Collision and injury mark Kanaha Slalom

2008 Kanaha Slalom: collisions and injuries

The Neil Pryde Slalom was the first Maui Race Series slalom events for the season and as usual the trade winds kicked in enough to get the racing off as scheduled this past Saturday.

In the Pro division it was MauiSails own Phil McGain who took charge early with a win in the first heat. Using his TR4 7.0 McGain had an excellent start in the second heat but followed Peter Slate around the course, later to find out Peter started prematurely and was disqualified from the heat. Heat three McGain again made no mistakes and took the win, thus giving him first place in the Pro division before the final heat was started.

An unfortunate accident before the final Pro heat of the morning saw McGain and Mike Yasak collide in what has been described as one of the worst collision’s at Kanaha by two windsurfers. McGain, cruising around waiting for the flag to be raised, saw Mike coming out on a similar path, went to bear off to go around him, but Yasak had the same idea and with the two going at full speed on a deep reach, hit head on with McGain’s board spearing Mike’s leg a few inches above the ankle.

It snapped his leg like a thin stick and McGain came out of his harness and flew over the top of Mike’s equipment. It was chaos for a few moments as sailors gathered around Mike to come to his aid, while the jetski was hailed. The Jetski quickly arrived to take Mike to the shore and an ambulance was called right away to get Mike off to Hospital without delay.

In the final Pro heat of the day, it was Peiter Bijl who won the heat from a shaken up McGain, who at this point was grateful to be still on the water without any serious injury. McGain won the Pro division with Peiter Bijl second and Alex Aguera third.

Other MauiSails riders who excelled during the Slalom event include Paulina Pease who placed 3rd in the Junior women, Baker Grant pulled into third place in the Expert division, while Kiwi and Carbon Art owner James Dinnis got a commendable second place in the Men’s 19-39 age group.

While it was great day of racing, we are saddened by the accident and injuries suffered by Mike Yasak and wish him the best of luck and speedy recovery from his broken leg.

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