On 5th November, it was the Amateur competitors' turn to shine at Ho'okipa Beach Park as Glenn Haslbeck takes the Amateur Severne Starboard Aloha Classic title, and Dan Thomson secures the AWT 2014 Tour win.
An incredible 63 Amateur riders were greeted with lightish winds, but over head high swell, which meant it was straight into competition as soon as the wind picked up a little more and the surfers left the water. With this amount of competitors we knew the action would kick straight into action, and we weren't wrong!
Right from the start we could see there were a few riders to watch out for, but what was more noticeable was that everyone upped their game and seemed to love their heats on the water and relaxing on the beach.
The final was a true spectacle of windsurfing with legend Jeff Henderson taking on Harley Stone (the son of another legend, Josh Stone), Paul Karaolides of Fish Bowl Diaries and Vancouver/Maui local Glenn Haslbeck.
All four riders were on top form, with Paul even busting a massive backloop (there were no jumps to count!) just because he could! It was clear how much fun every rider was having on the water. It was down to a two horse race in the end, with a close call between Harley Stone and Glenn Haslbeck, but it was Glenn that took the win. Glenn's aggressive turns, power and speed through the waves is what gave him the edge over Harley.
The completion of the Amateur bracket also decided the overall standings for the AWT 2014, with Dan Thomson taking the title! It was Ruben Lemmens in second position and Joey Sanchez in third.
"It has been an incredible day! It was really my kind of conditions: light and glassy, but with good waves coming through! It was just lots of fun to be out on the water with great friends.
"All of my heats were amazing to be a part of, but a lot of them were pretty tough too! My first was a bit of a warm up, but then round five was super tough against Neil (Turpin) and Paul. In the final I only got a couple of waves, so I was really surprised to have won. I just feel blessed to be here and be able to share these conditions with great people. The camaraderie between everyone is fantastic and I am just so grateful.
"I'm from Vancouver, but I come over to Maui every year and stay for the winter. I haven’t done any other AWT contests this year, but who knows what next year will hold ..."
Dan Thomson 2014 AWT Amateur Champion:
"I've been to a lot of the events this year, but a few stand out to me. Pistol River was my highlight as I came into the contest with no expectations and scored a second in really windy conditions, which are my favorite! San Carlos was amazing too with big waves and light winds.
"This year I took a year off from teaching - I teach Phys Ed at Delta High School in Hamilton - but was supposed to be back in September, for the start of the new school year, but as I was in with a shot of wining the title so I managed to figure out a little more time off to compete in the final events of the tour.
"It was so cool to be able to do all the competitions this year and really live the windsurfing dream. I wanted to follow in the footsteps of my idols like Naish and Polakow, and that’s exactly what I’ve done.
"The Aloha Classic last year was my first wave contest and I haven't looked back. To anyone thinking about coming to the tour or taking on any other windsurfing trip, just do it! Take the adventure and the chance of a lifetime, if you've always been thinking you could do it then what is holding you back?
"I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone! Especially my wife Ros for coming to all the events, and to Delta High School for letting chase my dream!"