Let me just say it straight away:
I still can’t believe I got away with winning the Aloha classic title!!
It was a title that I wanted to work towards for the future.
“Stoked” doesn’t do my feelings justice. I am over the moon!
After the results in Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Sylt, the overall ranking couldn’t change anymore. I had secured 3rd place.
So I thought to myself, that competing in Maui Stress-free would be a beautiful ending to the year for me.
None of that though! What a rollercoaster ride this event turned out to be.
We had a huge range of conditions this year which made for one of the best aloha classics ever I think. Having said that it was also the most challenging one for me.
I only arrived two days before due to the other events in Europe.
So I didn’t have much time to get used to the spot.
On the first day, it was light but the waves were not too big and I made it through my heat.
The next time we had to compete however, Ho’okipa showed us a different side of her.There were huge waves breaking into the channel. So there was never really a safe way out. I hadn’t sailed in those type of conditions for a year so I was seriously intimidated. On the beach while watching the sets getting bigger every time I started to doubt myself and lost confidence. I didn’t feel ready and actually didn’t even want to go out.
But if there’s one reason I compete it’s because it makes you push your boundaries. I didn’t want to bail out on my heat without trying, so I made myself get on the water. I creeped passed the rocks and made it out in the line up, while getting a couple of heart attacks trying to clear the mountains of water.
Once I took of on my first wave I felt that my focus was gone and that I was too nervous, I spun out on my top turn, got pounded and had to swim all the way in to grab my gear.
As much as I hated to do it, I wasn’t willing to smash my kit on the rocks trying to get out again. I abandoned my heat and got out of the water. I decided that it wasn’t my day, and hoped I’d get a chance in the double. Sometimes you need the recognize your limits.
I think that day was much needed though! I had a couple of sessions at over head Kanaha afterwards and there was no trace of fear left anymore. I was more comfortable on my wave kit and more ready for Ho’okipa.
In the double I passed a heat and then the swell picked up even more and the wind dropped. Five lay days in a row. Everybody thought the event was over.
So what else do you do in Maui ? Hiking, swimming, snorkeling, surfing on the westside. Anything and everything. This place rocks.
Then the final day came around. There were already rumours the day before that it would be windy. I was already content with my 5th place finish. But the thought of getting a fighting chance in the double was very appealing! I just want to get on the water and get as much experience as I can get.
Lo and behold it was windy on the last day. The call was to run both the amateurs and pro’s. They even added a jump to the scoring. I was powered on my 4,7 and the waves were about head high. I couldn’t have been more excited.
From the first to the last heat I was mega inspired. In my second heat against Motoko I landed a big aerial for my standards and then a big forward, this fired me up like nothing else. I was having so much fun shouting and joking around with the photographers and cheering on my opponents when they had good waves. Having Ho’okipa to yourself is a dream!
Before I knew it I was in the final against Sarah Hauser. She dominated on the big wave day. But the wind dropped and the waves were smaller this time, which required a lot of patience and tactics. It also doesn’t allow for mistakes since we weren’t moving around quickly anymore to catch any wave we wanted.
By now I was already getting tired, but luckily Ferdinando was there to feed me fruit bars and tangerines, and Alice and Robby helped me rig my biggest 5,3 sail.
All in all both heats I sailed against Sarah were close so I think we put up a good show. But in the end I managed to edge a head.
My first wave event win ever! Congrats to Sarah Hauser and Junko for finishing 2nd and 3rd.
This day was so unexpected for me, so to end up winning felt amazing.
I’m grateful I got to sail with so many powerful girls, which pushed me to do the best I can. I also very much appreciate the much needed support I received from so many people during the contest
That’s a wrap for 2016 season for me!
I’ve had an absolute blast this year.
A little bit of down time is coming up in Aruba but very soon I’ll be shredding in Cape Town!