Severne and Starboard are the title sponsors of the 2014 Aloha Classic and we caught up with Severne’s frontman Ben Severne and asked him why he decided to invest some of his dollars to make the PWA Aloha Classic event happen.
Continentseven: Severne started as a pure wave brand, Slalom came later. Is this sponsorship a kind of return to the roots of Severne Sails?
Ben Severne: I’m not sure we ever left! We were asked to help out with the Aloha Classic this year, so this sponsorship is just recognition of the importance of having a wave event at spiritual home of wave sailing – Ho’okipa.
Continentseven: You are sponsoring the Aloha Classic for the second time. What has changed since then?
Ben Severne: Probably not much – Ho’okipa still has the same fence to sit on, same rocks to sail your gear into, Levi is still owning the place… We’re still obsessed with going windsurfing. So, yeah, the important things haven’t really changed at all.
Continentseven: Why did you decide to put money exactly into this event?
Ben Severne: I think we were just in a position to help out this year. There are a lot of people helping make this year’s event happen, we’re just part of the team. A lot of local sponsors are involved too. But if there’s an event I like to see happen it’s definitely a Maui wave event, even though our team guys might not be Ho’okipa specialists.
Continentseven: Was it a good season so far for Severne Sails compared to the previous season?
Ben Severne: Yes, we’ve been having a great year work-wise. And now we’re just getting in to our summer here in Australia, so we’re looking forward to a good windsurfing season. The last couple of years have been epic over here, so we’re hoping for more of the same.
Continentseven: Where will your focus be in the upcoming years, after the Slalom retirement of Björn Dunkerbeck?
Ben Severne: Our focus is always the same – develop the best windsurf gear we can for any type of windsurfing. Bjorn’s probably going to get us to focus more on speed sails, as his retirement from PWA Slalom definitely doesn’t mean his retirement from windsurfing! We have Cyril Moussilmani representing on the slalom front so we very much need to keep focused on that too. And freestyle with Amado and Dieter. And wave gear for Philip, Jaeger, Daida, Iballa, etc, etc… We’ll be busy as usual.
Continentseven: How do you see the chances of your team riders to get on the podium?
Ben Severne: Hopefully our guys go alright. Philip was ripping when we saw him on Maui earlier this year – he’s really getting his Ho’okipa act together. Jaeger hasn’t sailed there for about 10 years, but he’s quick to adapt. If there’s waves, he can ride them. Iballa and Daida are some of the fiercest competitors ever, and they can windsurf pretty good too, so they can probably do ok. And Boujmaa always has a few stunts. But I also love seeing all the locals dominate at their local spot. Levi, Bernd, Brawzinho, KP, KT, JP and all the other initials all make that place look pretty good.
Continentseven: Will you be on Maui, too to follow the event or support your team?
Ben Severne: No chance this year – too much to do. But the PWA do such a great job with the live-stream these days I’ll be able to follow the event and watch our guys’ heats. I wish them all good luck and hope they score some good conditions.