Teas, tents and tail slides at the GKA Morocco Finals
Saturday 15th October, Dakhla Morocco
The contest window for the final stop of the GKA Wave & Strapless Freestyle tour is now underway here in Dakhla. Building the tension for this deciding event, we're looking towards Sunday afternoon and through early next week with all eyes on the steadily building wind and swell that promises the climax we've all been looking forward to for 2016.
The riding mass in Morocco / PHOTO: Ydwer van der Heide
Dakhla Attitude owner Idriss Senoussi introduces the Moroccan dignitry to the tour's own high statesman, Jaime Herraiz / PHOTO: Ydwer van der Heide
These guys can do a good brew! / PHOTO: Ydwer van der Heide
Matchu Lopes sits on top of the rankings and is keen to get the action underway / PHOTO: Ydwer van der Heide
Once again we have large Spanish and Cape Verdean contingents in attendance among the 31 competitors. Although the focus for many in the men's competition may be on Airton Cozzolino, Matchu Lopes and Paulino Pereira, a host of talented and hungry young riders have turned out to have a shot at the big guns. Lurking among that pack is multiple World Champion Keahi di Aboitiz who, although only having competed in Mauritius on the tour this season, is undefeated in Morocco in three previous visits. Perhaps surprisingly he finds himself having to negotiate the trials due to having only competed in Mauritius this year and sits just outside the top 12 who automatically qualify for the main event.
Pre-qualified riders / PHOTO: Ydwer van der Heide
The trials - tough gig pulling Filippe or Keahi! 4 will fall, 11 will advance / PHOTO: Ydwer van der Heide
In the women’s competition we welcome the return of Kirsty Jones from the UK, a former world champion now residing in Dakhla, and Milla Ferreira, KSP Peru 2011 winner and four time Brazilian Champion who finished second in Mauritius and will be looking to go one better against a small but varied female field.
Keahi, Mitu and Kirsty... find the full line up of riders and their bios on the GKA Instagram @globalkitesports
After trailing his great friend and closest rival Airton Cozzolino (Italy) for the first two rounds, Matchu Lopes (Cape Verde) sits at the top of the leaderboard with a 300 point advantage over Airton going into this final.
Paulino Pereira (Portugal), although having finished fifth in Mauritius, retains the third position overall that he's held all season. He remains a threat, especially front side and in conditions akin to home at Guincho in Portugal.
For Airton especially there is no room for error after a costly early exit in ninth position in Mauritius.
Point position allocations work like this, so you can see the maths gets interesting:
1st - 1,000 points
2nd - 900
3rd - 810
4th - 730
5th - 680
We know that Airton is the ultimate competitor though, especially under pressure, specialising in producing the unexpected. He'll be relying on a trip up from Matchu like he had in Mauritius...
In competition, upsets are always possible, however, especially in the final reckoning.
Here are the men's standings: (after three events of a total of four):
1 Matchu Lopes (CV) 2800 points
2 Airton Cozzolino (ITA) 2500
3 Paulino Pereira (POR) 2300
4 Jan Marcos Riveras (DR) 1750
5 Ralph Boelen (FRA) 1680
The women return for their second event of two this season and line up like this:
Milla Ferreira (BRA)
Kirsty Jones (UK)
Justyna Sierpinska (POL)
Carla Oria Palma (SPN)
Please find the full ranking list here:
For now, here's some surf shred from this afternoon. The conditions could really rock here for the cross-on wave and freestyle combo that we're looking to see!
Rio rider Filippe Ferreira is so at home in beach break surf like this. We can't wait to see him bring his kite into the mix / PHOTO: Ydwer van der Heide
Filippe Ferreira, charger / PHOTO: Ydwer van der Heide
Filippe literally rode the day out! / PHOTO: Ydwer van der Heide
Nicola Abadjieu from Bulgaria, just 16! The oldest competitor in this event Jose Barreiro at 48 / PHOTO: Ydwer van der Heide
Keahi de Aboitiz getting in the action, naturally / PHOTO: Ydwer van der Heide
Please find the full ranking list here:
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#GKAWave, #StraplessFreestyle, #dakhla, #dakhlaattitude #morocco, #cabrinhakites, #gamechanger, #tarifamodels, #npsurf, #MDJS, #AïnAtlas
Thanks to our hosts, Dakhla Attitude and event sponsors, Cabrinha. For more news, image galleries and video, please follow the GKA: