The 2019 Mercedes-Benz Aloha Classic was one for the books. The best riders, in the best waves, with the best action. Ho'okipa at it's absolute peak and The Dream Tour concluding with all it's majesty.
Kai Lenny makes a spectacular return to windsurfing by making the final of the most prestigious event in the world. 4th in this field of super elite windsurfers is truly astonishing given how divided his time is with other sports. Proving once again that he is one of the most extraordinary watermen in the world. He wil be a giant threat in 2020, as he stated, "it's my dream to one day win The Aloha Classic." We think he could do it. We can't wait to see him reach his full potential in 2020. This guy...
Bernd Roediger once again shows he is truly a freak talent with crazy moves on giant waves, pulling off certain death collisions with mother nature and making them look like part of his standard day at the office. With one of only two perfect 10's awarded during the event, he comes an impressive 3rd in the final of the most prestigious event of the Dream Tour. Bernd has won here twice before and is a regular finalist. Like Kai he is a wildly talented all round waterman and once again shows that he is one of the all time greats.
Camille Juban won this most prestigeous event last year and looked set to perhaps win again with an armoury of extraordinary flowing moves in crazy critical sections of truly gianty waves. He was on track and would have won if if had not been for the intense fire that drove Antoine Martin to defeat him. Martin risked it all, life and limb, litterally, to defeast his long time rival and friend. Juban and Martin grew up together on the tiny island of Guadeloup in the Caribbean, dreaming impossible dreams of glory on the world stage as kids. These two have become masters of the world. Together. It's one a hell of story.
The victor this time, for the first time, was that wild man Antoine Martin. He has been on the international circuit for almost 15 years, starting out as a tiny little kid with immense raw talent, Martin was for years unable to convert the raw talent into big results. Until last year. He shifted competition tactics and competed in his wave-riding element on the IWT Dream Tour and won. Then he ended the year coming a very close 2nd in The 2018 Aloha Classic. This set him up for some much needed experience of winning and he has now become almost unstoppable. In 2019 he has once again won the IWT Dream Tour and his performance in the final of the Aloha Classic will long be remembered. His winning 2 waves included catching an almost double mast high west set close-out that both Camille Juban and Kai Lenny pulled off because it was just too nuts to ride. Martin, seeing his chance for glory, went for it. Knowing that the only way to make the section before the giant wall of water closed-out was to hit a macking high speed aerial over the 30 foot face of closing out power, he went for it. Flying 40 feet high and perhaps 50 feet long (yes, really), high, high, high over the lunacy crushing down below him, he literally soared to victory. The move is in the event video here, and will no doubt be played in many, many videos to come across the world, including the upcoming IWT Movie.
We salute the Aloha mens' champions for their bravery, for their skill, for their sportsmanship, for their aloha.