First Soneva Surf Pro competition takes place in Baa atoll

Soneva Surf, the world’s first fully sustainable surf programme, has hosted the first ever Soneva Surf Pro 2018 Baa Atoll Surfing Competition.

The competition took place in the Baa atoll island of Goidhooo on September 1, with over 40 surfers from several islands in the atoll competing in three divisions: Over 18, Under 18, and Body Boarding. Three-time Maldivian National Surfing Champion Ismail Miglal and Cokes Surf Camp Manager Troy Hugget were the judges.

“There is so much talent in Baa atoll and it was heartwarming to see all the participants excel and showcase their skills. We hope to shine light on the local heroes in the Maldives and create a positive competitive spirit among the Baa surfing community,” Sunny Yang, the Surf Experience Manager at Soneva Surf, said.

Ahmed Zain, a 17-year-old from Goidhoo, was crowned champion in the Under 18 division, while two young surfing enthusiasts from Eydhafushi island — 18-year-old Mohamed Samah and 15-year-old Ibrahim Zain, won the Over 18 and Body Boarding category, respectively. The Most Promising Surfer title was awarded to Haisham Latheef, a 14-year-old from the island of Fehendhoo.

Prizes included eco-friendly surf boards by Firewire Surfboards, cork bodyboard by Hot Buttered Surf, leashes by Revolwe Surf, fins by Bureo, traction pads by Slater Designs, sunscreen by Manda, and board wax by Matunas.

“The Soneva Surf Pro is a part of the Soneva Ocean Stewards (SOS) programme. SOS includes learn to swim, swimming competitions, water sports festivals, learn to surf and now surfing competitions. With these programmes, we aim to inspire more Maldivians to enjoy the ocean around them and become the next generation of ocean protectors,” Ahmed Moomin, Community Engagement Manager at Soneva Fushi, said.

Soneva, a world-leading luxury resort operator, introduced the fully sustainable Soneva Surf programme in May at both of its Maldives properties, Soneva Fushi in the Baa atoll and Soneva Jani in Noonu atoll. Soneva in Aqua luxury yahtch also offers a Surfing Charter within both atolls.

Prices for Soneva’s surfing packages start at USD 350++ per guest for three hours from Soneva Fushi or Soneva Jani, which includes a surf instructor/guide, water, snacks, usage of surfboards, rash guards, sunscreen and board wax. A private boat for a maximum of four guests for three hours including surfing equipment costs USD 1,000++. The Surf Charter with Soneva in Aqua starts at USD 4,200++ for one night, a maximum of four adults and two children. This includes all meals (excluding alcohol and soft drinks), a surf instructor/guide, Mr. Friday, spa therapist, chef and captain.

Soneva Surf is pioneering luxurious yet sustainable surfing, using eco-friendly surfboards, leashes, fins, rash guards, sunscreen and board wax. Soneva encourages guests who are interested in surfing to leave their surfing equipment at home and use the eco-friendly brands that were carefully selected by Soneva. Products are also available for sale.

As part of the programme, Soneva is also working with the local communities to help support the further growth and development of surfing across the Maldives in an effort to encourage the younger generation to understand the power and vulnerability of their ocean home. Soneva is working with its partners to help provide equipment, opportunities and training for aspiring Maldivian surfers, including hosting surfing events.

Soneva runs two resorts in the Maldives, Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani.

Established in 1995, Soneva Fushi is the original Soneva. The No News, No Shoes blueprint for all desert island barefoot luxury hideaways is located within the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Maldives. Soneva Fushi inspires the imagination with 65 spacious beachfront villas, ranging in size from one to nine bedrooms, hidden amongst dense foliage.

The iconic resort has bagged several international awards for eco-friendly tourism and green initiatives, including the 2017 Green Hotelier Award for the Asia Pacific region and the Sustainable Hotel Award by the Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP) as well as a spot in the Gold List compiled by Condé Nast Traveler China as the Best Hotel in the Maldives and amongst the best resorts in the world in the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards 2017.

Opened in December 2016, Soneva Jani is Soneva’s newest property and its second resort in the Maldives.

Soneva Jani encompasses a collection of 24 overwater villas and one island villa set in a 5.6 kilometre private lagoon located in the northern Noonu atoll. The resort spans five islands surrounded by pure white beaches, covered in rich tropical vegetation, offering the ultimate in privacy and luxury.

Each of the resort’s multilevel water villas has its own private pool and a retractable roof that allows guests to sleep beneath the stars. Many villas also have slides that transport guests directly from the top level into the lagoon below. Other hotel highlights include a spa, an observatory — home to the largest telescope in the Indian Ocean — and an outdoor cinema.

Since its opening, Soneva Jani has created a lot of buzz amongst luxury travellers with its exciting features such as the retractable roofs and the water slides. It has been named the Best Over-the-Top Luxury hotel of the year by Jetsetter.com, the best new resort in the world by CNN, and the Leading Luxury Hotel/Resort in South Asia and Leading Luxury Hotel/Resort in Maldives.

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