Aloha Classic Wave Championships - Day 1
November 9, 2004 Maui, Hawaii, USA
Paia, HI -- Today was the first day of competition for the 19th Aloha Classic at Ho'okipa Beach Park, Maui. Over 110 competitors have signed up to compete in the three-day event, reviving the Aloha spirit and tradition of "The Classic". For the first time in windsurfing history, the crowd saw a Kids and Junior Division start, compete at Ho'okipa, and surely the kids kicked out there on 4-5ft face waves. Winner of the kids Finals, out of a competition of 8 kids under 15, was Kai Lenny of Spreckelsville, Maui, ahead of Connor Baxter, Pukalani, Maui and Jaeger Stone, Australia. Quite a few of windsurfing's Greats such as Kevin Pritchard, Anders Bringdal, Cort Larned, Phil McGain, Kelly Moore, Motoko Sato and Ann Marie Reichmann were spotted at the beach, probably watching those kids carefully to assess their upcoming competitors. The well over 200 spectators who gathered at Ho'okipa to watch today's first event day also got to see the first round of the juniors division and the practice of the girls. As the wind dropped in the afternoon, Event Director Marc Lefebvre called it a day after consulting the girls and the judges, so tomorrow will start with Juniors and then the beautiful girls' Wahine competition at 11:00 AM.
Kai Lenny, 12 years old, from Spreckelsville, Maui: "I am very happy to win, it was so much fun, I really enjoyed competing today. The waves were good, although, I personally prefer them even bigger. They were today about 4 ft faces, I like mast high (that is adult mast high!!) waves. The wind was unfortunately less than we had hoped for but for us kids it was good. It was great to be out there and have a kids division."
Kai sailed today with a 3.7 Naish Ripper sail and a Ripper freestyle board.
Connor Baxter, 10 years old, from Pukalani, Maui: "I rigged too small so I sure was under powered, which was a shame, I am sure, if I had a bigger sailed, I could have challenged Kai. But it was still fun to be out there and sail with the boys, I had a great time. It's an awesome event, really cool, some of the pros showed up, that's great! The waves were good; I think they could have even been a bit bigger. I am disappointed that I didn't make the next round in the juniors, but I will still come to the beach after school the next days and watch the others compete. For sure I will go with my dad to all the event parties, tonight at Sandbar, Wednesday at the Ale House and Thursday at the sandbar for the video show!"
Connor was riding a Gaastra 3.4 and a Starboard Evo 62.
Jaeger Stone, 14 years old, from Australia: "It was great, unfortunately a bit light, but still okay. I am glad I got out early, the wind dropped a bit afterwards. The waves were nice and smooth, not too big or too small, just great. It's a great event, I really like it and will be back tomorrow on the beach and will be riding again tomorrow in the Juniors Division. I am stoked that some of the pros came out to watch us, like Kevin Pritchard and Anders Bringdal."
Jaeger sailed a Severne 4.3 and a Starboard Evo 62.
Wilfred Enriquez, Lifeguard and Water Patrol: "Everything went very well, it's great to see the Aloha Classic back again! I have been working with the Aloha Classic for 15 years. It's really good that they have the kids compete for the first time and I am very impressed how well they did. To see those kids riding the big waves - great! Kai Lenny did really well with his wave selection and looked very comfortable out there. All in all I think everybody had lots of fun today and it will be even better tomorrow!"
Advancing into the second round of the Juniors, after the first single elimination was Graham Ezzy from Maui, Oliver Schliemann from Germany, Nick Warmuth from Maui, Boujmaa Guilloul from Morocco, Riley Coon from Maui, Kai Lenny from Maui, Francisco Porcella from Maui, and Jaeger Stone from Australia.
The Aloha Classic is one of the longest-running wave sailing events in the world. Since it's creation in 1984, the Aloha Classic has been the traditional final event of the Pro World tour. The top ranking international competitors are invited to the Aloha Classic along with top Hawaii athletes to compete side by side. The consistent trade winds and seasonally large surf make the Aloha Classic the most popular destination of the windsurfing media, spectators and athletes. The Aloha Classic is the crown-jewel of wave sailing events. The 2004 edition of the event is set to go off November 9 - 11, at Ho'okipa Beach Park, on Maui, Hawaii.
2004 ALOHA CLASSIC SPONSORS: Maui Tacos, Fly.com, Mac Net, Gillo Design, MFC Optics, Waki Jaki/Pacific Radio Group, Neil Pryde Maui, Hi-Tech Surf Sports, Hawaiian Island Surf, Second Wind, Simmer Style Hawaii, Windsurf School of Maui, Dakine, RRD, Ezzy Sails, Hot Sails Maui, Star Board, Powerex, Chinook, Quatro, Sailboard Maui, Fred Haywood Realty, Live Wire Cafe, Charlies Restaurant, Sandbar Restaurant, Jacques Bistro, Ale House of Kahului, Surf a Vela Spain, Windsport Magazine Canada, Wind Magazine France, Windsurf Italia Magazine, The Maui Weekly, Media Fun Promotion, WindsurfingClassifieds.Com, Maui Sport Vacations, Pompei Beach Swimwear.