by Fabrice Beaux
This event was the final competition of the AWT, the American Windsurfing Tour. Over 100 international competitors of all levels, ages and genders gathered at the famous Ho’okipa beach on Maui to compete in the most important event of the year.
Maui delivered some of its most radical conditions that the island has to offer. The 10 day waiting period was a true windsurfing festival where every participant had a chance to express their skills in excellent conditions.
The pro division competed in the biggest waves, and the skill level on the water was extremely high. Aside of a number of world champions competing such as Polakow, Pritchard, Goya and Stone there were also the Ho’okipa specialists such as Siver, Swift, Katchadorian, Noireaux, Lenny, Rodiger and another 30 or so locals that sail that spot every day.
The waves on the 1st day of the competition were getting close to double mast high. The conditions were huge and maxing out the spot, and It was so easy to get thrown into the rocks with you gear by the giant white water. Riders had to put it all on the line and that’s what they did, offering the best windsurfing show, live on internet.
It was a great event to be part of. I did my thing to the best of my ability, advancing to the next rounds sometimes and other times tasting defeat after close battles. I was stoked to have sailed and perform in such amazing conditions where making it to the next round meant riding some big waves with only three other guys on the water.
My friend Camille Juban played his cards right to claim the 2012 AWT tittle. It has been awesome for me to compete with Camille this season in Peru and Hatteras, and I’m super happy to see him achieve his goal and end the season in style by making it to the final at Ho’okipa.
For all result, rankings, photos and video, and more information on the AWT and the Makani Classic event please visit their website at: http://americanwindsurfingtour.com
Photos by Jimmy Hepp and Kevin Pritchard