Four Seasons Maldives announces Surfing Champions final lineup with Rob Machado, Ross Williams

The lineup for the 2017 Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy is complete, as former CT Stars Rob Machado and Ross Williams along with local talent Ismail Miglal have confirmed to join defending event champion Taj Burrow, big wave inspiration Maya Gabeira and 2001 WSL Champion CJ Hobgood.

The Surfing Champions Trophy, which takes place from August 7 to 13, determines heat times based on age and tests skill across three divisions: single-fin, twin-fin, and thruster. Places are by invitation-only to six world champions in a battle for inner-circle kudos and a USD25,000 prize pot.

Rob Machado from the US will return to the Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy for a second time to compete in the ‘multi-discipline’ event that suits his surfing more than most. Machado is known the world over for his silky smooth style and ability to rip on all sorts of different and experimental boards. Some people forget however that through the nineties, Machado was a solid fixture in the WSL CT top 10, even making it to World No. 2 in 1995 and was seen as a formidable opponent by his fellow competitors.

Machado’s ability on boards of all shapes and sizes will see him as a major threat when competition gets underway at Sultans as he looks forward to catching up with old friends.

“I’ve always been a massive fan of this event,” Machado said.

“Having the three different board types in one event is a really cool concept – it really is an amazing event in an amazing location. To come back for a second time is super special.”

Ross Williams.

Three-time Maldivian National Champion and local wild card Ismail Miglal, aka ‘Kuda Issey,’ is one of the Maldives’ most popular surfers. His 25-year surfing career has included a wealth of international competitions and event titles throughout Asia, but it is his ability at his home breaks, which is most impressive.

Kada Issey achieved a lifelong dream in 2015 when he founded Raalhu Edhuru: a Male-based Surf School on a mission to extend the sport’s reach around the Maldives through community-based sponsorship programs for young surfers in non-central atolls. Devotion like this to community and surfing is truly commendable and it will be special to see him achieve another dream when he competes against some of his heroes at home this August.

“It is an honour and a privilege to surf our local waves with this line up of legends,” Kuda Issey said.

“It is an amazing opportunity to be apart of such a special event and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

Ismail ‘Kuda Issey’ Miglal.

Event coordinator Mark Winson of Tropicsurf comments, “The line-up is looking epic. A World Tour veteran, Williams brings with him a wealth of performance experience. Surfing against one of his best mates in Machado is going to be great to watch. Rob’s twin fin skills will give him a sure-fire edge in the competition’s twin-fin division. But no one knows the Sultans like three-time Maldivian National Champion Miglal. Everyone in the line-up has a different area of expertise, just what’s needed for this multiple-division contest.”

Returning to the annual event is Four Seasons Explorer, the Maldives’ ultimate surf vessel. Following a full interior refurbishment, the 39-metre catamaran will proudly be showcasing sleek new finishes and stylish soft furnishings across all three decks while hosting the contest.

Fans can get up close to all of the action with onboard VIP passes, then continue the “surf tour” experience with shoulder-rubbing events back at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa — the homeport for the event’s competitors, judges and Tropicsurf partners.

To allow guests to experience the surf tour lifestyle, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa has introduced a Surf, Spa & Save Package. For a stay of minimum four nights, guests can save 15 percent on room rates and benefit from a host of added on-site extras, including:

  • One 60-minute spa treatment
  • Day passes to view the competition from Four Seasons Explorer (individual tickets to single, double, triple fin and Grand Finale)
  • VIP tour cocktails – nightly cocktail hour with the six Surfing Champions contestants throughout the week of the competition

Combining innovation, wellness and conservation, Four Seasons Resort Maldives Landaa Giraavaru is a 44-acre, 103-villa wonderland in the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve — a 30-minute seaplane flight from the main Velana International Airport.

Its sister property, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa lies to the south: an enchanting garden island complete with Island Spa sea sanctuary and Tropicsurf coaches and guides. It features 96 thatched beach and water accommodations constructed by local craftsmen using indigenous materials and techniques to reflect a true sense of the Maldives.

The luxury catamaran Four Seasons Explorer connects the two properties via three, four and seven-night cruises, plus private leisure, surf and manta ray charters.

The latest addition to the Maldives collection, Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah, Baa Atoll opened in December as the group’s first exclusive-use private island: off limits to everyone else, limitless to the guests.

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