Bernd Roediger steels the show at the JP Aloha Classic
Staff and competitors arrived at the beach and were stoked to see bigger than expected surf already showing signs of texture. The stage was set and it was going to be a killer day!
The call was made by Head Judge Duncan Coombs early that we would continue with the Pro bracket, and take advantage of the better than expected conditions. As we moved into Round #3, the heats got tighter and tighter. Riders threw caution out the window, and pushed their limits to secure a spot in the coveted PWA.
Powerful riding by Laurent in Round #3, he went on to win his heat in Round #4 following an impressive display which included a Taka and a 360
The wind in the early heats was light, so Duncan quickly increased the heat duration to 16 minutes from 14. This ensured that riders could risk it all, knowing that they had plenty of time to catch waves. From a rider’s perspective this is great. You gain so much confidence in the knowledge that it is not do or die on every wave. This really helps to encourage progression, which is central to the AWT philosophy.
Round #4 produced some amazing action as the scores started to increase. In Heat #33 Laurent Guillemin linked powerful turns with a Taka and a 360 to win the heat ahead of Matt Pritchard. Heat #34 was won by the riding of Quatro teammates Bernd Roediger, and his shaper Keith Teboul, who’s vertical turns in the pocket demonstrate his surfing prowess. In Heat #35 there was little that Jake Miller and Casey Hauser could do to slow the progress of the top two ranked AWT riders, Kevin Pritchard and Camile Juban. The stand out performances of the round came in Heat #36 with both Levi and Graham turning up the heat. Graham went big nailing a Taka, a Goiter and a 360 while Levi wracked up a huge tally with incredibly snappy turns and tweaked airs.
Another powerful slash from Levi!
IIn the first semi-final Bernd and Keith continued to dominate with their fluid riding styles. The second semi saw Ezzy go big, but he couldn’t make his moves stick finishing 4th. He, like many others has booked himself a place in the PWA bracket. I am confident that there is more left in the tank, especially when the waves build in size and power. Kevin, still recovering from illness sailed hard with a big one handed aerial to start the heat, and later landed a clean 360. The fluid style and new school antics of Camile, and powerful turns and tweaked airs of Levi, saw them both advance to the final.
Luckily we will be seeing more of KP in the days ahead as he was awarded a PWA Wild Card last week.
The 20 minute 4 man Final
With the final now extended to 20 minutes, riders would have more time to impress. As four riders entered the water, it was clear that we were about to see something special. The only question really was which one of the riders would move into another gear, and fight hardest for the win. Bernd showed no nerves as he lined up his first wave at Middles. He busted a huge air, which he backed up with solid vertical turns. On his next wave he linked powerful and skatey turns with a taka to finish. With just two waves down, it was clear that Bernd would be hard to beat. Camile was not quite finding the set waves or landing his moves cleanly, but still managed to have one wave with three aerials which scored big! Fighting from behind, Levi progressively closed in on Bernd. Thanks to a perfectly executed 360, and some aggressive rides he was close, but was ultimately one more big one short. It was the 17 yr old Bernd Roediger who took his second successful AWT event victory and second AWT Maui title. Just think, how good he will be in another year’s time!