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Taj Burrow lifts Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy for second year

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Australian Taj Burrow has taken out his second consecutive Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy in perfect three-to-four foot waves at the right-hand reef of Sultans.

Burrow surfed an incredible event, taking out the Twin Fin and Thruster Division to make it to the Grand Final of the “world’s most luxurious surfing event”.

In the Grand Final on Sunday, Burrow came up against an in form Rob Machado. Machado had been looking dangerous all event, finishing first in the Single Fin and second on the Twin Fin. It was Burrow’s fast and critical surfing, however, that saw him take the overall win with a heat total of 16.73 (out of a possible 20).

“I’m so extremely excited, I’m just having the best time,” Burrow said.

“This is such an amazing event. I would have retired earlier if I knew this is what life would be like; it’s too good. I’m so stoked I got to come back here after a win last year. We get so spoiled at the Four Seasons Kuda Huraa and then to come just around the corner and have waves that are this good is such a treat. It’s an incredible place. Winning again is really special to me.”

Taj Burrow found a few drainers at Sultans on Finals Day. PHOTO/ TOM BENNETT

Burrow has not lost much of his competitive tenacity since retiring from the elite WSL Championship Tour (CT) a year ago. He consistently posted huge scores through all three divisions and into the grand final. In the final of the Thruster event, he even posted the only perfect 10-point ride of the event for a super deep tube ride.

“The waves were cooking for this whole event,” Burrow continued.

“The forecast wasn’t looking great so to score the waves we did was sick, even getting that barrelled today was a nice surprise. Everyone in this event surfs so amazingly I really had to surf out of my skin to win this thing. If I do get to come back next year I’ll be over the moon. It’s definitely one of the sickest events on the planet.”

Burrow belting a Sultans lip. PHOTO/ TOM BENNETT

Machado was returning to the Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy for the second time. After failing to make the Grand Final in 2016, Machado returned with something to prove and it showed in his smooth yet aggressive attack. In the final, Machado posted a heat total of 14.93 and as the waves slowed he was unable to find the score he needed to take the lead.

“I have no complaints about finishing second,” Machado said.

“Today was actually super tight with who would make it into the Grand Final, so it was cool to watch it all play out. It was just great to come back here and have the Four Seasons Kuda Huraa experience again. The waves were so sick for the event as well, but it was always going to be hard to beat Taj. The guy is just so good.”

Rob Machado with his timeless style was a pleasure to watch all event. PHOTO/ TOM BENNETT

Finishing runner-up in the Thruster Division against Burrow was 2001 WSL Champion CJ Hobgood. The Floridian goofy foot was a standout all event but came up against a rampaging Burrow in the final. Hobgood was unable to get in a rhythm but was thankful to be apart of the Champions Trophy.

“I can’t believe I got to have this experience it’s definitely once in a lifetime,” Hobgood said.

“It was a shame I had such a bad heat in the final but I’m not too disappointed. It’s been great to see all of these old friends and hang out. Waking up in Kuda Huraa, the most perfect island, and then cruising on a boat for two minutes and you have waves like this is like a dream.”

CJ Hobgood finished runner-up in the thruster division on Day Three. PHOTO/ TOM BENNETT

Brazilian big wave inspiration Maya Gabeira put on her best performance of the event during the Thruster Division. The goofy foot came just short of a Semifinal berth but was over the moon to have been part of such a special event. She stated this week at the Four Seasons Maldives as a definite life highlight.

“This has been such an amazing time for us here in the Maldives,” Gabeira said.

Maya Gabeira on a sultans freight train. PHOTO/ SEAN SCOTT

“The Four Seasons Kuda Huraa experience has been like no other, just so luxurious. I don’t usually go on trips looking for fun size waves, but I’m glad I came here as the waves are so fun and playful. Surfing with all of the guys was so incredible. They are such amazing surfers and my heroes, so it was cool to compete against them. I’ve had the most amazing time at this event.”

Local wildcard Ismail ‘Kuda Issey’ Miglal had his best performance in thruster division posting a heat total of 12.50. He was not able to overcome Hobgood in his semi-final but, was stoked to have had the opportunity to surf with and against his surfing idols.

