Dakhla 2015 Insights - by Hannah Whiteley

Hannah Whiteley just got back from the first stop on the Virgin Kitesurf World Championships held in Dakhla, Morocco, and is telling us all about the great time she's had and how successful she competed in the event.

I have been out of the World Tour for some time to focus on training, travelling and making some high quality videos to showcase both myself and sponsors in some incredible locations. As you can see in one of the screenshots attached, the World Tour noticed my level had changed and been amplified due both to the time spent out of competition and the time I therefore had to train; thus being referred to as ‘most improved rider of 2015’. I’m very happy to announce that I felt confident enough to enter all categories of the World Tour (Big Air, Freestyle and Wave) and although at this stop they didn’t hold a slalom event I would also willingly enter this.

As I was out of the PKRA tour last year I had to earn a spot in the freestyle main event rewarded to only 2 out of many eager female riders. This was decided by holding an identical main event trial competition. I made it through to the main event of the Freestyle to compete against the top girls in the world and finished 5th place. I was very happy to be riding and competing again and for the next stop I definitely want to finish higher and will certainly be aiming for podium finishes for the rest of the year.

Next was the Big Air which I missed out narrowly on a first place in. Competition was tough but I love to go big and it will always be my main event aiming for a first place finish every time.

The waves were a totally new event to me but as I hope to contend for the overall World Title I wanted to enter every category possible. Having only used a wave board less times than fingers on my hand I managed to get 9th place, which for my first competition against girls having lived in wave spots their whole lives was a great accomplishment. I hope to work on my wave riding this year and try to impress the judges more next in the next spot.

The overall Kitesurfing World Title is a new and exciting prospect for everyone, sitting currently at the 2nd best overall Female Kitesurfer in the world makes me feel extremely motivated but I want that top spot! Therefore I will do my upmost to attend every world tour stop they hold this year. Now I have qualified for the freestyle main event for the next six months at least I’m confident I can continue to showcase a high level of kitesurfing throughout the year and would really like to compete at every PKRA stop there is this year.