Maldives.net.mv – In an all-American final Taylor Knox, 42, defeated Tom Curren, 49, to claim the Twin Fin Division of the Four Seasons Resorts Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy at the third annual invitational at Sultan’s Point today.
With speed and maneuverability the hallmark of twin-fin performance, the iconic lineup of competitors maximized the testing but fun one-metre (3ft) point waves with Damien Hardman (Aus), Tom Carroll (Aus), Layne Beachley (Aus) and Pedro Henrique (BRZ) also in top competitive mode.
Ultimately the all-important inside connection proved key for big scores and heat wins in the strong offshore conditions. Something Knox and Curren had wired from the outset today, as they laid down timeless rail-to-rail surfing with smooth transitions between high-powered maneuvers as the competitive savvy between the master and protégé was on display.
“That was an emotional contest for me because I was surfing with all my hero’s,” said Knox. “It was just really cool today, everyone I came up against was just surfing so well.”
The first half of the final was a seesawing affair before Knox locked in a heat-high 8.03 score midway, to take the lead and never be headed. As the tide filled in conditions became inconsistent, leaving three-time world champion Curren requiring an 8.17 score on the siren. “I was really nervous at the end thinking the Tom Curren magic was going to strike me down but the ocean actually cooperated with me,” said Knox.
Last year the Californian retired from ASP World Tour after 22 years of circling the globe as one of the worlds most respected surfers and headed into the Maldives in vacation mode before getting swept up by his highly competitive rivals. “The guys are a little bit more into it than what I expected. I thought it was going to be a groovy, little fun event but they care. They really care,” laughed Knox.
“They woke me up after the first division, I went ‘Oh this is serious here’. But at the end of the day you get to go back to the Four Seasons and live in the lap of luxury so you really can’t get mad at any point,” he added.
Curren’s earlier win in the Single Fin division along with today’s runner-up result all but guarantee’s him a berth in tomorrow’s Grand Champions Final. “Taylor surfed really good, he deserved the win,” said Curren.
“I thought I had a pretty good chance, but I made a couple of mistakes. I fell on my first wave and could have made more of the final section on my last wave because no more sets came after that one. I am super happy to have been in the final and I’m going to get my board waxed up for tomorrow and hope for the best,” he added.
Curren was competing on an old board of Dane Reynolds that was originally built as a twinzer (two big main fins and two smaller fins), but the craftsmen at the Channel Islands factory knocked the fins out and rebuilt it as a standard twin-fin. In the warm-up session Curren looked downright deadly — flowing, flying, connecting sections and blasting big turns.
However today belonged to an inform Knox, who will be hoping to secure what is sure to be the hotly contested, second berth in the Grand Champions Final tomorrow. The three fin Thruster Division will prove the decider and kick start the last day of the 2013 Four Seasons Resorts Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy.
The event format showcases the evolution of the surfboard with the old school ‘70s single-fin in Round 1, Round 2 celebrates the brilliance of the twin-fin that dominated in the early ‘80s, and coming up in Round 3 we’ll see the state-of-the-art three-fin thrusters put to use. The two surfers with most accrued points at the end of the three rounds qualify for the Grand Champions Final.
The semi-finals saw Curren eliminate defending champion Hardman with a disciplined performance. Knox left former two-time world champion Carroll on the back foot in the second semi.
Lone female star Beachley suffered an opening round loss and was literally blown off her first wave due to the strong offshore winds, while fellow Australian Hardman and Carroll advanced through the three-person heat. “They were really challenging conditions out there,” said Beachley. “I’m disappointed, but I’m building a house, at least I caught a wave this time. Never underestimate the competitive spirit of these guys, they don’t want to lose, especially to a girl. It doesn’t matter how many world titles you have.”
Tournament young gun Pedro Henrique, 31, (BRZ/PRT) also bowed out in the opening round, out surfed by Knox and Curren in one of the events most explosive heats. Tomorrow the contest will end with the thruster division and the grand champions final.
