Without wanting to tempt fate for the rest of 2013, on this clinic we were once again treated on the wind front. For our inaugural clinic in Dahkla, at the Dakhla Attitude camp we had a claimable 7 from 7, and by jove when it blows, it blows. Admittedly there were some 12m mornings, but we had some seriously windy afternoons when even the big guns were running out of trim on their 7s. On this trip as well the girls outnumbered the boys and the British were in short supply.
Wind apart though what a great place. Klaus and his team really looked after us both on and off the water. The place surprised us, and continued to do so all week. Although seemingly stuck out in the middle of nowhere in the Western Sahara there is a lot more to the Dakhla area than wind and sand. From the off it was a blast, whether blues on the balcony or a boogie in the “pink flamingo”, the food was good, the oysters at the farm were to die for, hot oil massages, ping pong (pesky French and Belgiums are far too good), inquisitive Dolphins, the flattest water possible at the speed spot, waves, Jimi Hendrix of the Sahara, and the Sulphurous fun at La Source – attempting to keep your modesty on whilst being massaged by a very high pressure “natural” water canon.
We’re happy to relate that the anticipated leaps forward on the skill front were there for all to see. Stella made the epic trip over from an ice clad Canada, armed with her new Siren set up and Jimmy (her surfboard), and as well as mastering the big airs, air gybes and taming Jimmy, she also didn’t miss a moment on the water – stamina extraordinaire. Edwin unfortunately arrived with bruised ribs, but they didn’t hold him back for a moment as he completely nailed carving his surf machine, changing his feet with reckless abandon, gybe 1 and 2, and tacking the worlds least floaty surfboard with and without fins. Was also spotted on one or two occasions hammering the freestyle with some beautiful raleys and rolls. Gu quite literally came and conquered – after mastering her turns she delightfully “pushed” them into toe side riding, and followed with the final leap of faith, stepping down from the trusty plank to the rather more sporty, pretty and considerably smaller 130 XO and handling the offshore winds at the speed spot with great aplomb. As for Luis, it’s been in the post but now he can stand proud amongst the surfboard fraternity, swiftly dancing from one side to the other, as you’d expect from a salsero, above the hallowed fiber-glass – the tack is his. Some pretty rad twin tip action too, battling against his nemesis the front loop and coming out successful and unscathed. Whilst on the subject of Salseros we have of course to mention the cuban heel clicking of Bill, who all kiting aside is the font of knowledge and possibly the man responsible most for motivating a good boogie woogie. On the water Bill’s style was intact with some stunning laid back nose grabs and the much coveted unhooked raley well and truly in the bag. El Padre to be Andy was as ever on inimitable form, and with the flat water afternoons was quite literally poptastic – banging out raleys both ways, popped fronts, km long blinds, pops to blind with passes and some rather meaty kiteloops – generally just fanging it, all just a warm up before belting out the blues of a sunset. And the front to blind is in the post… Kat was also inspired by the flat water, getting some big airs into her front and back rolls, adding grabs wherever possible and stomping out unhooked raleys at will. Her powered popped fronts were something to behold until a slippy foot strap and resultant sore ankle slowed things down a touch. Fellow countryman Fil was much like the rest of the group on fire. We tweaked the jumping and the result was big:) We nailed the vital popping and added a modicum of control to the raleys and the surfboard got a hammering with gybes, tacks and some serious shredding at Foum Labouir. Paul also kept the flag flying with a medley of big air progression. Fronts and back became doubles and they certainly had some altitude! The down loop crept into the fronts too for some sublime landings, and those cheeky backs to toeside, hmmm. Sophie or rather Surfy, was her usual dedicated and radical best. A bit of polishing and extra height on the rotations, some flat out back roll landings to toe side, awesome carving and gybing, licking it like Kelly on the surfboard and the tweakedest of raleys down at the speed spot, oh yes. Dagmara, fresh out on her new kites, and ready to rock. Some magnificent air gybes, great grabs, lovely rotations, plenty of speed, oh and that awesome blind, never without a smile and thoroughly enjoying every single moment, especially the Dolphins!
Our final night in the Pink Flamingo had it all, tasty tajine, vin rouge, mojitos, hip swinging, drum beating, bat waving and general revelry. We’ll be back for sure Morocco……
Thanks Fil for the additional arty pics.