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Did the Aloha Classic Get It All Wrong?
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Joined: 04 Apr 2005
Posts: 295

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:08 pm    Post subject: Did the Aloha Classic Get It All Wrong? Reply with quote

Former WindSurfing mag editor takes aim.

The 2013 Aloha Classic: Where Was the Windsurfing? Ho’okipa delivered. The world’s best arrived. And what a show it was. The organizers, sponsors and competitors deserve our gratitude...
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Joined: 30 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can see where he's coming from but it was nice to see true down the line wave sailing for a change. If I want to see big air, i'll watch the European PWA events.
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Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 1968
Location: Connecticut, USA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The early years of the Pool and PBA World Cup wave events scored in some combination of wave performance, jumping and transitions. If that formula was tweaked to reflect modern freestyle/wave performance, a different judging formula could be only wave and jumps. Further thought on how jumps are scored might be a challenge, but waves could be scored conventionally. Huck a trick on the wave, big score. A flaka into whatever scores zero when in the flat except when in the middle of a ride, if that's at all possible.

I think Eddie made some great comments. Feedback from the Aloha Classic sailors on the scored format could be interesting.

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Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 3090
Location: Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania. Colorado

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know enough to comment on if all his remarks were justified have a or not.

I read where his rant comes from, on Superbowl Sunday during warm up
does the touchdown pass count ? nah

It all sounds like Monday morning quarterback comments to me.

Does the AWT follow the judging format of the PWA ?

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4Boards....May the fours be with you
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Joined: 22 Jun 2005
Posts: 58
Location: Western NY

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I spent way too much time watching this event........

I was way impressed that this event went off after such a long absence. It was tremendous to be able to watch as everything unfolded live on my computer, and all the big names in the game were able to compete against each other.
Hat off to Sam for what she has been able to do in such a short amount of time. The desire is there among many, but she seems to have taken the initiative and done everything right.
I personally was disappointed to not have jumps scoring. As Ed. P says in his opinion piece, that is a huge part of windsurfing and the piece that makes it different that surfing while holding a sail.
Robby is hardwired for the huge push loop he threw. Me too...if I could do one. Saw some nice turns and hits, but the stuff that got me jazzed were the ONE on the wave forward, and 360's, and takes.
It wasn't nearly as impressive without the jumps, and guys like Philip Koester were completely limited.
They seemed to be on small gear in good wind. Why not rig bigger and throw some jumps and go for it? That is what the rest of the world would have done at their spot. Eddie seems to feel that the scoring had something to do with it, if so, that maybe should be revisited. Over all excitement factor when comparing vid's between some of the other AWT contests puts pistol and santa cruz ahead because of the spectacular ariels.
Sam, Bendt, and Russ did an amazing job at the Champlain Windfest too. IT was out of the box for the AWT. No contest, but if the wind would have cooperated, the public that came down to this world class freesailing lake would have surely been rewarded. The wind didn't show, but the stoke of all the sailors who made the trip was palpable. Lessons to the public, SUP demos...this is what will breed the sport anew. Here's to hoping windfest returns to Champlain in 2014.
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Joined: 29 Mar 2002
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Eddie got it wrong. The idea behind bringing the PWA to Hookipa was to have the worlds best wave sailing wind surfers compete on a true DTL surfing wave. All the other stops on the PWA tour are jumping locations so I think that aspect of the discipline is thoroughly represented. Eddies issue should not be with the AWT Hookipa getting it right with their great coverage but rather how the PWA is constantly getting it wrong with their inability to get a professional webcast of one of their events out to the world. Professional surfing has been doing it for years so it's not like they have to reinvent the wheel, I suspect the AWT used some of the already used systems and techniques to produce their excellent webcast.
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Joined: 09 Aug 1989
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Location: cape cod

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok I was not personally at the event but did watch a lot of the live video.
I can see Eddies perspective in that jumping does provide a lot of great visual effects and would have been great to see. However from my perspective in watching the video there did not seem to be any consistency to the wind. Some time on some time not. I am sure if the AWT/PWA judges felt that getting jumping score was possible they would have added the element. Having participated in AWT events they do add jumps as a counting scope when conditions are working for it.

The concept of ridding bigger gear just to get a jump score is counter to riding the right size gear to get the best out of the wave. It this case bigger gear does not make sense. In one AWT heat at Waddell we saw marcillio come in and get bigger kit to go out and do a double forward. Then come back and switch back to smaller kit for the remainder of the heat for optimal wave riding. Maybe with 20 min heats the riders could have done this. But a lot of the heats had only a few good set waves so not even sure this would be practical.

In many PWA events the conditions are more side on wind and then you would want bigger gear for both jumping and riding. But you would not have the combined power of wind and wave for front side riding.

It would be interesting to hear what the riders/participants think.
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Joined: 10 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Too tired to type it all but I was part of the Aloha.
The head judge was the same for AWT and PWA.
Duncan is the best in the world, 17 years at it.
The other judges overlapped and the rules were the same.
In variable side shore winds the sailor who gets the gust gets the loop and wins over better sailors.
The Euro contests give better jump conditions. This is the only DTL contest.
Duncan allowed jumps on two occasions but withdrew it after seeking condition reports from the sailors.
Many riders caught lots of waves, not twenty seconds.
The cream of your waves got scored, as Ed says, and that is only about twenty seconds for both waves combined.
Hookipa is a dangerous site that breaks your gear and puts you on the rocks on the inside. The launch is a tiny break in the rock with shore break and a sideways riptide carrying you on iron shore. The wind sucks on the inside and waiting for a gust to waterstart gets you carried onto the rocks.
You need to nail a beach start in rough shore break every time.
You have to swim the launch a lot if you sail here.

If you chase waves inside in holey air and get in the inside shadow as you start downwind down the line, you go straight on the rocks.
This happened a dozen times, discouraged even pros. They can't afford to get hurt.
Many sailors, including top pros, had never sailed here before and found it challenging.

The Amateurs mostly stayed outside to keep from getting hurt. That made for some boring heats.

Smart strategy was to grab any wave available, make two turns and go straight outside in the wind.
With that wave score in your pocket you had 15 minutes to look for a big score from outside without worrying about an ambulance ride.

Naish, Stone, the winner PWA Levi Siver ....they live at Hookipa and toss loops there at will. AWT winner Bernt too, since he was 8.

Phil Koesnters downfall was an infected cut.It put him in the hospital overnight.

Expression is a very important part of the scoring format in the AWT and in the combined format with PWA. Same reasons as stated by the esteemed Eddy P.

I don't mean to disagree with the intent of his statements.
I have a lot more info to work with about the Aloha and AWT Makani because I worked at all of them since 2005.
Sam is very concerned about improving the circus and bringing back the whole sport for us all.
The jumps were a case of letting fairness rate higher than the show.

She is ahead of the PWA in web media. The PWA is very strong in other media skills.
Ed P. Is completely correct about his main point. We need to explore every way to shine up our sport to the public. He is looking in places like the Aloha for that to improve, and that is a very good idea.
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Joined: 24 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not advocating for a return to the dinosaur age of wave event scoring, but all competitive windsurfing is an equipment compromise of sorts. Even at elite speed events like Luderiz, few expect to break the outright speed record given that its nearly 75mph. (Yay, Paul Larsen!). Doing well in the contest given the parameters tends to dominate most competitors' thinking. That's why slalom racers tend to sail with different gear than when sailing without specific slalom training in mind.

Josh put it well. Many of the young guys are using equipment that is so one dimensional it can severely restrict performance when conditions change. I'm not sure exactly, but I suspect Robby Naish used some variation of the new Wave that incorporates a return to drawn out aspect ratio. A more powerful sail and board combination works wonders for wave selection by making it easier to get out and upwind faster than your opponent. If everyone had to get jumps and waves, I suspect the equipment choices would've been different yet the competition just as high-level but with an opportunity to present a broader media package. Maybe that's not enough to justify any difference?

As run, the Aloha was a great event with inspiring sailing.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They came to the Aloha expecting to jump just like at other events, with the same gear.
Most PWA guys had an 80liter or so board and used smaller sails than I would on that day.
The Ams rigged bigger and used the 67 to 75 liter boards which are usual on Maui
Even pros can only bring limited gear, so they tended to focus on only one board and another only five liters or so bigger.
You guys have a favorite board you try to use whenever you can?
So do the PWA guys.
Some of the pros had $2000 excess luggage charges anyway.
Goya sails and multi fin Quatros dominated, both in the general crowd and esp. among the winners.
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