PWA Interview – Graham Ezzy

Flagge_deutsch Am 7. Tag des Starboard Severne PWA Aloha Classic war, wie bereits gestern, für die PWA Fahrer schnell klar dass diese nicht aufs Wasser geschickt werden würden. Einmal mehr war die AWT an der Reihe und heute soll nach Möglichkeit die Entscheidung um den Weltmeistertitel fallen. Die Vorhersage für heute sieht nämlich vielversprechender aus als für den Donnerstag und zum Wochenende kündigt sich zwar großer Swell an, aber das Wetter soll sich verschlechtern und mit dem vorhergesagten auflandigen Wind werden Heats dann eher zum Glücksspiel – also Daumen drücken dass heute Abend deutscher Zeit alles passt und das Titelrennen zwischen Thomas Traversa und Victor Fernandez einen würdigen Abschluss findet.

PWA Pressemann Chris Yates schnappte sich Graham Ezzy zum Interview der sich in der Double Elimintion an seinem Homespot bis auf den 5. Platz vorgekämpft hatte und so sein bestes PWA Ergebnis einfahren konnte.  

Graham Ezzy:  „Ich wäre gerne noch weiter nach oben gekommen – am Liebsten natürlich bis ins Finale gegen Morgan Noireaux, aber Marcilio fuhr einen nahezu perfekten Heat gegen mich, wahrscheinlich seinen bisher Besten des gesamten Events. Letztes Jahr habe ich ihn aus der Single Elimination geworfen und dass war nun wohl seine Rache aber ich bin wirklich zufrieden mit meiner eigenen Leistung, bin hier mit 9 Heats wahrscheinlich mehr als jeder andere gefahren und habe erneut viel fürs „Heatsailing“ gelernt.“

Das komplette Interview findet ihr unten.

Flag_EnglishDay seven of the Starboard Severne PWA Aloha Classic saw another lay day for the PWA fleet, so sailors were released from 10am this morning. However, it looks as though tomorrow will see the conclusion of the men’s and women’s double eliminations, with Wednesday looking more promising than Thursday. Although the forecast predicts bigger swell for the weekend, the weather is expected to be stormy and unpredictable, with onshore winds, so it looks like too much of a gamble to try and wait. 

Earlier in the day with caught up with Graham Ezzy (Quatro / Ezzy) – who earned his best finish to date of the PWA Wave World Tour – after fighting his way back through to double elimination to fifth place overall. Read the interview below:

Graham Ezzy

PWA: You fought back to fifth place in the double – are you happy with that outcome?

Graham Ezzy: „I would have loved to fight my way up the ladder to go against Morgan, but Browne sailed a near perfect heat to eliminate me– the best of the event so far. Last year, I kicked him out during the single elimination. And this was his revenge!“

„But, yes, I’m happy. I am still learning how to compete, and this was a great learning experience. I sailed 9 heats this event– I think more than anyone else– and I took away a little bit of wisdom from each heat.“

„I’m also really happy that I scored 2 good waves against Browne. After the first 2 minutes of the heat, I realized I was out of sync with the sets. Getting back in sync during a heat can be nearly impossible. After 13 minutes of the 20 minute heat, I still didn’t have a scoring wave. But in the final minutes, I pulled out a wave with some turns and a vertical goiter. And then I had a one-handed goiter followed up with a lip smack. Up till now, if I started a heat poorly, I couldn’t recover. I’m really excited that I’ve learned how to bring back my focus and deliver in the final minutes of a losing heat.“

PWA: Ho’okipa is your backyard, what’s it like for you to compete there?

Graham Ezzy: ”I am the only second generation Hookipa windsurfer– the salt of this sea is in my blood. My dad is of the first group of windsurfers at Hookipa, and competing here I feel a connection to him, which is cool.“

„Hawaii is a tough place to grow up with a lot of cultural violence, and the waves at Hookipa became a place of happiness and sanity for me. Waves at Hookipa are worth more to me than anything else in my life.“

„But despite knowing the place so well, the competitive advantage is actually pretty small. Most of the top pros spend both fall and spring on Maui– meaning 4 months or more a year (which isn’t much less time than I spend on island nowadays). Victor is a great example. He comes Fall and Spring year after year after year. All that training on Maui finally paid off with his performance this year– very cool to see.“

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PWA: If you could choose – what are your favourite conditions to sail Ho’okipa and why?

Graham Ezzy: ”I love all Hookipas. The waves and wind are wildly different every day, making it a constant challenge. I guess I like the uncrowded days best. Those days are either massive waves or small waves with funky wind. The evening is my favorite time of day to sail because most people are off the beach and on to dinner or cocktails. The sun shines less harshly and the waves clean up. Often the best conditions are at the end of the day with only a few guys out.“

PWA: What setup were you on?

Graham Ezzy: ”I rode 3 different boards. My go-to small wave 83L custom which is based on the Quatro Pyramid. And two other 92L custom boards: one based on the Pyramid and the other on the Sphere. I’m trying to go longer in my boards so that I can drive the rail with more power. For sails, when the wind was up, I sailed a prototype Ezzy Taka 4.9 with an extra 3/4 batten. The sail is still experimental but I’m loving how it feels. In the lighter wind heats, I rode either an Ezzy Elite 5.3 or a similar Ezzy Taka 5.3 prototype with a 3/4 batten.“

PWA: From the remaining sailors – who’s your pick for top spot at the Aloha Classic?

 Graham Ezzy: ”Marcilio Browne will be hard to beat. He sailed a near perfect heat to beat me and I could feel his fiery hunger on the water. He wants a win. He wants more scalps. If Browne is On, he is nearly unbeatable.“

„That said, Morgan is wickedly consistent. Watching him sail is like watching a video on repeat. He sails the same great wave over and over again– always connecting turns top to bottom and then hitting the lip for an air. Morgan’s strength is in his consistent surfing; whereas Brawzhino’s strength expresses itself in his explosive tweaks and twirls. But don’t count out Victor or Thomas. Either of the Europeans could deliver a win (especially with the title motivation), but it would require a bit more concentration than for either Morgan or Browne who are both locals. If I were a betting man (which I’m not) I’d say the final will be Browne vs Morgan. After that… it’s all down to luck. But hey, I love surprises. Anyway, good luck to them all!“

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PWA: Great, thanks Graham. Congrats on your best finish so far.

Tomorrow is set to see the conclusion of the 2014 PWA Wave World Tour. Who will win the men’s title? It’s now a fight between Thomas Traversa (Tabou / GA Sails) – who may be forced to sail through the pain barrier, if Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / North / MFC) manages to defeat, Marcilio ‘Brawzinho’ Browne (Goya Windsurfing / MFC). But even if the Spaniard is able to defeat Browne, he will still need to beat Morgan Noireaux (JP / Hot Sails Maui) – in order to claim his first world title since 2010. Also we’ll find out whether newly crowned world champion – Iballa Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) – is able to successfully defend her single elimination crown.

TitleRace The Title Race

Skippers’ meeting will be held at 10:30am tomorrow morning, with the action commencing from 11am onwards. Don’t miss any of what is sure to be an enthralling conclusion by tuning into www.pwaworldtour.com – here you’ll be able to follow the action as it happens via the PWA live stream and live ticker. You can watch the action „on demand“ such as live here @ windsurfnews as well

Text: Chris Yates / PWA , windsurfnews – all pics by John Carter / PWA