The men's QS5,000 Pro Taghazout Bay starts tomorrow and excitement is running high among surf fans in the region as well as traveling international pro surfers who have already made their way to Taghazout.
The decision has been officially made to host the first call on Saturday, January 25, at the backup location of Anza, at 10 a.m for a potential early start with Round 1 of competition.
"After considering the current forecast we have decided to run the opening round of competition at our backup venue of Anza over Saturday and Sunday," Laurent Miramon, contest director said. "We're hoping to be able to move back to Anchor Point as early as Monday, with potentially great waves on the way for the rest of the event's waiting period."
Moroccan Trestles Welcomes Opening Round of Competition
Locals in the Taghazout area love to compare the quality of their playgrounds with that of some of the world's best waves. And while Anchor Point, the event's main break, is often compared to its South African cousin Jeffreys Bay, the backup location of Anza, situated roughly 20mn south, is referred to here as the Moroccan Trestles.
The waves start to light up mid-tide on the way up with an A-frame peak on a soft-reef bottom to produce a long and punchy right and occasional good but shorter lefts as well.
Anza picks up more swell and is slightly better oriented for the South-East winds that groom the lineup perfectly. It can handle size too and is an ideal spot for competition with consistent sets offering plenty of scoring opportunities.
Ramzi Boukhiam Hosts World Class Field on Home Turf
The best QS surfers in the world have already been busy starting their season in China and now have two opportunities to rack up more ranking points early on. The field has split equally between the Pro Taghazout Bay and the Volcom Pipe Pro that run simultaneously on either sides of the globe.
26 year-old Ramzi Boukhiam, the most revered Moroccan surfer on the Qualifying Series, has been warming up on the long rights of Anchor Point and Anza these past few days, welcoming surfers from all over the world to his local spots.
In a touching profile shot on location (see link above), Boukhiam stated "I think we have a huge potential in Morocco with 3200km of coastline with a bunch of waves from the North all the way to the Sahara desert. We have everything to make great champions here, we have talents and now people helping kids. The first contest we had in Morocco was a QS1,500, and now this QS5,000. It's a big step up and I'm proud of what's happening here. It has the potentiel to go Challenger Series and welcome a women's event as well, and who knows maybe even a CT one day."
Event Partners Team Up for On-Site Entertainment All Week
Several partners of the Pro Taghazout Bay have planned on-site activations to keep everyone entertained throughout the event's waiting period, here is a non-exhaustive list:
Taghazout Bay is hosting a photo contest with a selfie frame and loads of giveaways during the entire contest, tag yourself with the #lovesurfingtaghazoutbay. They have also organized various shows with local artists, spraying boards and demonstrating paintings, as well as yoga classes.
Fairmont Residences Taghazout Bay will produce daily vlogs to share all of the event's highlights to their community.
Water company Ain Atlas has committed to support eco-initiatives around the event, organizing trash collection, and will keep athletes hydrated with water fountains throughout the site. They will also organize a surf session in partnership with brand ambassador Ramzi Boukhiam, giving local kids a chance to hit the lineup with their local hero. Finally they will take care of a beach clean up when the event wrap up to leave Anchor Point spotless.
Maroc Telecom will bring its mobile unit to the event site to promote and sell their products to visitors, putting on a friendly vibe with a sound system and large screen.
Upcoming Superheats to Keep an Eye On
Seven Moroccan surfers will represent the home country in the opening round and face tough competition against the likes of Noe Mar McGonagle, Kade Matson, Hiroto Arai, Rafael Teixeira and Kei Kobayashi.
The event's top seeds are directly qualified for Round 2 of competition, including nine current or past Championship Tour competitors. Check out the entire event heat draw at wsl.tv/taghazout20.
The first call will be made at the backup spot of Anza, at 10 a.m Saturday, January 25, 2020.