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Preview 2011 Dakhla Festival

Feb 11, 2011

Author: Steve Palier

The Dakhla festival, extreme south of Morocco : the incredible encounter between sea and desert, between music and boardsports!

A few days before the start of sports contests that will take place on the festival (from February 22) you will findbelow some interviews with some of the kitesurf champions invited to the event. Next press release aroundFebruary 17th, live from Dakhla ...


Alex Caizergues – France - first man to have reached 62 mph on the water with a kite.
"The atmosphere is great during the festival. A super mix of sports and artists. I've never seen it on any other competition or event. "
Is this your first trip to Morocco? If not, do you know Dakhla?
No, in fact, this will be my 4th edition of the Dakhla Festival! It has now became for me the beginning of my racing season and a 1st inescapable « rendez-vous » out of the winter!
What do you think of the concept of this festival, combining sport and culture?
I love it! The atmosphere during the festival is great. A super mix of sports and artists, local or international, I've never seen it on any other competition or event. In addition, we live together on a camp for a week, which creates links between us!
In what mood do you come here? Real challenge with windsurfers or pure fun?
Above all, it gives me the opportunity to put one foot in the competition. Having moved a lot during the winter, it's good to refocus on performance. Anyway it is always a mix of both, competition and fun, otherwise it has no interest. But I'm not going to "negotiate" !
37 miles downwind Long Distance if the wind blows over 25 knots? Not afraid?
Never, however, I can not wait to see what it looks on a real downwind ... Afterwards, the distance does not really make me scared and the stronger it is, the better!
Who will be the fastest on this course? Windsurfing or kitesurfing?
I'd like to tell you kitesurfing of course! Last year we had only had a "small" downwind race and there of course, I had no chance against the windsurfing missiles. But on a real downwind, where I can go full speed, I think I have my chance!
Do you want to participate in other disciplines to try to win the « Dakhla Waterman » title?
We'll see but I'm going to register at least in the kite and SUP wave contests. Last year we really enjoyed the "friendly" standup event, and if there is a big swell this year I'm going to enjoy it a lot!
What type of equipment will you bring?
Half of my garage!! No, seriously, a long distance kite board, 2 kite boards for surfing, 1 SUP, and 5 sizes of kites.
Your ranking
3 x speed kitesurfing World Champion
2 x absolute kitesurfing world record
2 x kite surfing world record
First man to have reached 62 mph on water with a kite.
Your sponsors
Ouest Provence, Alp'Energie, F ONE, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Placide.

Renaud Madier – France - French waverider now involved in developing the foil with a kite…

"I love the concept of this festival that mixes styles. Music and boardsports have always been closely linked. Cutting curves in the waves is like writing a musical score. "
Is this your first trip to Morocco? If not, do you know Dakhla?
I’ve already had a few trips to Morocco, but further in the North. I know rather Agadir to Rabat. 1st time in Dakhla and delighted to discover this place that I heard a lot about.
What do you think of the concept of this festival combining sport and culture?
I love the concept of festival that mixes styles. The opportunity to vary the meetings and soak up local culture by which best represents the identity of a people's music. In addition, boardsports and music have always been closely linked. Cutting curves in the waves is like writing a musical score. Looking for both harmony and rhythm ... I like the fellowship and hospitality of the Moroccans with whom I have the opportunity to work and who have always welcomed me with great warmth.
You come here to demonstrate the potential of the foil that you develop in kiteboarding? Can you briefly explain us the concept ?
It has been three years since I got interested in the potential of the foil. I was first looking for new sensations. To feel the friction on the water is a unique sensation. After an initial test and a first win in competition with this support, I realized the competitive potential of it. Much more efficient upwind as conventional boards, the support was a bit struggling downwind. I now focus my research on improving the speed and control. The goal is not to support the fastest, but one capable of going faster in low wind conditions. To go fast at 55 knots in 50 knots of wind remains a considerable feat, but reaching 35 knots in 15 knots or + seems to be a real challenge.
You will also participate with other disciplines to try to win the title of « Dakhla Waterman »?
For the trophy, I intend to do the contest on SUP and with a kite + on a windsurf (if I find a kind soul who lent me some gear!). In any case, what matters the most is to be on the water!
Your sponsors?
Cabrinha, No Mad, Gasoil, Airtech, NPX.

Fabienne D'Ortoli – France -  Kitesurfing Champion with an impressive list of achievements.

"In Dakhla, the scenery is incredible. Being on the water at the edge of the Sahara, it is something pretty magical, special, that takes guts! "
Is this your first trip to Morocco? If not, do you know Dakhla?
This trip to Dahkla is not my first trip to Morocco, because I've made a few trips, especially around Essaouira. I absolutely love this country so close to us and so exotic, a culture, a totally different lifestyle, friendly people! Last year I had the chance to go to the Dahkla Festival and discover another part of the country even further away, and even more exotic.
The scenery is incredible. Being on the water at the edge of the Sahara, it is something pretty magical, special, that takes guts! Festival shows us a different side of Dahkla, everyone is celebrating, the people is very friendly and despite the problems posed by the Mauritanian border, there is peace there.
What do you think of the concept of this festival combining sport and culture?
What I like especially in this festival is that we find ourselves all together on one place, sportsmen & artists. And even within the sport, you meet people and there is a true sharing. We share the sessions, meals, parties, you can really be interested in others. It's a really unique opportunity to share these moments to learn and expand our field of vision. And this is something I did not found anywhere else.
You will participate in the workshop « Women from here and elsewhere ». What do you expect from these meetings with the Sahrawi women?
Already last year, Marion had set up the workshop, and we had learned many things and shared a lot of experience. They were accompanied on the water for a Stand Up discovery session, stretching, etc... We, the sportswomen, howed them what we were doing, how we live, and our relationship with the body, which is quite different from that they maintain. Codes of beauty are totally different, see the opposite. What makes the exchange even more interesting! These women speak French very well, and told us how they used to live before, when they were sedentary... A very rich exchange! This year, I would like to extend the meeting with the Stand up paddle, hammam, and take more time to talk with them, to show us their artwork, their "tips" for beauty, etc. ...
Is it a real challenge to run alongside the windsurfers on a long distance of over 37 miles if the wind is strong?
Yes, absolutely and this kind of challenge, I like a lot! In May, the Guyader Grand Prix at Douarnenez in Brittany, we (windsurfers and kitesurfers), were on the same starting line as the 40, 50 and 60 feet « sea giants », monohulls and multihulls, but on a shorter course. It's really the kind of challenge that is as spectacular as watching live. There is already a good 37 miles challenge, and in addition with another category, it's just huge! I do not go faster than them, but if I get to stay at their side, that would be great! Share this long distance is magic, going from one side of the lagoon to another, bordering the Sahara... sublime and impressive...
What type of equipment will you bring for the occasion?
Everything ! I also participate in the stand-up & surfing contests, so I bring my kites, my wave board (5 "8 Naish Fish), my 9" longboard and my AHD stand up board, the Sealion 7 "6. With this, I should be able... not to get out of the water!
Your ranking
Kiteboarding World Champion 2001 & 2002
Kiteboarding vice World Champion 2003 & 2004
Multiple French & Europe Champion (2009, 2008, 2007, 2006)
1st girl on the Stand Up contests in Dahkla last year, and 2nd on the kitesurf long distance
2nd on the Stand Up Crossing in Paris on the Seine this year
Your sponsors
Naish, Weleda, Envao, Pro Limit, Your Mood, Cool Shoe, AHD / Nah Skwell, Select
Look for daily updates on from the event from February 22 until the end of the festival.



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