GKA Kite-Surf World Tour - Dakhla

The Final Climax Approaches in Dakhla – GKA Kite-Surf World Tour

Jan Marcos Riveras - GKA Dakhla

GKA Dakhla - 2018

 

THE TABLE OPENS UP AS THE RIDERS GET A SECOND CHANCE IN THE DOUBLE ELIMINATIONS

 

27th April 2018: Dakhla, Morocco

Report: Matt Pearce / Photos: Ydwer van der Heide

 

Thursday was another stacked day of competition with the riders who’d dropped out of the running during Wednesday’s single eliminations back in action in the double eliminations – their second opportunity to climb back up the tables.

 

ACTION HIGHLIGHTS

 

If you’re not familiar with this format, it doesn’t mean a total rerun of an event – the winner of the singles is already in the final, the runner-up is already in the semis, and so on. However, it does give any rider the chance to make a heroic surge back up the ladder like Jalou Langeree did last year in Mauritius (almost making the final in the process). 

 

The race crew surveys the scene - GKA Dakhla

The Race Crew surveys the scene first thing this morning / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

 

They would be judged on a split criteria again, this time 60% wave riding and 40% strapless freestyle due to the shifting conditions which were seeing competitors in some heats searching for waves while in other heats riders were scoring set after set. This would allow them to rack up points for their strapless freestyle ability if they hit a flat spell. Good news for some, but not for everyone as not all the riders on tour have spent a great deal of time focusing on their strapless freestyle riding before this season.

 

Pre-comp chilling - GKA Dakhla

Pre-comp chilling as the waves filled in / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

 

The men headed out first, and the early rounds consisted mainly of Moroccan riders who were using their inside knowledge of the wave at Foum El Bouir, this spot’s official Moroccan name, to great effect.

 

Nourdine Mansour - GKA Dakhla

Nourdine Mansour just before the first round of the men’s Double Eliminations / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

 

Things quickly went up a gear though when the riders who’d crashed out in round three and the single elimination semis hit the water. Strapless freestyle ability became a must to progress through the heats.

 

Frenchman Ralph Boelen explodes into action - GKA Dakhla

Frenchman Ralph Boelen explodes into action / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

 

The wind was beginning to ratchet up a level by this stage and, as the women’s rounds began, riders were having to make snap recalculations about kite sizes before heading out for their heats. Some tight battles saw the women’s field whittled down to just four remaining riders who’ll go on to face the current top four tomorrow – Jalou, Moona, Ines and Carla.

 

Marie Gautron - GKA Dakhla

Current GKA Women’s tour number four Marie Gautron turns and faces / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

 

One of the key performances came from Hawaiian rider Olivia Jenkins, who recently became one of the first female kiters ever to ride Jaws, and she looked very comfortable in these conditions that required commitment and adaptation to make the sections count.

Until now, few of the women have been training their strapless freestyle on a regular basis but that’s starting to change already on this year’s tour and special mention should go to Johanna Catharina Edin who valiantly trucked into a committed backroll attempt before succumbing to Dakhla-based British wave riding heroine, Kirsty Jones.

 

Johanna Catharina Edin - GKA Dakhla

JC had a tough heat against Kirsty – but it was close! / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

 

After that, it was back into the men’s action and the closing heats of the day were perhaps the best of the event so far. The riders who competed in this round are some of the strongest in the division, and many of them have been on podiums at previous GKA KSWT events before now, so with some of the best waves of the day starting to roll through we were in for a solid sunset showdown.

 

Flags go up - GKA Dakhla

Flags go up as the sun starts to go down / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

 

DR rider living in Tarifa, Jan Marcos Riveras, and Australian James Carew went head-to-head in one of the closest heats of the event so far – Jan Marcos the veteran versus young up-and-comer Carew. James pushed Jan Marcos all the way, and it’s clear his strapless freestyle level has improved, but Jan Marcos was getting the best waves of the heat (and perhaps of the day!) and was putting much more amplitude behind his strapless tricks and the win was deservedly his.

 

Jan Marcos Riveras - GKA Dakhla

If there was a ‘rider of the day’ award it may well have gone to Jan Marcos Riveras / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

 

It was a big moment for Jan Marcos. He’d had to battle through quite a few heats to get to that point but he was a standout rider of the day and he’ll be hoping to carry that momentum on to tomorrow into the final rounds of the main event.

 

Ralph ripping - GKA Dakhla

Ralph ripping / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

 

Then came a massive heat between hard-chargers Paulino Pereira and Ralph Boelen which was, again, seriously tight and it could have gone either way between these very well-rounded competitors. However, as the buzzer sounded Paulino was already dropping into the best wave of the heat and he rode it to completion, surging hard at the lip to seal the deal over Ralph.

 

Paulino Pereira - GKA Dakhla

Paulino Pereira – Powered, Portuguese and shredding in pink / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

 

The sun was going down by the time Camille Delannoy and Sebastian Ribeiro met in the last heat of the day and it was to be a big one! Camille is a very accomplished strapless freestyle rider, and his wave riding level is rising rapidly right now, but Sebastian’s wave knowledge and understanding was hard to beat and when he managed to stick a clean front roll and a shuvit (both tricks are quite new to his repertoire) in the last minute. The deal was done, Sebastian had done it and was through to the final eight.

 

The last dance on day three in Dakhla - GKA Dakhla

The last dance on day three in Dakhla / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

 

The riders finally left the beach as the sun set on yet another heat-filled day in Dakhla and all eyes are now on today (Friday) when the final eight riders in each division will battle it out for the podium places.

Jalou Langeree will be giving no quarter in her bid to defend her current first place position and Airton Cozzolino, who was on the water all day today practising at the Foum El Bouir point break, is going to be a tough man to beat as well. That’s not going to stop anyone trying to take him down though!

 

GKA Dakhla

 

HERE’S HOW THE DOUBLES HEATS PLAYED OUT – JUST 8 RIDERS REMAIN IN BOTH COMPETITIONS:

Men’s doubles:

Men's doubles - GKA Dakhla

Men’s double continued…

Men's doubles - GKA Dakhla

Women’s doubles

Women's doubles - GKA Dakhla

 

CURRENT CHAMPIONSHIP RANKINGS

If you’re not sure how the tour tables look right now then check out the top fives below and head to our site for the full GKA Kite-Surf World Tour 2018 rankings.

 

MEN’S DIVISION

1: Airton Cozzolino – CV – 2100 pts
2: Keahi de Aboitiz – AUS – 2067 pts
3: Sebastian Ribeiro – BRA – 2034 pts
4: Pedro Matos – BRA – 2001 pts
5: Elvis Nunes – CV – 1968 pts

 

WOMEN’S DIVISION

1: Moona Whyte – USA – 2100 pts
2: Jalou Langeree – NL – 2067 pts
3: Ines Correia – PT – 2034 pts
4: Marie Gautron – FRA – 2001 pts
5: Carla Herrera Oria – ESP – 1968 pts

 

STAY TUNED TO THE SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS FOR REGULAR UPDATES TOMORROW AS WE HEAD INTO FINAL ROUNDS OF THE DOUBLE-ELIMINATION!

 

SEE THE FULL GKA KITE-SURF WORLD TOUR 2018 SCHEDULE AT

WWW.GLOBAL-KITESPORTS.ORG/GKA-KITE-SURF-WORLD-TOUR

Back to News

Related Articles