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Dakhla Festival 2011: Racing and Wave trials

Feb 22, 2011

Author: Dakhla Festival / Steve Palier

While Dakhla welcomed Sunday and Monday all international watersports stars, these two
days were focused on "qualification" trials to the attention of young Moroccan and tourist
amateurs eager to take part in official competitions. Challenges were launched in the "racing"
discipline in windsurfing & kitesurfing as well as in the waves. More than thirty competitors
faced off in their favorite discipline and the best of them got the wild card which will allow
them to compete with the best champions from Tuesday.

Sunday / « Racing » trials - "camping Moussafir" spot
Located at just 2 km off the spot of Labouir Foum, but this time on the lagoon side (this is
where all the magic of Dakhla operates, we move from a wave spot to a flat a spot in no time
!), the beach of "camping Moussafir" is a nice white sand bay. Ideally exposed to the wind
that blows almost parallel to the beach, this is the place chosen by the team of Philippe Bru,
sports coordinator of the festival, to launch an open slalom course to enthusiasts Moroccan
windsurfers and kitesurfers. 25 knots of wind, sunshine, choppy water, a long downwind run
with a buoy to jibe far off across the lagoon, followed by another full downwind run back to
the Nbaika beach located almost in the center of Dakhla, 25km of long distance... 2
windsurfers (a Belgian and a young moroccan) faced 17 Moroccan kitesurfers, but also
Italian, English and French. At 1pm, the start is on. Soon some difficulties appear but thanks
to the help of teams of soldiers available to ensure the safety of participants, all participants
came back safely. Favorite in windsurfing as he started like a bullet and was leading the
pack, Belgian rider Alain de Gendt unfortunately broke his mast and let the Dakhla local Faiz
Khalid cross the finish line approximately 40 minutes after. In addition to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th
kitesurfers, Faiz is so qualified and all of the boys get their « wild card » on the official event
of Long Distance which should begins Tuesday. Alongside the professional sailors that run
over 60km / h, it will be for all these young Moroccans the opportunity to see if their speed
and endurance will allow them to be placed correctly on the next race that should be 2 times
longer! The answer tomorrow if conditions are ok.

Monday / « waveriding » trials & free session – Foum Labouir spot
Still strong wind and clean sets on the local wave spot this Sunday. Perfect timing for the
champions who just arrived the night before ! Alex Caizergues & Marie Desandre, freshly
back from a Cabo Verde surtrip, Sjoukje Bredenkamp, Fabienne D’Ortoli and Renaud Madier
could enjoy a free session today and show up their skills while head judge Didier Lafitte was
launching wave trials for the amateurs, locals and tourists. One heat after and among the 6
local riders, Dutch tourist Harry Hensen win his entry ticket to the official compétition in front
of local young moroccan Simon Benguit.



Athelete Interview
Sjoukje Bredenkamp (
3x Female Speed Kiteboarding World Record Holder)
« Nobody leaves Dakhla without taking something with them in their heart… »
Is this your first trip to Morocco ? If not, do you already know Dakhla ?
This will be my 4th year returning to Morocco for the Dakhla Festival. I really like the place and the conditions it offers for kitesurfing, coupled with a cultural  event of this magnitude, it’s something not to be missed. I’m very happy to be coming back.
Have you seen the spot, what do you think of its potential for speed ?
I have been all around the Lagoon and there are many sections that will be very good for speed sailing. I am excited to try it out.

Do you like the concept of the festival, mixing culture & music ?
Culture, Sport And Music is what I believe life is about. This is such a very important interaction for all those present. Nobody leaves without taking something with them in their heart 

What do you expect from this event ?
I expect great days on the beach and in the water with talented athletes from Morocco and around the world, interaction between people of all walks of live, celebrating our lives and our journeys as human beings with Music, Laughter and Friendship.
Do you think it’s gonna be hard to beat the windsurfers on the long distance ?
Yes, windsurfers have a pretty stable craft  and for long distances of this scale, it’s hard to keep up, but we will see...

Your best results
3x Female Speed Kiteboarding World Record Holder - 2x Outright Female Speed Sailing World Record Holder - South African Female Freestyle & Racing Champion
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