This August, I decided to spend a month in Dakhla, Morocco, a place that has for the last 10 years been a second home to me. But this year, the mission of my visit was a little different, I wanted to follow the Dakhla Downwind Challenge, a 500km downwinder that was celebrating its 4th edition this year.
This event celebrates the 39th anniversary of the recuperation of the Province Eddaham… so the downwind is held as a celebration of this landmark event.
This year saw a diverse group of participants for the challenge, from all different ages and nationalities.
500km may not seem that far, but when it you are kiting downwind in strong winds, through tough conditions, extremely remote locations, with no one else in sight except for the occasional lonely fisherman or military check – point, 500km can seem eternal.
The tough conditions are not only during the day either! At night, camp is set up at the designated check-point, and consists of one large tent where everyone can sit together for dinner, and smaller individual tents for sleeping… no problem really except for the fact that it is blowing 30 knots and there is sand… literally. everywhere.
This is a true adventure, a challenge for anyone who wants to see hidden places, and experience an incredible feeling of satisfaction each day as the sun goes down, and you finally make it back to camp, after 6 hours of kiting downwind across the most souther point of Morocco…. you feel worn out, exhausted, yet exhilarated and happy at the same time.
Each year on the same dates, The Dakhla Downwind Challenge invites up to 30 participants to join the epic adventure… the only requirement to participate is to have a good kiteboarding level, and a spirit adventure, with a good dose of positivity!
The best part of the downwind adventure is the friends you make a long the way. You start the trip with a group of strangers, with their love of kiteboarding the only thing that you have in common, but you end it with true friends, who have supported and helped each endure the toughest 7 days they have ever faced, because team work is the key to a successful end to the downwind always! Looking out for each other on the water, make sure everyone arrives safely to the next camp, enjoying some well deserved drinks in the evening and sharing plenty of laughs and experiences from the day.
The Dakhla Downwind Challenge is a unique event…tough but endlessly rewarding. A perfect experience for anyone who has a truly adventurous spirit… if this sounds like you, then be sure to join the adventure next August!
The Dakhla Downwind Challenge is organised by Dakhla Spirit
All images by Highlight Productions.