The contest is all wrapped up here in Morocco. We had all different types of conditions during our ten day waiting period. In the first two days we had small waves with mostly jumping, and on the last couple of days we had some down the line action with over head sets. The down the line days were a bit tricky as it was a long wait between sets and finding the right wave of each set was critical. Some of them lined up across the whole bay and closed out while others held up and peeled allowing for great rides. The wind was light and gusty and sometimes just disappeared. Our team had a good third round with the local knowledge of Sofiane getting us a second place. The wind picked up a little in my heat, I was riding my 5.3 Fire and Quad 80. I managed to put together a couple of nice waves and tied for second with Yann Sorlut and Francisco Fonseca took the win.
In between these two days Zane decided he would do some laundry in the hotel we are staying at. He did a whole bag and when they gave it back to him it had a list of prices for each piece. Bad choice. They ranged from 3 Euros a sock to 17 Euros for a shirt. The total bill was 175 Euros for a bag of laundry! More money then all the clothes were probably worth. After a few panicking moments he got it together and with a smile at the receptionists he managed to talk it all the way down to 30 Euros.
The next day Francisco Porcella was in the first heat, but he got the Moroccan stomach flew and was stuck at the hotel. I sailed for him in that heat and finished with another second place after JB Caste. Finally our veteran Kai Katchadorian showed everyone the Hawaiian style of riding with big vertical cutbacks on every wave. He had a tight heat but pulled out the win and secured our first place in that round. Our first place in the last round wasn’t quite enough to move us into second place, but we were all pretty happy to show what we can do in wave sailing conditions.
We got really lucky with this event, the forecast was really bad the entire time, but every day we showed up at the beach we had conditions. Just before the closing ceremony we got word that the council of Morocco in Hawaii was in town and wanted to meet with us. It was a great meeting and they are really motivated to help the watersports community here in Essaouira. We exchanged information and hopefully we will be able to work together in the future.
At the closing ceremony, local boys Boujmaa and Fettah cleaned up with the best team award, best international rider, best local, and best move. Another of the local rippers, Abdel, won best wipeout with a big pushloop bail. Everyone made a pretty big party at one of the local bars. The sinus infection I got earlier in the week turned into a fever and I went home a little early. Judging by the look of a couple of the guys I think I was pretty lucky to avoid it.
All the riders have headed home now, but I have an extra week to hang out here in Moulay. I’m staying at Cafe Moulay it’s the family home of Abdel and Fettah. Two of the young charging windsurfers here in Morocco. Boujmaa took care of me yesterday as my sinus infection got worse. He set up a doctor for me, took me to pharmacy and cooked me the best meal I have had so far. The Arabic translation of Aloha is Marhaba and many of the people in the windsurfing community here know how to practice it Boujmaa is a great example of this.
The vibe here in Moulay is very relaxed. There isn’t much rush to anything except if it’s possible to catch a free ride to the city. When there is no wind the wave is very soft which makes it great for SUPing. It looks like the wind is going to pick up just before I leave. There is a video up on waveclassicinvitational.com and they will be adding the final video sometime this week. Hopefully I will be feeling better and able to get some more time on the water.
A big thank you to
©Maxime Houyvet:Open Ocean Media for the action shots and the group shots