October 31-November 13, 2016, Hookipa Beach Park, Maui, Hawaii – Naish’s Kai Lenny and Bernd Roediger finish fourth and fifth at the 2016 Aloha Classic with Robby Naish also returning to competition.
Lenny was Naish’s top finisher in the event overall thanks to an impressive run in the double elimination bracket, although he was unable to compete on the final day of competition due to other obligations. He did however leave a strong impression with the judges and crowd with his effortless style, almost transcending windsurfing, bringing a fresh approach influenced by his time spent competing in other boardsports. Roediger made a finals appearance in the Mens Single Elimination thanks to his combination of both old school power carves, new school freestyle and absolutely sending it on big risk maneuvers. Roediger was able to progress all the way through to the final of the Mens Single Elimination with one of his highlight moments coming in the Semi Final.
“Semi Final round of the Single Elimination. I had to face Graham Ezzy, Kevin Pritchard and our boy Kai Lenny! I knew advancement wasn’t guaranteed and there was no playing it safe! So I scored a 9 on my first wave with a Goiter! Then I had to search for another score, however, it found me! With minutes left in the heat I found myself turning up the face on a ridiculously un-make-able 10ft bowl, and before I could convince myself otherwise, I aired the section. It was the loftiest air and most thrilling experience I’ve had on windsurf gear!” recalls Roediger
Also returning to competition, much to the delight of everyone present and watching online, was Robby Naish. Naish, who was sidelined after a serious injury kiteboarding last spring, seemed to be 100% and was not holding anything back. Luckily the conditions favored Naish’s sailing style, matching big, powerful waves with his signature driving bottom turn and hard cutting top turns. It was great to see The Boss back, charging at Ho’okipa.
Naish, Roediger and Lenny were all riding the 2017 Naish Force IV, Force V and all new Hardline Carbon Pro, which have been in development over the past year. Roediger, who has played an integral role in the R&D process since returning to Naish, was feeling dialed on his equipment. “I wanted everyone to see my sailing, to see my board, because I’m so proud of the work we’ve done on the Hardline. To see my sails and what they can do, the new Force IV’s are designed for pushing the level of wavesailing into the future.”
Since its reincarnation, the Aloha Classic has continued to display the best of what wavesailing can be with consistently epic conditions during it’s holding period in late October through early November. While the 2017 American Windsurfing Tour events have been announced, no plans are set for Roediger when asked if he plans to compete at more events next year. “I’d love to compete on the AWT and return to Morocco. The contest, so much, doesn’t matter. It’s the adventure that comes with competing and traveling that excites me!” responded Roediger, “Wise people know to let their actions speak for them, and the Aloha Classic is one of those rare opportunities to speak to the world of windsurfing, I just want my voice to be heard.” We can’t wait for the tour to return next year to Naish’s backyard on Maui.
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