Quest for titles set to intensify in desert break

Published 11th September 2023 by Ian MacKinnon


Penultimate wave stop in Morocco to see top athletes fight to cement bids for world championship crowns

GKA Kite Surf World Cup Dakhla, Morocco
Oum Lamboiur, Westpoint
22 September—01 October, 2023

The leading championship contenders are slated to battle for glory at the GKA Kite Surf World Cup Dakhla, in Morocco, in the hope of getting one step closer to wearing the crowns.

The long right-hand point-break at Dakhla Westpoint, on the edge of the Sahara desert, is the setting for the penultimate Kite-Surf stop on the Qatar Airways GKA Kite World Tour.

Everything is still to play for in the race for the world titles after the lead in the men’s and women’s rankings changed hands last month after the third Kite-Surf contest of the year on the German North Sea island of Sylt.

The German stop saw the pack shuffled. A switch in format from pure wave surfing to strapless freestyle, which was dictated by the conditions, suited the skills of some athletes more than others.

Cape Verdean Airton Cozzolino (ITA) went top of the men’s standings, even though he was disappointed when he finished second in Sylt, a venue he was targeting for the win because of his strength in strapless freestyle.

Ever-dangerous Brazilians

His compatriot Matchu Lopes (ESP) had held pole position after wins in the opening rounds in Cape Verde and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which were staged in the pure wave, surfing discipline. A ninth-place finish in Sylt cost him the top ranking spot and he sits in second overall.

In Dakhla, the Kite-Surf discipline may revert to pure wave format if the conditions allow. That could have a big bearing on the outcome ahead of the final stop, scheduled for Brazil in November.

The Cape Verdean tour leaders are unlikely to have it all their own way, with most of the big hitters set to fight for honours in Morocco.

Ever-dangerous Brazilians, like Pedro Matos, Sebastian Ribeiro and Gabriel Benetton always threaten to upset the form books. The fourth, fifth and six seeds, Canadian Reece Myerscough, Reunion Island’s Charly Martin, and Hendrick Lopes (SUI), pose a big threat too.

Back on top

One man is sadly missing from the line-up, reigning Kite-Surf world champion, James Carew (AUS). He has been out since breaking his leg at the Qatar Airways GKA Big Air Kite World Championships in Tarifa, Spain, in June.

On the women’s side, France’s Capucine Delannoy, the current Qatar Airways GKA Kite-Surf World Champion, got back on top of the pile with her victory in Sylt.

But her closest rival, surfing veteran Moona Whyte (USA), chose to sit out the German stop and use it a discard as strapless freestyle is not her forte. Whyte won the first two of two stops out of the five scheduled, which suggests the fight for the title could go down to the wire.

Whyte is set to battle in Morocco and may get back on top if the conditions are in her favour. A number of other strong surfers, like Brazil’s Serena Luz and Kesiane Rodrigues, will no doubt push the leaders hard, along with the runner-up in Sylt, Switzerland’s Camille Losserand.

It promises to be a thrilling contest. Join us here for all the action.

words: Ian MacKinnon
images: Svetlana Romantsova

Event information

  • Location: Oum Lamboiur, Westpoint, Dakhla
  • Dates: 22 September—01 August
  • The official Race Notice and event schedule can be found here.
  • All event information here.

Find everything about GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Brazil by clicking event news.

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Liveticker will be updated throughout the day. Event highlight video will be published next morning. Written reports will be posted to the website at the end of the competition day.

Spot Info: Dakhla Westpoint
Dakhla Westpoint at the point where the hotel is situated. The town sits on the edge of the Sahara desert. North-westerly swells wrap around the point producing a long right-handed break with hollow sections that run into the sandy bay. The northerly breezes can be tricky under the point, but punchy and strong on the inside towards the beach. Westpoint is on the end of a long promontory at the head of Dakhla’s shallow, flatwater lagoon, which gets breezes of 20 to 30 knots nearly all year round.

Dakhla at the end of September/early October has a dry climate. The air temperature during day can be between 24°C the highest temperatures and lowest of 18°C. The water temperature of the sea is around 20°C, so bringing a wetsuit is recommended. Sunrise is approximately 08.00h and sunset is 20.00h.

North winds blow side offshore at Westpoint with 15 to 25 knots.

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