The Dakhla festival


Concluso senza troppa fortuna, dal punto di vista vento, l’evento “canaro”, ecco iniziarne subito un altro: domani apre ufficialmente i battenti il Dakhla Festival 2011 in programma dal 22 al 27 febbraio. Le ultime notizie ci danno un quadro quasi definitivo dei rider che parteciperanno all’evento: mentre Kevin Pritchard e il francese Patrice Belbéoc’h, favoriti per la prova di Long Distance, hanno rinunciato a partecipare, la prova Wave conta su due potenziali protagonisti in più. Il primo è il giovanissimo hawaiano Bernd Roedinger, che nonostante la sua giovane età (13 anni) ha già gareggiato sia in windsurf che in sup e fa parte della nuova e giovanissima generazione di talenti che escono da quella fucina di fuoriclasse che si chiama Hookipa. Il secondo è il famoso wave rider inglese Jamie Hancock, che gareggia nel circuito Pwa Wave e che lo scorso maggio durante l’Essaouira Wave Classic ha confermato tutto il suo talento tra le onde. Boujmaa Guilloul è avvisato, arrivano nuovi pretendenti al trono wave del Dakhla Festival! A proposito di Boujmaa… Steve Palier (trovate una sua esclusiva intervista su WN di feb/marzo) addetto stampa all’evento, arrivato ieri a Dakhla, ha già potuto vedere in azione Boujmaa con il suo giovane “discepolo” Soufiane Sahli tra le onde di quasi 5 metri che stanno spazzolando già da un paio di giorni la costa sud marocchina.
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Foto © Jean Souville


“Dakhla under pressure!”
Just arrived last night in Dakhla under a full moon which allowed to admire the huge bay ! Today, it is under a great sun that we could actually measure the intensity and magic of the place. The contrasts between ocean, desert and lagoon are simply majestic, especially as the wind is strong today and the waves are there. The huge music scene in the heart of Dakhla is installed, the bivouac at Foum Labouir is camped and the entire organization is activated to adjust the final preparations to welcome athletes from Sunday the 1st. While expecting the beginning of hostilities, here are some fresh news …
Latest news…
If American Kevin Pritchard and French Patrice Belbéoc’h - among the favorites on the Windsurfing Long Distance - had to decline the invitation,  another star of the new generation of ‘wave riding’ was added to the list of champions. The young Hawaiian Roedinger (13 years) confirmed his presence on the event. Despite his young age, Bernd is a serious competitor in the waves, as easy on a windsurf as a paddling board. The young prodigy grew up in the waves of Hookipa (Hawaii), the windsurfing mecca. Another distinguished guest was also added to the list of champions, English waverider Hancock. Jamie is currently competing on the different wave stages of the World Cup this season and has shown excellent potential and style. After a first trip to Morocco last May where he confirmed his talent on the event “Essaouira Wave Classic, Jamie is back with pleasure in this country, very excited to discover another region that he does not know. Also, as we write this PR, huge waves have hit the Moroccan coasts these past 2 days. The “master” Boujmaa Guilloul and his “student”, Soufiane Sahli, took the opportunity to train a bit before the festival by scoring liquid walls of more than 5m around Anchor Point, north of Dakhla.
Local forces…
We thought it would be interesting to reveal the names of some local riders who will participate in various challenges offered by the organization on the different supports. Most of them are already qualified, but other young guests of the festival will have to pass qualifying trials on Sunday and Monday, this in each discipline.
In windsurfing, the local star who made his name internationally is Boujmaa Guilloul. Around him is his faithful friend and mentor, Fettah Ahlamara and the young Soufiane Sahli. They come down by car from Essaouira specially for the occasion, because the challenges organized in the waves of Foum Labouir during the festival offer them the opportunity to show that their level is comparable to that of the best wave riders in the world. Also note, two slalom enthusiasts who want to run alongside the pros on the Long Distance: Aziz and Jaoued (Essaouira).
Surfing: led by the 1st Moroccan champion ranked on international circuits, Abdel El Harim (also winner of “shortboard” challenges on the previous editions of the festival), we find young Adil Hassouni, Amin Jraifi and Ilyas Gougali.
In the « longboard » category, Laurent Miramon and Anass Hadar will also be present to draw the most beautiful curves on the waves of Foum Labouir.
In kiteboarding, you can certainly count on the presence of local riders from the kitesurf schools of Dakhla, but no names will be revealed before the famous “trials”.
On the bodyboarding side, keep a watchful eye because with riders like Adnane Ben Slimane or Anass Hadar, followed by a whole generation of young guns who do not fear to face the local “beach break” to make an impression, the show may also be as attractive.
If no local champion is specialized in the discipline of Stand Up Paddle (SUP), it’s a safe bet that we will find some of these athletes who also practice SUP. Check out the « Waterman of Dakhla » Trophy which will take place Saturday, February 26.
Local school involved in boardsports workshops…
It is interesting to see that ” boardsports workshops” are offered from Monday in Dakhla. These days are specially organized for local children to introduce them to boardsports. Handled by the instructors of the school “Bouj ‘Windsurf Adventure” (Moulay Bouzerktoune), it is an opportunity for thèse kids to discover watersports that can bring some passion. “For several years I come down from Essaouira by car with my instructors”, says Fettah Ahlamara which runs the workshops. “Each time, the feedback is excellent and we even offer an open day to introduce also the people of Dakhla, on their beach in town ! “  A great initiative where the atmosphere is all about friendship and sharing, two key words of this amazing festival …
Pending the arrival of the 1st international champions and 1st results of the best local riders trials on Sunday, we look forward to seeing you on Monday night for an upcoming press release live from Dakhla! Attached, you will find the latest updated list of guest champions.
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