Day 2 of 2018 Maui Aloha Classic
As dawn broke on Day 2 of the Aloha Classic, the early light revealed just how much the swell had dropped from the previous day. From the wildly dangerous 18+ foot faces of Sunday, waves had dropped to far more manageable 6-10 foot faces on Monday. “The danger would be lower, but that just meant the riders would push themselves harder to impress,” contest organizers said.
Day 2 offered a last chance for the Pro Men to break into the coveted top 32 of the Aloha Classic.
One of the favored European riders, Arthur Arutkin, was in 3rd place in his heat (top two go through) with less than two minutes to go when “he caught a bomb set and ripped it apart to catapult him into 1st,” dashing the hopes of Yuma Itabisashi, who had sailed very strongly throughout the heat.
One of the top IWT wave riders, Federico Morisio, had a shocker heat on Sunday to end up in the repechage round on Monday, but he “had clearly regained his mojo as he stormed into the top 32 with an inspired and ferociously competitive heat.”
High drama in Round 3 knockout heats as Maui local hot-shot rider, Graham Ezzy was charged with interference on a wave in the dying seconds of a crucial do-or-die heat.
Ezzy, thinking he had a right of way, dropped in on Italian Masters legend, Ferdinando Loffreda, and interfered with Loffreda’s last chance at a high-scoring wave that may have boosted him into the top 16. Ezzy accepted the ruling from PWA head judge, Duncan Coombs, and despite the penalty of losing his highest scoring wave, still moved through to the final 16.
The Women’s repechage saw strong performances from Tatiana Howard and Sabine Zola to move into the Semi Finals and the top 8. The second repechage saw Maria Andres sail a powerful and confident heat to win, with Annamaria Zollet sailing strongly to take the final places in the women’s top 8, to be decided in coming days.
Conditions for today look likely to bring rain and Kona winds and then more tradewinds from Thursday onward with a new swell forecast to hit the north shore early next week.