GKA Kite-Surf World Cup 2022
Team Ocean Rodeo starts the season off on top in Dakhla.
Ocean Rodeo team riders Reece Myerscough, Frances Kelly and Luke Millard departed from a chilly Canadian west coast for the highly contrasting deserts of Dakhla, Morocco, for the latest stop on the Qatar Airways GKA Kite-Surf World Tour.
It was only the start of the wave season, but West Point, Morocco, a frequent GKA host, did not disappoint, delivering three days of epic wave conditions.The Ocean Rodeo contingent rode their Crave HL-Series kites to great effect, tearing their way through the field and showcasing their ample waveriding skills.
“Contrast to the last few years of small surf and light wind, the Morocco GKA Kite-Surf World Tour had sweet conditions this year. West Point was head high and peeling. Most heats the competitors were powered on 8m and 10m kites with rides lasting over 1 minute,” shares Reece.
On day one, we saw the start of the men's heat, and riders Reece and Luke's intuition led them to pick the right waves at the right time. Their surfing background and natural flair for reading the waves meant they were absolutely ripping up Westpoint!
But it was Frances Kelly who drew all the attention. Her start was reserved. "Starting at the bottom of the event ladder can be a little nerve-wracking, but it's also a great opportunity to build momentum!" she says. Methodically, she pulled in consistent scores, moving her way through the ladder. She had her work cut out for her, though, as the girls were on fire!
"I had great support from my teammates and am super happy I could put their feedback into action moving through rounds 3 and 4. Moving into the quarter-finals, my strategy was to put myself on the best waves and bigger sets that walled up on the inside to reach the most scoring potential,” she remembers.
“I tried to focus on staying in the critical section of the wave. I knew I had to throw everything into this heat up against Kesanie, the Brazilian powerhouse. She achieved one of the best event scores, but I managed my heat well and could adapt to the conditions,” she shares.
Her skill, combined with top-of-the-line Ocean Rodeo gear, made all the difference. “I've been absolutely loving the HL-Series Craves and felt super comfortable riding out the lulls in the wind,” she says. “Adapting to the conditions is crucial, and the Craves have really leveled up kiting.”
“Getting to the semis was huge for me,” she says. “I was up against Sweden's J.C. Edin, a super well-informed competitor and athlete, but sticking to my strategy and wave selection paid off.”
“Waiting on the beach after the semi-final heat for the final scores to drop was intense, and hearing my name through to the finals was the best feeling in the world," she says.
In the end, Frances secured a second-place finish and the title of Vice Champion against Capucine Delannoy. A fantastic start to her season!
The men’s side of the competition was stacked with talent. Our own Luke made it to round five, and Reece made it through to the quarter-finals, before getting knocked out by Duotone’s Matchu Lopes.
While the sets didn’t always line up exactly how Reece wanted, he put up consistent scores. “I went into most of my heats wanting to shred the wave apart for the entire heat and try some new things I've been working on. All my heats ended up being on the slower side of the sets, and there were only a few opportunities to get scores on the board before the ocean went flat.”
All in all, it was a fantastic showing from our team. Thanks, Frances, Reece, and Luke, for all the hard work, and we can't wait to see more epic action from our Ocean Rodeo family.