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Boardsailing: Dunking Robby

Outside Magazine, February 1995

Boardsailing: Dunking Robby
By Todd Balf (with Martin Dugard)

Robby Naish, sailing in the long shadow of perennial world champion Björn Dunkerbeck, appeared to have his rival's number during the wave-performance competition in last November's season-ending Aloha Classic at Maui's Hookipa Beach Park. After an elimination round, in which the two went head to head, Naish and everyone else figured he had knocked the Spaniard out of the competition and locked up the season's world wave title for the first time since 1991. In fact, some suspected that Naish, with the title back in hand, might announce his retirement after the event, ending a monumental 15-year career. Alas, the judges awarded the round to Dunkerbeck, drawing angry heat from the beachside homeboys and the usually composed Naish. Dunkerbeck, who'd already locked up season titles in course racing and slalom, continued on a tear, dropping local Dave Kalama in the semis and England's Nik Baker in the finals and securing the wave-performance season title. Incidentally, it was Dunkerbeck's first wave title at Hookipa, the sport's most prestigious contest and the only championship to elude him in his seven-year reign atop the sport.

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