by Sam Bittner
The stage is now set for what promises to be one of the biggest clashes of windsurfing talent in living memory. Robby Naish, probably the biggest name in the history of windsurfing, has confirmed his participation in the upcoming JP Aloha Classic that begins on Thursday 24th October, at Ho’okipa Beach Park, Maui, Hawaii.
For the first time since 2000, Naish will compete on the PWA World Tour. Taking the third 'Champions' wildcard alongside Kevin Pritchard and Josh Angulo, directly into the main PWA event, Naish will complete a competition line-up that spans over three generations. Some of the newest and most innovative talent in the sport will go head to head with the very pioneers that paved the way for modern day windsurfing to become the explosive, dynamic and action packed sport that it has evolved into.
In the challenging, historic surf of Ho’okipa, the experience and mastery of the ocean, held firm by the old guard, will offer a perfect contrast to the unorthodox and radical departures of the goiter generation. A true test of 'bread and butter' top to bottom wave riding versus aerial trickery will ensue, as all riders leave caution on the beach and go all in to try and claim their seat at the elusive Ho’okipa winners table.
Naish was keen to point out that his contention for the Aloha Classic title was not something to be taken too lightly. At 50 years of age, he is in some of the best shape of his life and his sheer presence will be enough to deter all but the steeliest opponents.
'Before anyone gets too excited, this is not the start of a comeback, it is simply an opportunity to challenge myself a little bit and have some fun in the competition arena again - and there is no finer arena than Ho’okipa for the Aloha. Its been seven years since the last pro tour event at Ho’okipa and seven years since the last Aloha Classic and there is no more prestigious event title in the sport. I am not setting out to prove anything, just simply to rise to the challenge before me and mainly have fun in my own backyard along with some of the finest windsurf talent out there'
The 2013 JP Aloha Classic will bring together the American Windsurfing Tour and the PWA World Tour to create one of the biggest wave sailing events of all time. But don’t worry if you can’t make it to Maui for the event itself, the pro divisions will be broadcast live via the internet and will be available to watch on demand afterwards so don’t miss out.
For further information and for all the action as it happens, tune into PWA World Tour and American Windsurfing Tour from the 24th October to see the likes of Koster, Fernandez, Browne, Stone, Angulo, Pritchard, Roediger, Juban, Siver, Mussolini and of course, Robby Naish together in full blown competition action for the first and possibly last time ever!