s single elimination and the double. The skippers’ meeting has been called for 9am tomorrow morning with the action commencing from 10am. Don’t miss any of the incredible action by tuning into www.pwaworldtour.com, where you’ll be able to follow everything as it happens via the PWA live stream and live ticker