Ellis sails to victory at Quiksilver Cup
Dan Ellis defeated two reigning national champions to win his age group at the wind-shortened Quiksilver Cup on Saturday at Kanaha Beach Park.
The Quiksilver was the third Maui Race Series event in a row to be canceled or shortened because of lack of wind.
Once the wind picked up, an hour after the scheduled 11:30 a.m. start, race officials ran 20 heats in 65 minutes before the remnants of Tropical Depression Wali shut off the tradewinds. The age groups were able to complete their four heats, but the ability level racing was canceled.
“This has got to be the worst summer we’ve had,” said Rick Vetromile, the MRS race director. “I don’t think we’ve ever canceled two in a row in 30 years, let alone three.”
Ellis, a custom woodworker from Haiku, took advantage of the window of windy conditions. He lost his first heat, but then came back to win the next three races and claim the 19-39 age division over Mark Boersma and Laurence Carey.
“I missed the gun at the start of the first race,” Ellis said, ” But really, Mark (Boersma) sailed great.”
Ellis, who raced 10 years on the Professional Windsurfing Association world tour, didn’t start the 2014 season until two weeks ago.
“I have a herniated disk in my back,” Ellis said. “I’ve been building my core strength and it feels really good, but my back is not perfect. I haven’t been sailing all year.”
Boersma won the Unlimited Fleet at the U.S. Windsurfing Nationals at Worthington, Minn., in June.
The 26-year-old special education teacher from Grand Haven, Mich., has been racing the MRS since he was 10 years old.
“I had a really good start in the first race, and was able to stay ahead,” Boersma said. “It’s always fun. I like the good competition, it was good to have another national champion here.”
Carey, a 20-year-old student at the University of Auckland, won the New Zealand national slalom championship in February. He was third behind Ellis and Boersma.
“The wind slowly built up, and then it got windy,” Carey said. “I was seriously overpowered in the third heat.”
Micah Buzianis took the 40-49 age group. He won three of four heats in the quick 65-minute rotation. He just returned from a PWA race in Turkmenistan, which borders Iran and Afghanistan on the Caspian Sea. Race officials were only able to run two heats in six days of competition.
“Conditions were good today,” Buzianis said. “It wasn’t real windy, but enough for racing. It’s been a funky summer. The whole year has been weird for wind.”
McGain won three of four heats to win the 50-59 division, his third straight age-group victory. Ben Massenburg repeated in the 60-over division and Tamara Bockius traded places with Argentina Jimenez Bonilla, winning the women’s open.
The final event of the MRS is the Neil Pryde Hawaii State Championship, Aug. 2 at Kanaha Beach Park.