PWA Hawaii Pro, Maui: Jason Polakow wins in epic conditions!!!
29 March - 5 April 04
32-year-old Australian wave sensation, Jason Polakow (Neil Pryde, JP) has stormed to victory at the PWA Hawaii Pro in epic six to eight foot down the line conditions. After fighting his way through tough heats against Kauli Seadi (AHD, Naish), Levi Siver (Starboard) Kevin Pritchard (Gaastra, Starboard) and Keith Teboul, Polakow went on to defeat current world wave champion Josh Angulo twice to take the event victory here at Hookipa.
The conditions at the PWA Hawaii Pro have been great all week with classic down-the-line sailing conditions. However, they built even better towards the final days of the competition & the locals were calling it 'all time' at Ho'okipa with monster mast high plus waves peeling across the bay all the way to the end bowl off the rocks. With wall to wall sunshine and perfect trades the conditions were as good as it gets for the crÃƒÂ¨me de la crÃƒÂ¨me of the PWAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s elite sailors to battle it out for the title at the most prestigious wave location in the world.
Jason Polakow (Neil Pryde, JP) was simply on fire showing the crowds and judges that he is still the force to be reckoned with when it comes down to pure down the line Hawaiian wave sailing conditions. Throwing huge tweaked aerials, powerhouse cutbacks and insane wave 360Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s on mast high plus waves, Polakow stormed his way through to the final through the opening heat with Kevin Pritchard (Gaastra, Starboard), Kauli Seadi (AHD, Naish) and Levi Siver (North, Starboard), he then defeated Pritchard followed by Keith Teboul to advance through to the final showdown with Josh Angulo.
The final could not have been scripted better with current PWA world champion Josh Angulo facing twice ex wave champion Polakow in the best conditions seen at Hookipa this season. The wave 360 seemed to be the key move today and his ability to deliver the goods when needed probably gave Polakow the edge in his heats throughout the day. In the opening final, Polakow opened taking a huge wave from the out side, ripping it up with a huge gauge and power bottom turn, followed by a clean 360 and a massive aerial on the closing mast high section. Angulo retaliated with a tweaked out one handed and gauging cutback but a 360 attempt left the world champ swimming for his rig that was swept dangerously close to the infamous Hookipa rocks. With Angulo forced to change rigs after damaging his board in the wipe out Polakow was left free to clock up more points to give him the edge in the opening final.
PWA rules govern that sailor advancing from the losers bracket has to defeat the single elimination winner twice meaning another epic showdown for the huge crowds gathered on the Hookipa hill. Once again it was Polakow who created the edge by landing yet another awesome wave 360 alongside his tweaked airs and lightning speed top turns. Angulo replied with insane contorted airs and smoking cutbacks but once again his 360 attempts let him down and opening the door for Polakow to steal the event victory.
Other highlights of the competition included the return to the fold of Canadian wild man Jason Prior (Neil Pryde), who lived up to his reputation after executing several suicidal double loops and some massive push loops in the earlier heats. Jason finished the event with a very respectable 8th place just behind Hawaiiain waterman Rush Randle (Neil Pryde) in 7th. Rush had also been on formidable form during the week with some massive aerials and wave 360s.
Rounding out the top 10 was the French/Hawaiian rider Fabrice Beaux (Neil Pryde, RRD), who put together an impressive performance to hold his own in this key contest. And one must not forget Josh Stone (Neil Pryde, JP), who some was saying was pulling out some of the biggest aerials of the conest.
All in all, the PWA Hawaii Pro is already being talked up as one of the greatest wave competitions of all time. The last days were incredible for wave sailing with the best sailors in the world ripping it up in mind-blowing conditions. The dream final of Polakow versus Angulo, saw some of the sickest wave sailing performances in PWA history. The event will now conclude with a huge Red Bull party to be held on the evening of April 5th at the Maui Ale house. After a week of insane PWA action, sailors will no doubt be in the mood to party on down to celebrate a superb week of incredible conditions.
Jason Polakow (Neil Pryde, JP): Ã¢â‚¬Å“The conditions today were just all time. It is rare that it is this good and set up and peeling. It was perfect. Everybody was pulling of big airs, goitas and 360Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s so the level has definitely gone up a couple of notches. I am just happy to win. There was an element of luck out there and any of the top ten guys could have won it. The 360 was the key move today especially against Josh who has got an amazing style with his one handed aerials and his fluent turns. I knew I had to link up a 360 with a wave with aerials at the end of it. I think that really helped me out. I am stokedÃ¢â‚¬