Twin Fin Division Final
1st Taylor Knox (USA) 15.20 def. 2nd Tom Curren (USA) 13:43
Kuda Villingili Resort marks second anniversary with luxurious upgrades and sustainable initiatives
Kuda Villingili Resort, perched on a pristine ultra-private island in the North Malé Atoll of the Maldives, celebrates its second-year anniversary in the only way that matters – by giving back to its guests!
As part of an ongoing commitment to enhancing the guest experience, each of its beach villas, including the residences, now feature private pools. This remarkable upgrade promises guests an even more lavish and secluded retreat.
Nestled within this tropical paradise are 75 exquisite villas, including 36 opulent overwater villas that sit pretty upon the crystal-clear lagoon. The resort also boasts the Maldives’ largest and sprawling freshwater pool spanning over 150 meters.
Initiatives in partnership with Green Globe, an authority in sustainable tourism certification have been aligned. With the resort’s unwavering dedication to sustainability, the integration of solar panels has been introduced in Kuda Villingili team members village. This eco-conscious initiative has led to an impressive 40% reduction in the resort’s overall energy consumption. Furthermore, implementation of a range of eco- friendly measures, including an on-site drinking water bottling facility, energy-efficient air conditioning units, and innovative power-saving systems have been put in place. With an unwavering focus on long-term sustainability, the resort continues to bolster its commitment to the environment and the local community through its dedicated conservation programs, which centre around preserving the delicate ecosystem.
Solar Installed in team members village Beach Villa’s with Private Pool Raalhu Bar at Chickens Break
Adding another exciting dimension to the culinary and bar experiences at the resort; the Raalhu Bar has thrown open its doors and is nestled at the vantage point of Chickens Break Surf Point. This offers guests an exclusive haven to soak in the island’s breathtaking sunset vistas. The Raalhu Bar joins the extensive range of dining options at Kuda Villingili, which includes seven restaurants offering global cuisines, a main bar, two bars designed to kick back and watch the sun slowly drop into the blue ocean, and a plush cigar and whiskey lounge.
Also freshly introduced is the all-new comprehensive ‘Redefined Ultra Luxury All- Inclusive’ package, that enables guests to immerse themselves in a carefree and indulgent vacation experience. Stays of four nights or more include bespoke experiences that give a whole new meaning to the word ultra-luxury. Guests can pick from the range of dining experiences spread across seven distinctive restaurants, accompanied by a selection of over 100 carefully curated wine labels and a premium selection of beverages. From the moment they step foot on the island, guests are embraced by an ambiance of opulence and hospitality, as the generous all-inclusive package caters to every aspect of their stay.
Since launching in June 2021, Kuda Villingili has welcomed a diverse range of visitors, from honeymooners and families to surfing enthusiasts, multi-generational groups, and small incentive and leisure mice groups. “The resort’s convenient location, a swift 30-minute speedboat ride from Velana International Airport, has been a key draw. To enhance the sense of space, the number of villas has been reduced from 95 villas to 75 villas, by offering spacious two – four bedroom villas that offer an expansive sense of space for each guest,” says Deepa Manuel, General Manager, Kuda Villingili Resort.
Kuda Villingiili has received an array of accolades and was honored with the coveted title of ‘The Best Culinary Resort’ at the TTM Awards 2022 and the ‘Best Surf Resort’ at TTM 2023. Kuda Villingiili’s exceptional attention to detail extends to its impeccable wine offerings, and it has also received the ‘Best Designed Regional Wine List in Asia’ by the discerning connoisseurs of the World of Fine Wine.
Sun Siyam Resorts commemorates World Tourism Day 2023 with focus on sustainable tourism, green investment
Sun Siyam Resorts marked World Tourism Day 2023, embracing the theme of ‘Tourism and Green Investment’ with a series of heartwarming and eco-conscious activities across its five wonderful properties. This year’s celebrations centred around the commitment to sustainable tourism and environmental conservation, exemplifying Sun Siyam Resorts’ unwavering dedication to the cause of responsible travel.
Sun Siyam Iru Veli led the way with a diverse range of activities that left a lasting impression on guests and the local community. The resort welcomed students from nearby island schools, providing them with an immersive experience that included a guided tour and a wholesome lunch at Aqua. This initiative aimed to inspire young minds and foster a deeper understanding of the tourism industry. In addition to that and in alignment with Sun Siyam Resorts’ commitment to environmental conservation, guests, school students, and team members participated in a tree planting session, a video presentation celebrating the essence of World Tourism Day, and an energy conservation practice with an “Electricity Shutdown” for an hour.