“This was the most amazing experience of my life,” Kuda Issey said.

“Staying in luxury and having my home breaks with no one else out was so cool. It was an honour to surf with my heroes. Watching them surf taught me a lot about my surfing and how I can improve. I loved the experience and will never forget it.”

Ismail ‘Kuda Issey’ Miglal having the time of his life at Sultans. PHOTO/ SEAN SCOTT

The Surfing Champions Trophy 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.

Four Seasons Explorer, the Maldives’ ultimate surf vessel, returned to the event following a full interior refurbishment. The 39-metre catamaran proudly showcased its sleek new finishes and stylish soft furnishings across all three decks while hosting the contest.

Fans got up close to all of the action with onboard VIP passes, then continued 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.

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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Gear up for ride of your life with Siyam World’s first go-kart track in Maldives

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Get ready to rev your engines and satisfy your need for speed at Siyam World Maldives with the grand opening of the 205m² Speed Racers Circuit – the first-ever go-kart track in the Maldives, adding an electrifying twist and high-octane experience to the ultimate island getaway.

Siyam World, known for breaking the mold of traditional Maldivian holidays, is paving new ground with the launch of a state-of-the-art go-kart track, the Speed Racers Circuit, that comes fully equipped with 18 sleek electric go-karts and a rugged off-road course. Spanning 205m² of heart-pounding twists and turns, the track is designed to ignite your inner racer and unleash the adrenaline junkie within.

But that’s not all, with speeds of up to 35km/h, racers feel the rush of the wind in their hair as they zoom around the exhilarating course.

And when the race is over, the party’s just getting started! There is a fully stocked bar, the perfect pit stop to refuel and celebrate a victory with friends and fellow racers. After all, every great race deserves an epic after-party!

“Siyam World is all about redefining what it means to holiday in the Maldives,” said Sara Siyam, Director of Marketing. “We’re not just offering relaxation and the traditional means of a Maldivian holiday, we are committed to delivering unforgettable adventures. Our new go-kart track is just the beginning of a series of exciting, fun-filled activities that set Siyam World apart from the rest.”

Siyam World has tailored four adrenaline-pumping go-kart racing packages to suit every level from 12 years and up:

Quick Sprint Package

  • Get your adrenaline fix with 3 lightning-fast laps for just $25 per racer (up to 5 racers).
  • Perfect for those who want a quick burst of excitement and friendly competition!

The Triple Challenge Package

  • Take on 5 laps of non-stop racing action for $80 (up to 5 racers).
  • Push the pedal to the metal and test your skills with this ultimate challenge!

Family Package

  • Treat the whole family to a thrilling ride with our fun-filled package for $350.
  • Enjoy 3 lap races for families and friends, creating unforgettable memories together!

Private Championship Package

  • Go for glory with an exclusive racing event for $550.
  • Compete in a private series with 3 lap qualifiers, 5 lap heats, and a 7 lap final – complete with scorekeeping, timekeeping, and awards

The addition of the go-kart track is part of Siyam World’s commitment to provide guests with a diverse range of activities, extraordinary adventures ,and pioneering experiences that go beyond the mainstream. Whether you are a seasoned racer or a first-time driver, the go-kart track promises a rush of excitement as you zip through tropical paradise. The electric go-karts are eco-friendly and perfect for healthy competitions among family and friends.

It’s time to buckle up, hold on tight, and experience the thrill of a lifetime at Siyam World Maldives’ Electric Go-Kart Track. Book your race now and get ready to unleash your inner speed champion!

Siyam World, Maldives is located in the popular Noonu Atoll, a mere 40 minutes’ direct seaplane ride from Velana International Airport, and also accessible via a 30-minute domestic flight to Maafaru Airport followed by a 10-minute speedboat trip.

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Join Ifuru Island Maldives’ exhilarating ice, bubbles challenge

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Are You Ready? The Ice & Bubbles Challenge awaits your arrival at Ifuru Island.

