Week-end “wave” a Dakhla! 


In questi due giorni che non siamo stati collegati, non si può proprio dire che a Dakhla, siano rimasti con le mani in mano in spiaggia. Venerdì è stata lanciata la long distance, purtroppo poi annullata per problemi con una boa, la gara di surf da onda (short board) è arrivata ad un passo dalla finale e a fine di giornata è scattata una session di waveriding con Guilloul in veste di indiscussa superstar!
Potrebbe bastare ed invece no! Sabato… Dakhla, the wave machine, ha regalato le condizioni giuste per disputare le finali del surf da onda, short e long board, sup e persino per giocarsi un un Morocco contest, non programmato, per quanto riguarda il wave riding, dedicato ai tanti riders locali.
Text: Steve Palier/Festival de Dakhla - Pics © Jean Souville
Website - http://www.dakhla-festival.com/


Surf and windsurf action in Dakhla!
Looks like the magic is still in the place hère in Dakhla and once again, the alchimy of wind and waves allowed to deliver a great show as expected from the organizators. Since this morning, the surfers that have been qualified from the moroccan top 16 2 days ago have run alongside the international champions, while windsurfers and kitesurfers battled on another long distance race in the afternoon. The journey ended in an explosive and radical show from the finalists of the windsurf competition in the waves of Foum Labouir, under a beautiful sunset !

Surf (shortboard) : stand-by before the finals…
In a moderate offshore wind and in more or less constant waves, it was not an easy task for the surfers to express themselves on this last surfing competition. But the level on this elimination ladder was pretty high, with 8 morrocan on the list and international top riders. Acting as MC on the mike, multiple longboard french champion Ronan Chatain enjoyed the contest. The show on the water was definitely on top as the champions could take advantage of any kind of waves they could find on their way, even though the conditions did not really improve with a more onshore oriented wind and a low tide, forcing the organization to stop the contest on the ½ finals. On the moroccan side, El Harim got qualified with Ingleby alongside frenchies Deniel and Le Boulch. Looks like the final’s gonna be hot!

Windsurf & kitesurf (Long Distance): shorter, but still fun!
With a shorter race than yesterday and in a… wind, the riders of the 2 disciplines could battle again on this race where the endurance and the speed make all the difference. Launched from the « camping Moussafir » beach and in the direction of the Nabika beach located in the heart of Dakhla city, the riders only had 2 runs to do on 25 km distance. Unfortunately, due to problem with a buoy, the race had to be cancelled.

Windsurf (waveriding): Guilloul superstar!
It’s around 5pm that waveriders had an appointment with race director Didier Lafitte. As conditions were looking pretty good with 2m waves in the best sets and a cool side offshore wind, the waves finals could be run to crown one and unique champion. Leaded by moroccan stuntman Guilloul, Rodieger and frenchies Taboulet, André, Jézéquel and Etienne had to play the game in this final. 30mn after, it’s finally Guilloul, Roediger and André that made it to the super final. After a great show, Guilloul is crowned as the champion under a very cool sunset on the beach, Roediger got 2nd and André 3rd.


Dakhla, the wave machine!

Today was 100% surf on the beach of Foum Labouir in Dakhla ! From this morning, nice waves were already breaking in front of the camp, cleaned by a small offshore breeze. There was no time to loose to launch the finals of the shortboard and longboard competitions, as well as stand-up paddle. The level of the champions that were in these series allowed to offer a great show in awesome conditions. Once again, the wave machine was on and did not leave any time off to the organization that even managed to launch another windsurf competition for the young waveriders from Essaouira ! Resume of a long day, between competitions, workshops and interviews of music stars…

Surf (shortboard): Ingleby on top!
With waves up to 1m50 in the sets, the conditions were good enough to let the surfers express themselves again in a hot final this morning. Qualified yesterday in the semi finals, frenchy Deniel finishes in 4th in front of other Young french ripper Leboulch. On form yesterday and also qualified, moroccan rider El Harim did his best on a spot that he perfectly knows as he won every surf contest on the past editions. But he could not fight against Ingleby, the hot australian !

Surf (longboard) : Skinner, master of the spot!
He perfectly knows the spot as he already came last year on the festival. He ended in 2nd. This time, briitish longboarder Skinner was crowned champion of his category in a great final alongside french rider Deniel who finishes in 2nd in front of the other french longboard specialist Castera. In 4th is the american Lloyd. Ben Skinner : I’m really happy, this spot is worldclass ! We have had waves the whole week. All this festival is just great, the welcoming is warm. Thanks to eveybody ».
Stand up paddle : Quique does it in style…
Perfect conditions again for the paddle competition with perfect and long barrels, still 1m50 in the best sets witha slightly sideshore breeze. This time, they were 6 into the final. Stand up specialist and last minute guest on this event, french SUPer Quique will do it in style and wins in this category, thanks to an excellent wave choice, clean curves and power turns. In 2nd comes the very polyvalent McPhillips (he also runs in the shortboard category). The other american shortboarder Lloyd will end in 3rd in front of french SUP specialist Closier. In the women category, Bronat got 1st in front of Hébert and d’Ortoli.


Windsurf (waveriding) : a 100% Morocco contest!
It was not programmed, but the organization has decide to launch in the end of afternoon, a windsurf competition in the waves to the attention of young moroccan rippers coming down from Essaouira (1800 km) to share with the pros and enjoy the festival. In solid waves and moderate sideshore wind, moroccan superstar Guilloul (winner of the wave super final yesterday) will also join the contest to put some pressure on the kids judged by the professional riders in 30mn heats. After 1h30, very humble hot local from Moulay, Fettah Ahlamara, wins the competition over the 12 other participants. « There was a really high level » says international pro rider Stephane Etienne, « these kids just rip and we all got stocked to see them going off ! ».
Tomorrow is the last day of the festival. Att 11h45, there will be the closing ceremony and all the champions will be rewarded for their performances before they start to pack back their gear…


Final results:
Surf (shortboard)

1/ Harley Ingleby (Australia)
2/ Abdel El harim (Morroco)
3/ David Leboulch (France)
4/ Alexis Deniel (France)

Surf (longboard)
1/ Ben Skinner (UK)
2 /Alexis Deniel (France)
3/ Damien Castera (France)
4/ Tommy Lloyd (USA)

Stand-up paddle (men)
1/ Rémi Quique (France)
2/ Colin McPhillips (USA)
3/ Tommy Lloyd (USA)
4/ Greg Closier (France)
5/ Ronan Chatain (France)
6/ Bernd Roediger (USA)

Stand-up paddle (women)
1/ Nicole Boronat (France)
2/ Sarah Hébert (France)
3/ Fabienne D’Ortoli (France)
4/ Faustine Merret (France)
5/ Sarah Burel (France)

Results of the day:
Windsurf (100% Morocco)
1/ Fettah Ahlamara
2/ Ayoub Belakhi
3/ Younes Elabdi
4/ Soufiane Sahli
5/ Abdel Fettah Elabdi
6/ Abderazak Elabdi



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