Families and kids were having a fantastic time during the painting competition at the Kid’s Club, the mini-olympics and beach fiesta, an exhilarating grand raffle draw. The evening concluded with a vibrant cultural show and drama performance showcasing the talents of team members added a local touch to the festivities.
Sun Siyam Vilu Reef offered a special Maldivian arrival experience for all its guests on World Tourism Day and gifted each guest with a wooden heartfelt message symbolising the warm hospitality of the Maldives. A tree planting ceremony and several beach games for the whole family were carried out as well.
The highlight of Sun Siyam Iru Fushi’s celebration was a tree planting ceremony, where guests joined hands with resort staff to plant coconut trees. This symbolic act represented the resort’s ongoing commitment to offsetting its carbon footprint and preserving the natural beauty of the Maldivian landscape. A delightful cake-cutting ceremony took place at the resort’s main pavilion, fostering a sense of togetherness and unity in the pursuit of sustainable tourism. The celebration continued with a range of fun beach activities, including beach sack races, 3-leg races, and friendly tug-of-war games.
Siyam World and Sun Siyam Olhuveli dedicated the day to tree planting and coral planting sessions, aligning with their commitment to environmental conservation. Guests were treated to special screenings of the meaning of World Tourism Day, furthering their understanding of the significance of sustainable tourism.
World Tourism Day, observed annually on September 27th, is a global event aimed at promoting sustainable and responsible tourism while raising awareness about the social, cultural, and economic benefits of tourism worldwide.
Sun Siyam Resorts remains steadfast in its pledge to uphold sustainable practices and create memorable experiences that make a positive impact on the environment and local communities. The World Tourism Day celebrations are a testament to this unwavering commitment.
For more information about Sun Siyam Resorts and its sustainability initiatives, please visit the website at www.sunsiyam.com/sun-siyam-cares
Two Michelin star chef presents culinary theatre of dreams at Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas
Always looking for new ways to create extraordinary guest experiences on its secluded island paradise, Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas is set to push the boat out and take its guests on an amazing culinary adventure this November as the luxury Maldivian resort welcomes a very special guest chef to its award-winning SEA Underwater Restaurant. On November 13 and 14, guests at the resort will be treated to two exceptional evenings of gastronomic delights served up by renowned two Michelin star chef, Mano Thevar.
Overseeing the gastronomic extravaganza, Chef Mano Thevar is the owner of Thevar, a two Michelin-starred Modern Indian restaurant in Singapore which specialises in a creative multi-course menu that is rooted in Indian traditions and crafted with European techniques and Japanese produce. Chef Mano is now set to take his Michelin star show on the road when he hosts the Culinary Theatre of Dreams at Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas this November.
Born and raised in the diverse and vibrant surroundings of Penang, Malaysia, Chef Mano draws on his Indian heritage as he combines fresh, seasonal ingredients with modern European techniques to tantalise the palate with a delightful interplay of flavours. Having cut his teeth as a chef in Michelin-starred Guy Savoy and Waku Ghin restaurants, he opened Thevar in 2019. Chef Mano now holds the proud distinction of being the first Malaysian chef to have two Michelin stars to his name.
Taking his Michelin star show on the road, Chef Mano is set to delight diners at Anantara Kihavah this November when he hosts a Culinary Theatre of Dreams at SEA Underwater Restaurant. Situated six meters below the waves, the iconic SEA restaurant will immerse guests in a sensory journey like no other, allowing them to savour world-class cuisine while surrounded by the mesmerising aquatic world of the Maldives.
The gastronomic adventure begins on November 13, 2023 with the first of two consecutive nights of underwater dining at the resort’s iconic SEA Underwater Restaurant as part of the highly anticipated Culinary Theatre of Dreams. For USD 325++ per person, the eagerly anticipated event will showcase a unique six-course menu crafted by Chef Mano specifically for this occasion, with the option for guests to choose between wine pairing and non-wine pairing experiences.
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