Are you ready for the ultimate chill thrill of indulgence and adventure? Then put on your explorer hat and jet off to Ifuru Island for the Ice & Bubbles Challenge! Imagine: you’ll be basking in the breathtaking Maldives scenery while putting your might to the test with a 6-minute polar plunge, clutching a flute of bubbly like a boss. Once you conquer the challenge, you’ll savour the delicious bubbly and feel like a true champion!

Picture yourself lounging poolside, surrounded by swaying palm trees, white sandy beaches, and crystal-clear waters, while also pushing your endurance to the limit. And as a badge of honour, guests are gifted with a trendy Ice Bath and Bubbles Challenge t-shirt to flaunt their fearless spirit. The current record for the Ice & Bubbles Challenge is a brave 22 minutes, and we’re daring you to beat it!

Cold-water immersion can speed up your muscle recovery, reduce inflammation, and give you a boost of energy. Plus, you’ll feel like a true hero after conquering the challenge and basking under the warm Maldivian sun.

So, what are you waiting for? Rally your friends and come join us on Ifuru Island Maldives for an unforgettable adventure that’s sure to create magical memories that will last a lifetime!

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Six Senses launches Mermaid Courses in Maldives

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Six Senses Laamu and Six Senses Kanuhura in the Maldives are making waves with the launch of an enchanting underwater experience – PADI Mermaid courses.

Now, guests aged six and above can embark on a magical journey guided by certified PADI scuba dive instructors. Aspiring mermaids and mermen will be equipped with a monofin, a type of swim fin that mimics the movements of dolphins, and colorful fabric tail, mirroring the hues of the ocean. Catering to various ages, interests, and skill levels, both resorts offer a range of courses from discovery to advanced. A professional photographer is available on request to capture personal fairytale-moments.

“We’re thrilled to introduce this fun new experience to our range of underwater offerings,” says Judith Scheibelberger, PADI trainer and resident mermaid expert at Six Senses Laamu, an IHG Hotels & Resorts property. “Our mermaid courses are not only a source of fun and excitement for kids but also invite adults to tap into their imagination and reconnect with their inner child. Beyond the entertainment aspect and capturing Instagram-worthy memories, participants will also gain valuable underwater skills and learn about the awe-inspiring secrets of the sea.”

Mermaid courses join a plethora of underwater experiences available to guests at both Maldivian Six Senses resorts, including snorkeling with turtles, vibrant coral reef explorations, and exhilarating diving adventures. The resorts boasts state-of-the-art dive centers that provide comprehensive services and expert guidance.

For young adventurers, both resorts also offer the PADI Seal Team programme, catering to junior divers aged eight and above. This program allows aspiring divers to explore the underwater world safely, through the five ‘AquaMissions,’ where participants can delve down to four meters, or the introductory PADI Bubblemaker experience, tailored for children aged eight to nine, allowing them to dive down to two meters.

“These experiences not only offer a glimpse into the mesmerising underwater world but also provide an opportunity for young divers to develop their confidence and diving skills while exploring the diversity of Maldivian reefs,” says Anne Hospital, Dive Manager of both resorts.

The brand’s Grow With Six Senses programme offers all of the dimensions of wellness, providing kids with opportunities to reconnect with nature and engage with their surroundings. Through immersive experiences in local culture, wellness, sustainability and social interactions, children spark their curiosity and gain valuable life skills. At the heart of this programme are the dedicated kid’s clubs known as ‘The Den’, which serve as hubs for exploration and discovery.

At Six Senses Laamu and Six Senses Kanuhura, one standout offering is the Mermaid course, which invites children on an underwater adventure amidst stunning turquoise panoramas. On land, the activities are equally diverse, ranging from enlightening garden tours to innovative waste-to-wealth workshops and interactive junior cooking classes. These experiences are designed to provide children with valuable life skills through hands-on play, ensuring a comprehensive and enriching journey for young guests at the resorts.

Prices for the PADI Mermaid Courses start from USD 150 for a 45-minute discovery session. For bookings and further information, please visit sixsenses.com or contact reservations-maldives@sixsenses.com.

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