Team Duotone on fire at the GKA Kite Surf World Cup final in Dakhla, Morocco, claiming the Men’s World and Vice World Champion titles plus all three spots on the podium!

The 11th edition of the Prince Moulay El Hassan Kite Surf World Cup at the legendary spot of Foum Labouir, known for its long perfect right-handers in the Sahara Desert, was certainly not short of excitement and action. Just simply getting there proved to be a major challenge in itself for many of the riders, with flights being cancelled and long days spent at airports and on planes… before finally arriving and fighting it out not only for the event win, but also the World Title. 

Due to no wind at the last event in Denmark and thus, no result, the pressure was fully on amongst the top contenders for the 2021 World crown. With the Australian James Carew leading the ranking, Duotone’s three wave guns Matchu Lopes, Pedro Matos and Airton Cozzolino, were all in the run to secure the title at this final event, none of whom planned to give up without a fight. Plus Sebastian Ribeiro returning to the tour and to one of his favorite waves for competition. Would he be the one to decide about who’s gonna be World Champion!? 

Day 1 brought challenging conditions with small, super inconsistent swell and only random sets few and far between. Although competing for the first time in nearly two years, the Brazilian Sebastian Ribeiro smashed out a standout performance, securing the highest score of the day, with 16.3 points, pushing Airton Cozzolino into the double elimination.


Dominating his heat and advancing to the next round, ranking leader James Carew made it perfectly clear that he only had one aim in mind: To become World Champion. 

After a lay day on Day 2 for the guys, conditions went from challenging to really marginal on Day 3 of the event, with less wind and even less consistency in the swell. The competition was called on and off several times, demanding absolutely everything from the competitors, physically as well as mentally. Wave selection was key during the man-on-man 22-minute heats, with each rider allowed ten waves, and the top two scores counting. Tearing it up like no other rider that day, King Airton locked in the highest score of Round 4 and in fact the entire event up to that stage with 18.13, 100% focused on taking the event win home to Cape Verde: “To get the World Championship title now will be complicated, as James only has to win one heat, but I’m super motivated to win the final stop of the tour. That would be perfect.”

On Day 4 things really started heating up with steady winds, rising swell and everyone pumped to crown the new World Champions.


When the hooter sounded for the start of Heat 30, all eyes were on James Carew and Charly Martin. This was the make or break moment for James as winning this heat would automatically make him 2021 World Champion. Stomping out his big signature turns, throwing buckets of water and massive rooster tails, James was unstoppable. Finishing with 15.13 points over Charly’s 9.80, James claimed his first World Title. All his hard work, focus and commitment had paid off, however, the Aussie go-getter was still not done yet: 

“I don’t know if I believe it yet,” said James “Guys, if you’re watching at home, thank you for everything. I wouldn’t be here without a lot of you. I’m feeling emotional, but there are a few more heats to go in this contest. I’m here to win, I’m not just thinking about the World Title, but it’s a dream come true.” Moving through Men’s Round 6, Team Duotone was relentless in their winning pursuit, knocking out whoever stood in their way and ultimately securing all four spots in the semi-finals.

The intense energy in the final heats of the event was palpable. Semi-Final No.1 was a Brazilian showdown between Pedro Matos and Sebastian Ribeiro. It was a close heat with both riders pushing the limits of the sport, yet Pedro Matos’ solid performance and excellent wave selection won him the spot in the final in the end.


Semi-Final No.2 was a suspense-packed battle between 2018 + 2019 Wave World Champion Airton Cozzolino and the freshly crowned World Champ James Carew. Matching each other’s scores throughout the heat in a tight fight, Airton finally succeeded in claiming the victory over James advancing to the final the next day.

Most had already given up hope for wind on the last day of the competition, when the breeze suddenly picked up in the Sahara in the late afternoon. Waves were rolling in and the final was a match made in kite heaven: Airton Cozzolino was up again Pedro Matos, two of the most influential and powerful wave riders of today. Both went OFF with their scores staying super close right into the final minutes. Airton tore the last wave to pieces, accomplishing what he had set his mind on throughout the comp: winning this event. The icing on the cake for him was taking home the 2021 Vice World Champion Title and the event win. 

We at Duotone couldn’t be more stoked and proud of the achievements of our team at the GKA Kite Surf World Cup and World Tour 2021 overall, with ranks one to four all being Duotone riders!


Two more young Duotone riders received a prize in Dakhla: Camille Losserand and Keanu Mertens were both awarded ROOKIE OF THE YEAR. We look forward to seeing more of them in the future. Plus, our Moroccan Duotone rider Mounim Maji won “Best Moroccan Competitor”. So proud.


As we said in the beginning: This event was truly one for the history books!