The Dakhla festival, extreme south of Morocco


Mancano ormai pochissimi giorni all’inizio del festival (a partire dal 22 febbraio) ed i campioni del windsurf invitati all’evento, sono veramente tanti… di seguito trovate alcune interviste, a cominciare da uno dei “padroni di casa”… Boujmaa Guilloul.
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Photos action © Jean Souville - portraits PWA/Carter, Loïc Olivier, Ludo Franco.

The Dakhla festival, extreme south of Morocco : the incredible encounter between sea and desert, between music and boardsports! A few days before the start of sports contests that will take place on the festival (from February 22) you will find below some interviews withsome of the windsurf champions invited to the event. Next press release around February 17th, live from Dakhla…

boujmaa-guilloul.jpgBoujmaa Guilloul – Morocco - The moroccan international windsurf star…
“The Dakhla festival opens the minds of our youth to new experiences by giving them the opportunity to meet with the pros and show their talent. ”
It’s how many times now that you participate in the Dakhla Festival?
I attended the first 3 editions of the festival, I did not spend the whole time but I try to always be présent. This is an important event for our country and for young Moroccans…
What is currently your best memory there?
I think I am surprised every year by the level of young people progressing all the time, but also the atmosphere of the festival, with music and sports at the same time, it’s a great idea for our culture, it opens the minds of our youth to new experiences by giving them also the opportunity meet with the pros and show their talent.
How do young local kids come from Essaouira to Dakhla?
The organization is responsible for their travel and everything else.
Do you act a bit as a coach for these ambitious youngsters?
Not really, but when the opportunity presents itself, I advise them, tell them about my experiences and what happens elsewhere on the World Tour for example, but I do not act as a coach. Just technical advices if needed.
Do you think you can win the « Dakhla Waterman » trophy this year?
Yes! But finally, no I do not know, I think everyone is strong enough to win this trophy!
Your ranking
5th PWA in the Waves of Portugal in 2008, 13th overall PWA Wave Ranking the same year, 8th in Cape Verde last year.
Your sponsors
Starboard, Severne Sails, Mystic, Aeron Booms, Bouj ‘Windsurf Adventure.

jochen-krauth.jpgJochen Krauth – France - Former Speed World Champion retired…
“I was fortunate to be invited to the festival last year. And all week, I had the impression of living a dream, half awake … ”
After years of having scoured the slalom & speed windsurfing events, you’re back on the water?
In fact, I never have really quit - impossible not to be on the water from time to time - as soon as conditions are good, I go windsurfing in the waves. I still have good spots around like Quiberon, Carnac … Otherwise a bit of surfing, sport catamaran and multihull race two weeks per year. It is only 3 years that I am no longer a « pro sailor ».
Is this your first trip to Morocco? If not, do you know Dakhla?
I was fortunate to be invited last year - and when you’ve been there once, you do your best to go back. The combination of the discovery of Dakhla and its people - the music and surfing / windsurfing, all on an exceptional site, it is really incomparable to all trips that I could have lived.
What do you think of the concept of this festival combining sport and culture? What do you expect from such an event?
To enjoy, soak up the city every night, with music everywhere - I repeat, these improvised concerts from 1am on the camp, this is magical. Throughout this week, I had the impression of living a dream, half awake, you know like when you’re in a boat on a long road with these moments of speed and glide, and these dreams in REM sleep in which you immerse yourself every 4 hours - you really do not know if you’re awake or if you’re somewhere else …
You saw the bunch of riders in windsurfing. Who could be the closest competitor on the Long Distance?
Bieuzy Mauffret: it is the 4th or 5th time he’s there, he knows what he is doing and downwind, he is on top. After, there will be Kevin Pritchard if you follow the world hierarchy … But we’ll see. I also like to go full speed, but I do not sail that much now in slalom. I’ll be tuned up when this will be the time to leave !
Full speed 37 miles downwind if the wind exceeds 25 knots? Not afraid?
No way ! The downwind, this is what is good! Obviously, this is a joke because yes, I fear it - I should not, but if I’m not properly tuned, it will be very hard. I am training right now but is it going to be enough?
In this case, which will be faster in your opinion? Kitesurfing or windsurfing?
Windsurfing without any doubt - we are not on a 500 m run !
Will you participate in other disciplines as windsurfing?
We’ll see. There’s the trophy by teams that can be fun - I just have not to be a “hassle” for those who would take me in their team!
Your ranking
PWA Speed World Champion in 1996, Speed Vice World Champion in 1995, PBA Speed Vice World Champion in 1991, German record holder and 1st man over 40 knots on open water in 1990.
Your sponsors
Gun Sails, Tabou,

bruno-andre.jpgBruno André – France - 90’s French Windsurf Champion…
“The concept I like it a lot: I love music and the conditions seem perfect for the watersports that I practice! ”
Is this your first trip to Morocco? If not, do you know Dakhla?
This is the 3rd time I go to Morocco, but I have never been to Dakhla! The spot looks really nice!
What do you think of the concept of this festival, combining sport and culture?
The concept I like it a lot: I love different cultures, the differences between people, I love music and the conditions seem perfect for the watersports that I practice!
At this point, you come here to demonstrate the potential of the foil that you develop for AHD in windsurfing? Can you briefly explain the concept ?
I come here or fun! The foil is an integral part of my quiver, I now practice it regularly in windsurfing or SUP. Flying over the water is completely addictive. But I do not know if the spot will be adapted. In windsurfing, I need a wind between 7 and 15 knts. In Sup, I need a wave that does not really break and in both cases, I need a meter deep! So we’ll see there, but in case, I have my longboard, my Sup, my Seal and the Sealion! The canoe does not fit on the plane but I think Rico (Leroy) will bring one… He’s better lock up his peperu paddle!
You will also participate with other disciplines to try to win the title of « Dakhla Waterman »?
I will attend other contests by providing the best of myself.
Your sponsors?
AHD, Nah Skwell, Hot Sails Maui, Select and Soöruz.

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