Philip Koster wins his 5th world title in Maui after a consistent year with 3 podium finishes and his best result to date during the Aloha Classic. Over the past years, the Aloha Classic has been a struggling point for Philip Koster but after spending more time on Maui in recent years Philip took some people by surprise by his performance in the extreme and light wind conditions Hookipa had on offer this year.

Philip just missed out of the quarter-final by less than a point to take 9th in the single elimination. With the level being extremely close and the conditions being tricky for everyone, this 9th place was enough to keep his first place on the overall ranking after the single elimination with none of the other title contenders making the final and keep his dreams for his 5th world title alive after day 2.

With lighter winds on day 3 & 4 and the event only being allowed to run 5 days of consecutive days of competition in the 12 days waiting period because of the local permits, this result in the single-elimination ended up being crucial towards the world title race. Philip now takes home his 5th world title at the age of 25 in what might have been the most allround year on tour showing he has gained control in his starboard tack sailing and shown his ability to perform in control no matter the conditions.

We caught up with the 2019 Wave world champion on the island of Maui to get his thoughts on what this 5th title means to him:

2019 has been one of the most allround seasons in recent year on the PWA world tour and no discard, does this make this victory more special?
This year has been amazing, first of all, we had wind in all of the contests and I managed to be on the podium on 3 out of 4 events. Having no discard makes it very hard since you have to be 100% at every event and if you get a bit unlucky with the conditions you can end up far down in the rankings. Having won my 5th world title without a discard makes it definitely a special one and I’m super happy about it.

Q2: How will you be celebrating your 5th world title?
Guess I will go out for dinner with my girlfriend and friends and then I will celebrate with my family back on Gran Canaria. Looking forward to sailing uncrowded spots again!

10 years ago you won your first PWA event on tour, now you already are on world title number 5, where do you see yourself in another 10 years? Will you be adding any more disciplines in the future?
Years ago I would have thought that I will be competing in slalom already but since I’m enjoying wave sailing so much and contests are going well I never really put in much time into other disciplines. Freestyle has helped me a lot to get better in the waves and I think in the next year I will try to go to one or two slalom events.

On the woman’s side, the title race was never as close as this year. With both Sarah-Quita Offringa & Iballa Moreno making it into the final it was down to one heat to decide the world title.

Iballa showed excellent sailing throughout the single elimination and didn’t hold back in the final, showing some excellent wave selection and proving her riding is defiantly one of her strong sides. However, things didn’t go her way when she went for a late air under the lip to just get clipped at the landing and see her title dreams disappear with it. 

We caught up with Iballa to have a look back on the 2019 season and how she looks forward toward 2020

You got really close to another world title despite starting the year with a knee injury at the beginning of the season. Are you fully fit now again or are you still recovering?
Yes, it has definitely been a different year than others. My knee injury didn’t help for the first event in Pozo. I’m still going through rehab but because I’ve been nonstop training and trying to be fit for the rest of events my knee is still not 100%.

With over 20 years on tour and lot’s of experience, this year was the first year your twin sister Daida wasn’t able to compete on the whole tour. How has it been to travel to all the events without your twin sister being by your side? 
Yes. Without Daida completing all the tour made all the ‘pressure’ for the title for me. And yes It’s different not having Daida around. We work as a team. But next season we will come back stronger.

You have been on the Severne board program for almost a year now, what has so far been your favorite setup and how do you feel it has helped your riding?
Yes, I’m loving my boards and sails. My favorite is 4,2 and 4,7 blade and 74L Mako (quad) that’s what I was using in Hookipa. Best boards I’ve ever had!

Now the wave season is officially finished we are looking forward to the last PWA event of the season in New Caledonia where Matteo Iachino will be looking for his 2nd world title after winning the last PWA event in Denmark.