Matos secures top podium in Dakhla
The race for the GKA Kitesurf World Championship Title reaches its boiling point.
In a heated title race, athletes stormed the desert shores of Dakhla to further their championship bids. A highly anticipated stop, the right-hand point break at Westpoint is the perfect setting for an athletic display of this magnitude to unfold and to see who will rise to the top. Already deep into the 2023 schedule of events, it’s proven an interesting year on tour with several athletes still eyeing up the grand prize.
In the early rounds of the women’s heats, conditions proved challenging as the athletes struggled to find set waves. Luckily, with the dropping tide, the waves improved significantly, which was also met with improved wind conditions filling in further into the bay granting longer rides and an impressive show. Duotone athlete Camille Losserand was an early standout in the event, charging full steam into the semi-finals. Camille, riding backside, even surprised herself with her stellar performance. However, her run for the podium would end there, and she would claim a still impressive 4th place finish. This result keeps her sitting in a solid 3rd place for the overall ranking with only one event still left to go. All eyes on the women’s competition moved on to finalists Moona Whyte and Capucine Delannoy.
As the men’s side of the competition progresses, the scene quickly becomes dramatic for two of our Duotone athletes, Airton Cozzolino and Matchu Lopes, the top 1 and 2 seeds respectively. In a surprising upset, during round 3, Airton faced teammate Clement Roseyro, who in the intense final moments of the heat, caught a gorgeous backside wave, sending Airton to round 5 to fight for his last chance to stay in the competition. The fallout of this upset would pit teammates Airton and Matchu head to head to battle it out for a spot in the quarter-finals. A matchup that is more commonly seen as a grand finale rather than a mid-round heat.
Ultimately, it was Airton who would come out ahead. His strategic combination of aerial maneuvers with his signature powerful riding would edge out Matchu’s technicality. This unlikely matchup would leave Matchu with a 9th-place finish, a disappointing result for him on his run for another world title. However, in true Matchu fashion, his spirits were high as he came off the water, telling GKA media “I had a lot of fun and that is what’s most important.” With this result, Matchu remains in second place trailing Airton for the title.
As the contest carried on, the conditions only continued to improve, and our athletes were ready to make the most of it. Airton, Pedro Matos and Clement Roseyro all advanced to the semi-finals where Airton and Pedro would face off with the heat ultimately going to Pedro’s favor. The two went wave for wave until Pedro got an edge up and never looked back.
Pedro would then meet teammate Clement Roseyro in the final, another newcomer to the grand finale, who had likewise been on an absolute heater here in Morrocco. As the sun set on the final moments of the event, wave selection became ever more critical with the narrowest of margins separating the finalists. In the end, it was Pedro’s insanely powerful rail-to-rail riding that would prove untouchable giving him his first-ever GKA world tour win and catapulting him into contention for the overall world title.
Many congratulations to all of our athletes and event winners! We can’t wait to see what unfolds for the final stop of the season.
|1st Pedro Matos (BRA)
|1st Moona Whyte (USA)
|2nd Clement Roseyro (FRA)
|2nd Capucine Delannoy (FRA
|3rd Airton Cozzolino (ITA)
|3rd Zoe Bazile (FRA)
|4th Matt Maxwell (RSA)
|4th Camille Losserand (SUI)