Monday, October 31, 2011

maui makani classic day 4

Day 4 saw some very mediocre conditions.

Seen the good wave forecast for the last two days (Monday and Tuesday), head judge Matt Pritchard decided to complete the single elimination for all the other categories other than experts.

Once I figured that my heat of the Masters double elimination was not going to be run, I went to work to give Alex a bit of rest (Russ is busy full time at the contest, so Alex is taking all the shifts...).
I didn't take any photo, so I picked a few shots from this gallery .

This is me in the warm up session.

This is a lovely lady in the cool down session.

I guess also this one can be called a top turn at Hookipa.

This is the NW buoy 6am readings. The new NW swell is on its way up at 5.5 feet, 16 seconds from 343 degrees (which is a direction that is not blocked at all on Maui's north shore).
The Waimea buoy reads 2.6 feet, so expect the swell to build throughout the day.

The wind is forecasted to be light, but I hope the Haleakala will do its magic and it will be a great day of action. Follow it on the live webcast.

If you prefere surfing instead, here's the live webcast of a surf contest at Sunset beach on Oahu. There's occasional overhead sets rolling through... allright!

Maui boy Joao Marco Maffini is up next at 8.55 am... go Joao Marco!!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

maui makani classic day 3

Another action packed day!

Let get straight to the fact that I made it to the final of the Masters division. The final was the last heat of the day and, quite uncharacteristicly, it was windy as hell (overpowered on a 4.7) and almost dark...

My good friend (and only sponsor) Jeff Henderson won and I came second, so I couldn't wish for a better end. Seriously, he's such a better sailor than me that if I had won it would have felt unfair...
Congrats also to Yasu and Rob who were third and fourth.
Here's the "podium" in the dark...
Photo taken from here.

And here's the winner in one of his great clean aerials (thanks Nino for the photos).

Now a bit of me. Here's a little spray.

A late hit.

This jibe on the wave wasn't easy. The wall in front got pretty steep but fortunately I managed not to catch a rail on the way down... that would have been entertaining!

This wave did not count (I caught it just after the heat was over) and I was aware of it. That's why I rode it more relaxed (and better).

I'm trying to build a possible sequence here. This photo was taken by Sofie and I took it from this album. It might be the first bottom turn on that last non-counting wave.

I did three top turns on that wave, not sure which one is this.

No photos of the final whatsoever, because it was late and dark.
Here's the single elimination Master's results.

Here's a few shots I took.
A bit of that.

Kai is a character. I believe we all agree on that!

Nice goiter by Morgan!

It's pretty clear that this lady needs some attention if she goes surfing like that...


Too bad she's wearing it upside down, otherwise it could be a nice ad for MFC harnesses...

Good friends Tati and Shawna.

Today looks kind of flat and I really hope they will hold the contest. Monday and Tuesday the waves are going to be big and the wind forecast is not too bad... can't wait!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

maui makani classic day 2

Well, the wind blew and it was an action packed day!

The sky was a bit gloomy at the 10am skipper's meeting.

The blog author gets ready for his heat. Six pack is gladly back. (thanks Nino for the photos)

The other guy didn't show up, so it was only Jeff, Colin and me. Three Hot Sails on the water, we just launched. On the reef, the first waves of a fairly big set. Transition time was two minutes, we used it all to wait that out.

The big set is peaking. Jeff and I waited it out on the inside, while looks like Colin is going to try to poke through.

After the big set was gone, it was pretty flat and, despite the light wind on the inside, it was quite easy to sail out. Here I'm seeing that Jeff will be in position for a nice medium wave (you can't see it in the photo because the zoom flattens everything out), so I decide to quickly tack and grab the smaller one right in front of it.

Still checkin on Jeff and probably thinking:"yeah, Jeff's wave is better, but this one is better than nothing..."
Still can't see my wave, can you?

And there it is. I caught a bunch of those little ones. It wasn't a planned strategy. It was just that I didn't see any big set looming on the horizon, so I chose to stay close to the reef to pick my waves.

Sometimes too close!!

Here's a major wipeout courtesy of Rick (this is his gallery). How the mast did not break is a mistery.

This is probably my best turn and, once again, was only caught by Rick. He might not have a great camera, but he had a good timing! Thanks!

This one is another small wave. I believe the photographer was Kevin Pritchard and I took it from the AWT gallery. Really good shots in there.

I know, it's an all about me post. But, for the non Hookipa sailors, I want to show one of the toughest spots for tacking in Maui. This is just upwind of the beach, right in front of the rock shelf. The current there goes upwind and that creates two unfavorable side effects:
- a hell lot of chop
- the wind feels always stronger (because the speed of the current adds up to the speed of the wind)

Here's Jeff and I sailing out. He smartly chose a 5.8 Superfreak. I was on a 4.7 Firelight...

...can you tell?

Jeff told me that with the 5.8 he could move all over the place and really took advantage of having Hookipa all for himself. This photo clearly confirms that.

After heat chat. Jeff, thanks for those great sails, but also for the most comfortable harness in the market.

Here I'm like:"really Colin? You think you sucked more than me?!?"

This is Russ smiling before his really tough heat against Francisco Goya, Laurent and I can't remember the fourth one.
I've judged 4 or 5 contests in the past and I know that very often people disagree with the judges.
Now, to express a on opinion on a sailor performance, one should only be focused on judging (instead of chatting with friends), write down the scores, know the judging guidelines, and do that all day to keep the scores consistent.
Nonetheless, when the amount of people that saw things differently from the judges is so high (pretty much 100% of the people I spoke to), then there is a possibility that a judgemtent was not fair.

It happens, it's part of the game, sometimes you get lucky sometimes you don't.
I think Russ was the clear winner of that heat. He caught the biggest waves, he hit the lip at each single turn and he even finished one with a (small) one hand aerial.
He wasn't as fast as Francisco on the waves. Laurent pulled off a nice (small) taka off the lip. So it was a tough one. But I really think he deserved to advance.
So I feel like saying to him:"good job brah!".

A few shots of the experts heats before my camera's battery died.

I believe this is Brian Metcalf-Peres (sorry, the last name is probably wrong).

Josh Stone.

Andrea Franchini.

Andrea smiles about his performance (he sailed good), but that unfortunately wasn't enough to beat Josh and Brian.


Well, it's 9.30, skipper meeting is at 10. I better get going otherwise I'll end up parking at Pavillion again...
This is my heat. Check out the live webcast.

Friday, October 28, 2011

maui makani classic day 1

Well, day 1 was a lay day due to lack of waves.

No big deal, since today (Friday, day 2) there will be a north swell hitting. Too bad the wind should be pretty light, so I think Matt Pritchard should call it off again.

This is the weather map in fact and that is definitely not the best isobaric configuration for a day of strong trades. We'll see, Maui can always do the magic...

Below is the wind forecast from

Now, based on the wave forecast too and considering that they only have three days of permit till Tuesday to run the contest, here's what I would do:
Run and finish all single eliminations (and eventually start some double) on Saturday and Sunday. Take a break on Monday and then run the final day on Tuesday (last day of the waiting period) with a classic Hookipa day with a 6 feet swell (the one being generated as I type by that fetch just over the date change line) and light wind.

Here's the heat draw of the old fart category,
What a bummer that I ended up in the same heat as Jeff and Colin. And it seems that also Reed (who I don't know) is on Hot Sails too... oh well, at least two Hot sailors are guaranteed to advance!

See you at the beach!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

found harness at Hookipa + I'm ready for the contest (to be over) + Jimmie's selection

Yesterday Tursday 25 I found a harness at Hookipa. Email me to identify it.

Tomorrow Thursday 27 is the start of the Maui Makani contest. Everybody I meet asks me:"Are you ready for the contest?"
My answer just changed from:"look, it's going to be fun but I couldn't care less of how I do in the contest" to "yeah, I'm ready for the contest to be over and all these people to go back where they came from!"

I know I sound unfriendly and controversial, but Hookipa is just not sailable anymore. I didn't think that a contest would attract so many sailors! Yesterday they counted 60 people out. In below average (read shitty) conditions.
I'm happy there is a contest, and I'll be happy when it's over (even though it will take a few additional weeks/months to go back to normal).

Anyway, tonight inauguration party at the Ale House in Kahului. No problem of over crowd over there, so show up and have a drink!

Ah, there will be a live webcast! They didn't publish the website yet, so stay tuned on the AWT website for that.

Here's a short selection of Jimmie Hepp's shot from this gallery.

It really doesn't matter how many fins Levi has under his board. When one uses the whole lenght of the rail in the bottom turn like he does here, the board will hold even without fins...

KP went for this backloop off the lip attempt. I was looking but not taking photos and I'm glad Jimmie got it because, despite the fact that he went off the back and didn't land it, it was a very impressive move. A sick one.

I love how evertyhing lined up in this shot of a 360 from Kai K.

Camille is on fire.

Beautiful shot of Andres. He's got a Firelight too and seems to be enjoying the super light weight of it. It's the lightest sail on the market. Go try one at Hot Sails Maui you guys... you'll be shocked by how nice it feels in your hands!