If Levi Siver is going to pull off a championship, the stage is set for it to occur in dramatic fashion.
Second in the American Windsurfing Tour points standings, Siver will try to claim the series title in the final event of the year, the Maui Makani Classic - the holding period runs from today through Nov. 3 at Hookipa Beach Park.
Adding to the theatrics is that Hookipa is not just considered by many to be the top windsurfing location on Earth, it's also the home spot for the 31-year-old Haiku resident.
Levi Siver of Haiku is in contention to win the American Windsurfing Tour series points title. The tour concludes with the Maui Makani Classic at Siver’s home spot of Hookipa Beach Park.
BOB BANGERTER / MAUISURFINGPHOTOS.COM photo
"This is a big part of the windsurfing mecca in the world," he said Tuesday. "All eyes are always watching Hookipa."
Siver has won all three events he has entered this year, in California, Oregon and Mexico. If he wins on Maui, he will need a finish of no better than third by the current leader, Camille Juban of the Carribbean island of Guadeloupe, to finish atop the season standings.
"I think it's definitely an advantage to know a wave and be familiar with the spot," Siver said. "A dozen guys have the ability to win the contest. It depends on the conditions. It all depends on the elements. There can be a lot of current, a lot of close-out sets. Definitely, local knowledge plays a factor."
What: American Windsurfing Tour Maui Makani Classic (the last of six stops on the AWT's international tour).
When: Today through Nov. 3 at Hookipa Beach Park, conditions permitting.
Who: Approximately 200 competitors in pro, women, amateur, master and youth divisions.
Notable: The "Champions for Charity" event will offer fans the opportunity to judge a single heat online; a charity of the winner's choice will receive a donation.
Juban is 10 years younger than Siver, but isn't a Hookipa newcomer - he won the event last year. This season, Juban has victories at the two most recent tour stops, in Peru and North Carolina, but placed behind Siver in California and Mexico.
"We are good friends. I think, in our minds, it's just 'The best is going to win,' " Juban said.
No one else is in contention for the season title, but Siver and Juban aren't the only ones with something at stake. There's also an opportunity for big-picture success for the sport.
The tour is in its second year, and last year's Makani Classic was the first wave-sailing event at Hookipa to offer prize money to men and women since the Professional Windsurfers Association's Aloha Classic in 2006.
"The new generation of athletes are really good ambassadors for the sport," Siver said. "On the water, they're going to push as hard as they can. When we get on the beachhead, though, they want to keep that aloha and good vibes going. More than anything, we want to see the sport progress."
* Brad Sherman is at firstname.lastname@example.org