Matt Argyle & Steve Palier reports: The Dakhla Stand Up Paddle Surfing contest, held in Western Sahara, was started right after the shortboard contest on February 26th 2011, the contest was held in perfect conditions at Foum Labouir. Long and hollow waves, breaking at a good five feet with a light sideshore wind.
Six participants reached the final. Stand up paddle surfer, who registered at the last minute before thecompetition started, Remi Quique, from France, imposes his style with an excellent wave choice and beautiful carves and power turns. His performance gave him the victory over the excellent Californian Colin McPhillips shortboard contest.
Another American who was also in the shortboard contest, Tommy Lloyd, got 3rd while French riders Greg Closier and Ronan Chatain finished 4th and 5th.Young waterman Bernd Roediger, recent winner of the Na Kama Kai Youth Challenge in Oahu, travelled to the contest from Hawaii and ended 6th in the contest. On the girls side, Nicole Boronat, accustomed to powerful waves of Fuerteventura (Canary Islands) took the victory over windsurfing champion Sarah Hebert and kitesurfer Fabienne d’Ortoli.
Remi Quique, 29, La Rochelle: “This is my first trip to Dakhla. The spot is really awesome. I shortboard, kitesurfing and SUP, and you can really do it all here. Combined with all the surfers, SUPers and windsurfers in tents only 20m from the spot, it’s great! I was expecting a quiet SUP contest but when I saw all the international champions and some of the best French riders registered for the contezt, I thought that it would already be tough from the 1st round. The waves were perfect for my style and the type of board I use, it allowed me to express myself well and the big surprise is that I managed to beat McPhillips who is one of my idols, we ride in the same team (Hobie)! Moreover, the model with which I surf is a… Colin McPhillips pro model !”
Nicole Boronat, Fuerteventura: “Super playground here in Dakhla for this festival, which is certainly the only one in the world to gather so many watersports in one week. I never imagined that anything could be as well organized, with this mix of riders of all nationalities. For the contest, the conditions were a bit hard with offshore winds, but for once the girls had the spot all to themselves! We all managed to get some waves and it was great fun.”
Clinics and “modern sailing” SUP demo …
During the festival, windsurf & SUP clinics were organized by “Bouj ‘Windsurf Aventure ” Essaouira. The instructors had some equipment ready for windsurfing and SUP lessons, free and open to the children of local schools. More than 400 children from 5 to 14 years spent their time on the beaches to enjoy the pleasures of stand up paddling on a board, with advice from Fabienne D’Ortoli, Benoît Carpentier and even Bernd Roediger! Also in the surf the foil mounted under the board of Bruno Andre also impressed both the locals and the competitors as he appeared to hover over the surf (Bruno shapes for Nah Skwell)!
The “Waterman of Dakhla” postponed …
The team award “Waterman of Dakhla” (SUP contest in teams and relays) wass unfortunately not been run this year due to conditions that would have made this race very difficult The wind was too strong at Foum Labouir on Saturday afternoon. The trophy “Waterman of Dakhla” will be back next year!
Web-site : Dakhla Festival
Results Dakhla 2011 SUP contest :
Stand Up Paddle Surfing Men
1 / Rémi Quique
2 / Colin Mc Phillips
3 / Tommy Lloyd
4 / Greg Closier
5 / Ronan Chatain
6 / Bernd Roediger
Stand Up Paddle Surfing Women
1 / Nicole Boronat
2 / Sarah Hébert
3 / Fabienne D’Ortoli
4 / Faustine Merret
5 / Sarah Burel
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