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AWT Severne Starboard Aloha Classic – Unstoppable Nagoshi and Aiken

by American Windsurfing Tour on 7 Nov 2014
Junko Nagoshi. AWT Severne Starboard Aloha Classic 2014. Si Crowther / AWT
AWT Severne Starboard Aloha Classic 2014 – Thursday 6th November saw yet more champions crowned, after another successful day at the beach for the AWT Severne Starboard Aloha Classic.

We kicked off this morning with the Women’s fleet; 17 incredible women took on the big swell and offshore winds of Ho’okipa. The fleet contained AWT and world champions, but it was some of the familiar local faces that made it into the final.
Junko Nagoshi had won the Aloha Classic title three times before and she wasn’t likely to let this one slip away. Ingrid Larouche, Tatiana Howard and Sarah Hauser joined Junko in the final and it was a four-way battle for the podium. Right from the start Junko laid it down, as we all know she can, with the most aggressive but smooth turns. Ingrid took second by securing wave after wave, despite a niggling ankle injury. The Butterfly herself, Tatiana Howard took third position and Sarah Hauser finished an impressive fourth, in her first Ho’okipa final. It was an impressive display from all of the women on the water today; everyone was charging in the very hard conditions.

This final event of the AWT tour also crowned the 2014 AWT Women’s Champion and a surprise early exit from Fiona Wylde gave the title to Ingrid Larouche, who now makes it an incredible four titles in a row!
The Women weren’t the only bracket to run today, we also had the pleasure of running competition for the Masters and Youth contests.

The 24 strong Masters fleet included many AWT regulars and popular local faces; it was incredible to see these guys killing it on the water! It was obvious from the early rounds the names to watch out for, the best riders consistently getting the best waves and ripping them apart.

The final was run in light winds, but each rider still managed to put on a spectacular show. Sean Aiken proved he was the one to beat, picking out the biggest set waves, boosting aerials and late hits. It was Aiken that won with his impressive riding, but Ferdinando Loffreda was just behind, with Patrick Bergeron in third and Giampaolo Cammarato in fourth.
The Youth fleet, one of the most important to the AWT, were also on the water today. These kids are the future of our sport and it was great to see a real mix of ages and experiences enjoying the conditions together.

We’d already got part of the way through the Youth contest yesterday so we continued where we had left off with heat seven.

It was then Casey Rehrer and Harley Stone that put on a real show in the first semi final, showing exactly why they have already made impressions in the Pro and Amateur fleets respectively. The second semi final proved to be a tricky one. It was run first of all in fading winds, the decision was then made to re-sail this heat, but again the wind did not play ball.
Although this heat has been run twice both heats have been deemed unfair for competition, therefore we will sail the second semi final one more time to ensure we have the most worthy riders making it through to the final. Though this was a difficult decision to make we want to give all of the Youth competitors a fair chance and the only way of doing this is to re-run.

We will keep the final two heats of the youth on hold and wait for the best conditions over the coming days, please stay tuned for more.

The whole day was incredible to witness, with three very different fleets all on the water, pushing their limits and enjoying what Ho’okipa has to offer. We cannot wait to crown our final champion from the Youth bracket and celebrate all of our champions at the Severne Starboard Aloha Classic closing ceremony on Sunday ninth, at the King Kamehameha Golf Club. All non-competitors can buy tickets at the beach or on the door for $20. It has been an absolutely incredible year on the AWT and this is the perfect way to round it off, as we look towards an even better 2015!

Ingrid Larouche: 'Like a few people have told me, when you're at the top, there's only one way you can go... and it's down! With me getting injured a few days before the contest, my confidence was quite low coming in to this event and really couldn't see this being possible this year. I still can't believe I came second today. The ladies are sailing so well! I am very pleased to claim the title yet another year! It's getting harder every time and this year, I got a little lucky!'
Chris Freeman, AWT Head Judge

'Another amazing day at Ho’okipa Beach Park! We knew it would be tough to finish today and I thank all the competitors and staff for working so hard to get a result in all divisions.

'With 22 heats to sail I opted to reduce our transition period from two down to one minute, this adds extra pressure on everyone but saved us 21 minutes throughout the day, unfortunately the wind picked up a little late and dropped a little early which meant that despite two attempts we had to cancel the second Youth Semi-Final, it just wasn’t fair competition for the riders and despite wanting to finish today we’ll wait to see if the conditions allow us to complete the last two heats of the Aloha Classic in the remaining days of the holding period.

'As this event draws to a close I am already looking forward to the start of the 2015 Tour in Cabo Verde in February, this really is a dream tour and I hope that I never wake up! Thank you to our sponsors, riders, staff, media and more, this is a team effort. One last thanks to Sam Bittner, without you this would not be possible.'
AWT Severne Starboard Aloha Classic Women’s Top 4:
First - Junko Nagoshi
Second - Ingrid Larouche
Third - Tatiana Howard
Fourth - Sarah Hauser

AWT Severne Starboard Aloha Classic Masters Top Four:
First - Sean Aiken
Second - Ferdinando Loffreda
Third - Patrick Bergeron
Fourth - Giampaolo Cammarato

AWT Severne Starboard Aloha Classic 2014 results. © SW
AWT Severne Starboard Aloha Classic 2014 results. ©
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