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Athletes to vie for titles in desert showdown

Finely poised contests for wave world championship crowns to be decided at final event in Morocco

GWA Wingfoil World Cup Dakhla Presented by Armstrong Foils
Oum Lamboiur, Westpoint
22 September—01 October, 2023

The battles for the first-ever world championship titles in the wave discipline of the GWA Wingfoil World Tour are finely balanced and will be decided at the third and concluding stop in Dakhla, Morocco.

With one win and one second each, Spain’s Nia Suardiaz and the US’s Moona Whyte are neck-and-neck with everything to play for going into the GWA Wingfoil World Cup Dakhla Presented by Armstrong Foils.

The men’s competition is more wide open with a handful of athletes capable of clinching the title in the ground-breaking discipline after stops in Ponta Preta, Cape Verde, and Rio de Janeiro’s Saquarema break, in Brazil.

Many of the athletes have battled in the point-break at Oum Lamboiur, a long right-hander with challenging hollow sections, when the GWA Wingfoil World Tour debuted there two years ago.

But the competition then was in the Surf-Freestyle and FreeFly-Slalom (formerly Surf-Slalom) disciplines, whereas the upcoming stop hosted by Dakhla Westpoint Hotel will be a purely wave surfing event.

Women locked together

Twenty-four men and nine women from 11 nations around the world are slated to vie for honours in the venue, with its dramatic backdrop of the Sahara desert.

The world champions in the wingfoil Wave discipline will be decided at the end of the competition which has a 10-day holding period to give the best chance of scoring wind and waves together. The competition will be staged simultaneously with a stop of our sister tour—the Qatar Airways GKA Kite World Tour.

In the women’s competition, Whyte and 16-year-old Suardiaz, are locked together on top of the rankings after the American veteran and the Spaniard got one win apiece at each of the earlier stops. In Morocco, the woman who finishes ahead of the other at the event will win the title.

The remarkable Suardiaz is looking for a third successive crown this year after she closed out her first world championship titles in the Surf-Freestyle and FreeFly-Slalom disciplines with event wins in Hvide Sande, Denmark, earlier in the month.

“I’m feeling quite confident,” said Suardiaz. “I still have to train a little bit on my wave skills. But I’m super-excited for the third stop in the waves. I’m really enjoying the waves, even though I don’t have them at home. But I train in waves every opportunity I get.”

Hard to call

The men’s contest is hard to call. Cape Verde’s Wesley Brito won the opening stop on home waters in Ponta Preta, but could not cement his lead in Saquarema and sits  in third spot in the rankings.

France’s Hugo Marin tops the rankings with several high-placed finishes, while his compatriot, SUP Surf world champion, Benoît Carpentier, lies in second overall.

Yet another Frenchman, the reigning Surf-Freestyle world champion, Malo Guénolé, 18, won in Saquarema but had missed the opening stop to complete school exams, is very much a contender but cannot win the crown.

“My goal in Dakhla is definitely to have fun,” said Guénolé. “The most fun I can, because waves are super-sick. I don’t think I’m in the running for the title, even if I won again. So, I’ll just do my best. Waves are my favourite thing in wingfoiling, because I come from surfing. The Dakhla wave is really super-sick. So, I can’t wait.”

words: Ian MacKinnon
images: Svetlana Romantsova

Event information

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

Find everything about GWA Wingfoil World Cup Dakhla Presented by Armstrong by clicking event news.

  • Follow the event page: liveticker and live scoring
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  • Check out our youtube channel for daily highlight videos

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

Weather
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.

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

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