Slate bounces back, wins two titles
KAHULUI - International NorthSails teamrider Peter Slate sailed consistently in breezy conditions to win two divisions in the Quiksilver Cup on Saturday at Kanaha Beach Park. The Quiksilver was the fourth event of the 27th annual Maui Race Series. Slate won a heat on Saturday, took second twice and was third once to win the men's pro title in morning racing, and in the afternoon, won four straight races in the 40-49 division.
"It was much different, had a little bad luck last time," Slate said. "It all came together today, really good conditions. It was a great course and a perfect Maui race day." Slate moonlights as a tester for NorthSails and Fanatic sailboards."They call me when they need me. I'm fortunate to be in their development program," he said.
Argentina Bonilla-Jimenez of Lahaina was able to handle the winds of 25-30 mph and won three of four heats to claim the women's open title.
"It was so windy, wind all the time," she said. "All of us were overpowered. I didn't have good jibes, but I didn't fall down."
Laurence Carey, a 17-year-old from Auckland, New Zealand, won the junior division in his first MRS experience. Going into the fourth and final heat, the wins were divided among Carey; Deniz Bicakci; a sophomore-to-be at Kihei Charter School; and Casey Rehrer, an 8th-grader-to-be at Seabury Hall. After a close start, Carey and Bicakci were able to pull away when Rehrer stumbled at the first mark. Carey then held off Bicacki. Carey also took eighth in the semipro division. He won his first junior heat, but had trouble in the next two.
"I was pretty tired in the juniors after competing in the semipro," he said. "I fell in the second heat and couldn't catch up. In the third heat, I was trying to be safe on the last outside mark, and (Bicakci) threaded the needle and cut in between me and the buoy."
Carey has been busy in his first year of competitive racing. In November, he was seventh in the Auckland Slalom Championship, racing against men. He was also seventh in the International Funboard Class Association World Slalom Championships' 17-and-under division last month in Curacao. Carey is a flanker on his school's rugby team as well.
"We're on holiday now, so I'm only missing one game while I'm here," he said. "I've been training for rugby, I haven't had time to sail. So since I've arrived on Thursday morning, I've been practicing, practicing, practicing."
Carey was impressed with the racing.
"There's really a high standard of sailors here, best I've ever seen. The high wind was epic. Definitely the most consistent wind I've sailed in."