So the competition continued and the heat draw just got more and more exciting.
Kevin PRITCHARD .v. Levi SIVER (Starbaord) was a classic. Kevin was ahead with a wave 360 and slick rides but then Levi did the highest, cleanest wave 360 of the day plus a goita on the wave. Even Kevin's last minute taka wasn't enough and Levi was through to the last six.
In the same heat we had Alex MUSSOLINI .v. Francisco GOYA. This was close, real close but again Alex was more 'tricky' on the wave. Goya did pull off a slick wave 360 and also accidentally collided with Alex just in front of the Hookipa rocks, but this didn't put Alex off his stride and he won the heat.
THE LAST SIX
Finally Matt PRITCHARD (Tabou, Gaastra) and Jason POLAKOW had to get their hair wet and compete against the sailors who had battled through the double elimination in order to knock these guys out! However, that's not how Matt & Jason wanted the story to end.
Polakow did a huge, one-handed push loop and the most tweaked aerial of the day to end Mussolini's fantastic run. Matt was just on fire: pushloops, backloops, goita on the wave face, wave 360....etc Levi sure did sail well but just couldn't match the consistency of Matt and the Pritchard revenge for Kevin's loss was complete!
THE LAST FOUR
By this stage Josh ANGULO and Kauli SEADI (Quatro International, Naish) were getting a bit anxious and they both went out for practise sails in between heats and then they would come in to see who was left in the draw and who they would consequently have to beat.
Kauli watched intently from the beach as Matt PRITCHARD and Jason POLAKOW battled it out for a place against the Brazilian.
Polakow started off with a huge push loop, Pritchard responded on the wave behind with an even bigger push loop. Matt seemed to be ahead on waves early on with a wave 360 in the long 15 minute heat. Jason knew time was running out and the whole beach was 'calling' a wave 360 on his final wave. Sure enough Jason pulled it out of the bag to the delight of the cliff top crowds. But Matt had already wracked up the points and he was absolutely stoked to beat Mr.Polakow at Hookipa!
So it was Kauli SEADI .v. Matt PRITCHARD to decide who would face Josh ANGULO in the final. Kauli (Quatro, Naish) had more tricks up his sleeve and pulled off a few goitas and his more 'slashy' style on the waves certainly impressed the judges. Matt looked tired and seemed to have run out of steam. He did all he could but it wasn't enough. However third place at the Jeep Hawaii Pro is pretty darn good and we think Matt was suitably stoked with that result!
THE LAST TWO
So it was the 22 year old, new school Brazilian .v. the 30 year old wave legend that is Josh ANGULO. Would it be time for the younger guys to take centre stage and a new era to begin? ….not quite yet!
Josh ANGULO stepped up to the mark and produced the beat sailing of the contest just when it mattered. For starters, he did the best one-handed aerial of the day then a sick one-handed back loop then a wave 360 and a one-handed push loop. Kauli tried everything: a goita which he made but not on the wave and a flaka down the wave face were his best offerings. He also knew he was in need of a high jump score and again the crowds 'called' a double. It would have taken a very clean double to beat Josh on jumps and Kauli didn't quite land it. Never mind, he thought, I'll try again! This time he let go through the second rotation and it was game over.
An hour later and Josh ANGULO was spraying champagne all over the crowds as he was pronounced the Jeep Hawaii Pro Champion!!
Today saw the final chink in the Moreno armour secured! Both the girls had dominated all events last year except the Hawaii Pro. This year, you just got the feeling that Daida and Iballa (North, Mistral) had trained a lot for this event and were not going to lose without a battle! Of course because of their success in the single elimination (a 1st and 2nd) they had to sit on the beach all day and wait to see who they would have to beat, again.
THE FIRST ROUNDS
Tiffany WARD (Starboard) had a much better start today. You could hear her hollering from the cliff top as she got some decent rides and sweet cutbacks plus a very near backloop landing. However she couldn't get past Morgan FISHER who then did well to beat Urike HOLZI to meet Ivana GOMES DE FARIAS in the last eight.
Jennifer HENDERSON (Starboard, Hot Sails) meant business today and beat Nayra ALONSO (Fanatic, Severne) and then did a huge end over end forward to beat Junko NAGOSHI in the next round.
THE LAST SIX
Anne Marie REICHMANN (Naish) had a great day yesterday but now she was up against Henderson and Jennifer's local knowledge showed as she picked out the bigger sets and rode with style! Anne Marie matched her in the jumps with a solid forward but it wasn't enough and Jennifer went through to the next round along with Ellefson who beat Nagoshi.
So the battle of 'The Jennifers' commenced and you wondered just how often these woman have met in heats over the years. This time it was Henderson that got the victory and the opportunity to face Iballa MORENO in the next round. But that was where her run ended as Iballa got the better waves and the much better jumping which has seen her thorough many rounds at this event.
The final had to be cancelled about half way through because the rain came and the wind dropped. Daida was left drifting towards Lanes unable to waterstart until the wind finally picked back up and she got herself back to the beach. A delay of about 20 minutes and the rain went and the wind returned.
Daida opened up with a perfectly landed backloop. Iballa responded with a high forward but as she knew this wasn't enough she also went for a high push loop but crashed on the landing. The wave riding was very close as both the girls got some decent waves. But then Daida went for a double and nearly landed it. At the exact same time Iballa got wiped out in the waves and lost her kit. Daida now needed one more good ride to secure victory. But Iballa also wanted that last wave and she went for it on a punchy set and got flung over the falls in spectacular fashion. You had to feel for Iballa who had been riding so well all contest. But Daida got that last wave and the beach knew that her domination of the sport was complete.
They both continue to raise the game of women's windsurfing but today it was Daida that became the Jeep Hawaii Pro Champion.
So it's all over and for the second year the wind gods were kind. The next event is the PWA Super X at Leucate in France which starts on April 19.