World Champion continues to dominate!
Reigning PWA world wave champion, Josh Angulo of Hawaii, has won the opening single elimination here at the PWA Hawaii Pro presented by Severne sails. With Hookipa continuing to deliver the goods, with 15-20 knot trades and 2-4 feet clean peeling waves, Angulo defeated fellow Maui local Keith Teboul in todays scintillating fifteen minute mens final. Meanwhile Japanese sailor Motoko Sato took victory in the womens single elimination final defeating Maui sailor Jenny Ellefson. Sato advanced over local favorite Jennifer Henderson in the semis and scored two high scoring waves to give her the edge over Ellefson to take first blood in the opening round of the womens competition here at Hookipa. Despite a building swell the wind eventually faded this afternoon and no more competition took place after the final.
Angulo advanced through to the final today through heats after sailing brilliantly against 17 year old Francisco Porcella and then pulling out all the stops to eliminate former wave champion Kevin Pritchard (Gaastra, Starboard) in the semis. The heat against Pritchard was the highest scoring of the day with both sailors ripping every wave with mind blowing moves right in front of the infamous Hookipa rocks. Both Pritchard and Angulo threw contorted one-handed airs and milked each wave for all it was worth with the judges favoring Angulos unique style with a narrow 2-1 decision.
On the other side of the draw Keith Teboul used his fluid surf style wave riding skills to advance over Rick Steinick in the quarters and then a mixture of better wave selection and bigger aerials took him through the semis against Brazilian ripper Kauli Seadi (Naish, AHD).
The wind dropped off a notch in the final making it tough for the competitors to stay upwind and catch the best sets. Angulo switched to a larger sail and seemed to have the better equipment to suite the conditions, while Teboul struggled to find the set waves. Angulo managed to catch several quality swells in the fifteen minute final; ripping each wave to shreds with a series of incredible contorted airs and carving gauges. Teboul fought back hitting a couple of clean bowls right off the point but failed to match the quality and quantity of Angulo's performance.
In the womens battle Motoko Sato advanced through to the final her taking down Iballa Moreno (Mistral, North) and Maui local Jennifer Henderson (Starboard) after two extremely close heats. Henderson had been responsible for the exit of former world champion Karin Jaggi (F2, Arrows) in the previous quarter battle. On the bottom half of the ladder Jenny Ellefson overcame challenges from Noriko Hubs of Canada and then Anne Marie Reichmann (Naish, Naish) of Holland on her path to the final. Despite tough conditions due to light wind on the inside section both sailors picked up several quality waves in the final although the more aggressive style of Motoko won the favor of the five man judges panel to seal the deal for her first Hookipa title.
The wind is forecast to become variable tomorrow but pick up later in the week with a new swell due to hit the Hawaiian Islands close to high surf advisory levels. Stay tuned to the PWA web site for all the news, pictures and results brought to you daily here from Hawaii.
I am pretty happy with the result, coming into the first event of the year being the defending world champion adds a little more pressure. The heat against Kevin was definitely a tight one. I really only scored two waves in the whole heat. I had to score those two waves and fortunately they were good enough. It was a close heat and it went my way. In the final I felt I had more of an advantage because I took bigger equipment and I was moving around a lot better than Keith. I scored all the sets and caught a lot more waves than him. The conditions were pretty good. Just the fact the fact that we were going front side and down the line is a blessing in itself. It was pretty much perfect for a contest, 2-4 feet swell and windy enough to get in and out. It was a little light in the final but I think we were able to still do some good stuff out there. I enjoyed it& but its not over, we still have five more days to go so we will see what happens
Severne Sails, Da Kine, The Islands of Aloha, Maui Windsurf Company, Neil Pryde Maui, Hi Tech, Second wind, 101.1