5 takeaways from the GKA Kite-Surf Word Tour in Dakhla/Morocco

For the second year in a row, the GKA Kite-Surf World Tour takes place at Westpoint Dakhla hotel which is located next to the best wave spot in Dakhla. The event location is not only perfect to host strapless kitesurfing events but also for surfing, windsurfing and stand-up paddle boarding competitions. Like last year, Dakhla delivered great wind and wave conditions that were perfect to run the strapless kitesurfing competition. On the last day of the GKA Kite-Surf World Tour in Dakhla, all GKA riders and crew moved to our newly opened sister hotel – PK25 Dakhla Hotel. The strategic hotel location allowed to run the expression session just in front of the hotel! Now let’s take a look at 5 things that we learned from the GKA Kite-Surf World Tour Dakhla 2018.

  1. FORMAT

The GKA Kite-Surf World Tour 2018 Dakhla, like last year, had a mixed competition format where riders are judged on two parts – wave riding and strapless freestyle. Each day, depending on the wind and wave conditions, judges were adjusting the percentages. The overall purpose of the GKA KSWT is not just to find the best wave rider but to find the best overall wave board rider. That means to find the rider who can shred a wave and then go out to do a huge strapless jump.

  1. STRAPLESS FREESTYLE

For those who don’t know what is a strapless freestyle we have an answer for you. In strapless freestyle riders are performing tricks that are similar to twin-tip freestyle but only using a wave board (directional kite board). Thus, it’s much harder to complete the tricks since the board does not have any straps like on a twin-tip. For girls, strapless freestyle is always a controversial discipline and so far only one female – Carla Herrera Oria is the most experienced strapless freestyle rider on the GKA Kite-Surf Word Tour.

  1. SOCIAL & CULTURAL ACTIVITIES

Like every year, an important social aspect of the GKA Kite-Surf World Tour in Dakhla is teaching disadvantaged kids from Dakhla the basics of kitesurfing. Also, for a few hours all GKA riders and local children united their power to clean the beach from plastic waste. Westpoint Dakhla hotel always supports these initiatives and encourages everyone to reduce the use single-use disposable products.

Besides the social activities with local community, one day of the GKA competition was dedicated to discover and see Dakhla. The riders visited the History Museum, Local Artisan Complex and souk (market).

  1. WOMEN’S DIVISION

Last year, only few girls showed up at the strapless competition and, sadly, the number was too low to form a women’s division. However, this year we have a big change – 14 women registered which is the biggest field of female competitors ever at the GKA Kite-Surf World Tour! In general, strapless kitesurfing is becoming a more and more popular discipline among female riders. Since GKA Kite-Surf World Tour has a mixed competition format, girls must push their strapless freestyle riding skills. Therefore, to stay competitive and improve the overall ranking in the World Tour, it is evident that girls are learning more and more strapless freestyle moves.

  1. WINNERS

On the fourth day of the competition, all riders were pushing their limits and fighting on the water till the last light of the sunset. In the finals, italian rider Airton Cozzolino was fighting against Keahi de Aboitiz from Australia. Meantime, in the girls division Jalou Langeree from Holland was against Moona Whyte from Hawaii. The overall winners of the GKA Kite-Surf World Tour Dakhla 2018 were:

MEN DIVISION

  1. AIRton Cozzolino
  2. Keahi de Aboitiz
  3. Mitu Monteiro
  4. Sebastian Ribeiro

WOMEN DIVISION

  1. Jalou Langeree
  2. Moona Whyte
  3. Ines Correia
  4. Carla Herrera Oria

To sum up, Westpoint Dakhla Hotel was proud to be the host and the official sponsor for the GKA Kite-Surf World Tour 2018 Dakhla. It is the biggest surf resort in Dakhla that is built on the cliff edge next to Oum Lamboiur wave spot. Read a complete day by day event summary on our website. Also, check all competition videos on Westpoint Dakhla Youtube channel.

Congratulations to all the winners, participants, organisers and the local authority! We would like to thank our sponsors and partners who made this event happen! They trusted us, they supported us, they believed in us! Special thanks to media, press, audiovisual press and of course, the organisers.

#WestpointDakhla #GKADakhla2018 #StraplessWestpoint #MDJS #ONMT #SNRT #AMCI #SIDIALI #OSHEE #mapinfo #2M #MED1TV #RADIOMARS #HITRADIO #AtlanticRadio #arryadia #mfmradio

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GKA Dakhla 2017 Overview

The GKA kite-surf World Tour is considered as the biggest strapless kitesurf event in Dakhla and Morocco. 2017 event was extremely successful with 32 riders from 15 countries. GKA Dakha welcomed athletes with good wind and wave conditions that allowed to run the competition for 4 days. The event was characterised by combination of wave and strapless freestyle format. This new form of competition delivered some outstanding performances and pushed riders’ limits to the max that allowed them to show the best what they can.

Most of the riders stayed at Westpoint, the newly opened eco hotel in Dakhla. It was built in March 2017 on the cliff edge of Oum Lomboiur wave spot. Riders were impressed by the hotels facilities, food and spectacular views. Besides competition, riders were supporting Dakhla’s local community by helping to clean up the beach, teaching disadvantaged children basics of kitesurfing and surfing.

Mark the dates in your calendar 24 – 29 April 2018 because GKA kite-surf World Tour is back to Westpoint Dakhla hotel!

Some moments from the beach clean up and teaching day:

Watch our videos of GKA Dakhla 2017 event!

On the first day we had the opening ceremony where riders had a chance to meet and greet Dakhla’s officials who every year support GKA Dakhla competition. On the second day we had some good action during trial heats and new competition combo format – wave riding and strapless freestyle – was agreed.

The main competition started on the 3rd day of GKA kite-surf World Tour Dakhla 2017. The wind this day was the strongest during all event days so the riders were throwing some great action on the water.

Atmosphere of GKA kite-surf World Tour Dakhla 2017 was charged with emotion, action and passion. Intense final heats between riders and Mitu Monteiro wins the event!

The winners of Prince Moulay Hassan GKA World Tour Dakhla 2017:

  1. Mitu Monteiro
  2. Keahi de Aboitiz
  3. Paulino Pereira
  4. James Storm Carew

The final day of the GKA kite-surf World Tour Dakhla 2017. From expression session in front of Westpoint Dakhla hotel to closing ceremony and after party. This event was a blast for sure!

The winners of the expression session:

  1. Airton Cozzolino
  2. Matchu Lopes
  3. Mitu Monteiro
  4. Keahi de Aboitiz

We would like to thank our sponsors and partners who made this contest happen! They trusted us, they supported us, they believed in us! Special thanks to media, press, audiovisual press and of course organisers!

#GKA #MDJS #AinAtlas #MJS #RAM #SNRT #MAP #2M #WorldSailing #VisitMorocco

As many noticed GKA Dakhla 2017 not only became an outstanding world class kitesurfing competition but also riders were supporting and helping Dakhla’s local community. The next GKA Dakhla competition will be in April 2018. So keep your eyes open for more updates!

Don’t forget to follow Westpoint hotel on Facebook and Instagram !


Unauthorized use, translation and/or duplication of this material, including but not limited to: photographs; videos; written content; logos, without express and written permission from this site’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.