The world’s best wave sailors prepare for the final battle of the season, the Aloha Classic 2023, at iconic Ho’okipa Beach Park.
The 2023 Maui Strong Aloha Classic holds special significance, being a major international event following the devastating fires in Lahaina and surrounding areas. With an annual positive economic impact estimated to be over 1.5 million dollars, this event is needed now more than ever for the island’s recovery. The Aloha Classic will take place from 23rd October to 3rd November, with the best 5 days over the 12 day holding period being cherry picked to see the 2023 unified PWA/IWT Wave World Champions crowned in the best conditions possible. Expect to see some of the best wave sailing on the planet with a combination of solid rail game and aerial antics likely being required to come out on top of the prestigious Aloha Classic.
Organised by the IWT (International Wave Tour) in association with the PWA (Professional Windsurfing Association), this event unifies the windsurfing world to stand with Maui. The global community’s heartfelt efforts will raise funds for Maui through the event’s major global broadcast. The 2023 Maui Strong Aloha Classic Grand Final stands as a testament to the resilience and unity of both the windsurfing community and the people of Maui.
Ho’okipa (meaning ‘hospitality’) Beach Park, Maui, Hawaii is quintessentially the home of windsurfing. A place any windsurfer has hopes, dreams and aspirations of visiting at some point during their lifetime. What makes Maui so special is its clockwork like trade winds, which combine with some of the best, and biggest, waves on the planet to create the most spectacular windsurfing conditions — and all of this is then set against a stunning, luscious, tropical backdrop. It truly is a destination that every windsurfer must experience at least once in their lifetime.
Sarah-Quita Offringa enters the final wave event of the year with the world title race lead. The Aruban is also the defending event champion having won here last time in 2019 and she will be looking to repeat that performance as she looks to capture her third wave world title.
Maria Andrés is Offringa’s closest rival – trailing Offringa by 2,350 points coming into Maui and to have any shot of the title the Spaniard will need the reigning world champion to finish outside the top two, while winning the event herself.
Elsewhere, now Maui local – Sarah Hauser – will be a major threat to the win the event. The New Caledonian has a wealth of experience at Ho’okipa and really comes into her own when the swell pulses, so you can expect to see her challenging for another Aloha Classic title come the end of the event, while she together with Jane Seman and Marine Hunter, who won her first event in Sylt last month, both harbour outside hopes of snatching the world title. Elsewhere, Lina Erpenstein will be hoping to end the season on a high.
Title Race Connotations – Women’s
– A top two finish would guarantee Sarah-Quita Offringa a third wave world title and 22nd overall.
– If Offringa were to finish 3rd or 4th then Maria Andrés would have to win the event to deny the Aruban and claim the world title herself.
– If Offringa were to finish 5th then that really opens things up as; Andrés, Sarah Hauser, Jane Seman and Marine Hunter would all have a shot at the title.. In this scenario, whoever wins the event would also become world champion.
The fight for the men’s world title looks likely to be a three-horse race between Ricardo Campello, reigning world champion Marcilio Browne and Marc Paré . As things stand, Campello is leading the race to claim, what has until now proven to be an elusive first wave world title. The 38-year-old currently holds a 1,324 point lead over Browne at the top of the rankings and we’ve broken down some scenarios below to see who needs what to win:
Title Race Connotations – Men’s
– If Ricardo wins the event he wins his first wave world title, however, if he were to finish second then Marcilio Browne would be required to win the Aloha Classic to deny Campello and claim the world title himself.
– In the event that Campello was to finish third – then Browne would still be required to win the event to deny Campello.
– In the event that Campello was to finish 4th – Browne would need to finish second, while beating Paré as a victory for the Spaniard would see him pip both Browne and Campello to the world title.
– In the event Campello finishes 5th – The scenario is the same with Browne needing to finish at least second and ahead of Paré
– If Campello were to finish 6th – A top 3 finish for Browne would be enough to secure him the title as long as Paré didn’t win the event.
– If Campello were to finish joint 7th – Browne would need to finish at least 4th to overtake Campello, however a top 2 finish or better for Paré would see him steal the world title.
– In the event that Ricardo Campello were to finish joint 9th, Browne finish 5th or worse and Paré finish 3rd or worse then 2019 Aloha Classic Champion – Antoine Martin (Starboard / North Sails) – would have an opportunity to snatch the world title, but he would be required to win the event in order to do so.
The world title contenders are not going to have an easy run at the title though with an exceptionally strong field on offer with names like previous Aloha Classic champions; Morgan Noireaux, Levi Siver, Bernd Roediger, Camille Juban and Boujmaa Guilloul, all in the lineup, while global waterman – Kai Lenny – together with Robby Swift and Graham Ezzy will be serious threats!
With rare Kona winds forecast for the opening day of the event, it looks as though there will be a lay day being proceedings. The forecast currently has the wind switching back to the northeast trades on Wednesday 25th October.