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Josh Kerr scores perfect 10 to win 2018 Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy

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Josh Kerr has taken out the 2018 Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy in a thrilling final day of action in pumping surf at Sultans.

Josh Kerr – thruster and grand finals. PHOTO/ FOUR SEASONS

Kerr won two of the three divisions to set up a grand finale matchup with Alejo Muniz from Brazil on Saturday.

Josh Kerr with the trophy. PHOTO/ FOUR SEASONS

The third day of the competition saw the best conditions of the event so far, with perfect clean four to six foot waves at Sultans, giving surfers opportunities for airs, turns and long draining barrels. It was fitting that the final was the heat of the event with both Kerr and Muniz trading off perfect waves, both finding epic barrels on the inside section.

Kerr got off to a blistering start in the final, posting two excellent scores early to put Muniz in a combination situation, needing two scores. Muniz did his best to come back, posting some massive rides himself, but the door was firmly closed in the last minute when Kerr scored a perfect 10 point ride to guarantee the win.

For his efforts, Kerr will be asked to return to the event and defend his title in 2019.

“This was such an incredible event to be a part of,” Kerr said.

“The waves just got better every day up until now where they are totally pumping — I never thought I’d get so barrelled here in the Maldives. I got to surf a heat with every competitor these last few days, which was really cool. Everyone was in great spirits and brought something different to the event. It was so cool to surf with Alejo today, the surfing he was doing was amazing. The concept of this event is really cool, I like surfing different boards these days so I guess this is the perfect event for me – I’m stoked to be coming back next year but probably not as much as my family, they love it here.”

Alejo Muniz – thruster and grand finals. PHOTO/ FOUR SEASONS

Spending the majority of his year competing on the WSL Qualifying Series (QS) Alejo Muniz hasn’t had too much experience on traditional style board such as a twin-fin and single-fin. Muniz admits that after this week in the Maldives, he will be utilising that sort of equipment more often. It is safe to say, however, that where the former CT competitor truly shone was in the thruster division on finals day. Muniz will use this week’s experience to build on his bid to re-qualify for the CT in 2019, as he currently sits on seventh on the QS rankings.

“This has been one of the best days of my life,” Muniz said.

“Although I got second three times in this event, I couldn’t be happier to have been in those finals with some of my idols. It’s going to be tough competing on the QS after this experience – the luxury of the Resort and the pumping surf has made this the trip of a lifetime. Josh has always been one of my favourite surfers so it was cool to have a final with him — we were both just trading barrels — it was unreal. I’m really pumped up to head back to the QS, but like I said, it will be tough after this.”

Freddy Patacchia Jnr – thruster and grand finals. PHOTO/ FOUR SEASONS

Just before the grand finale kicked off, the thruster division wrapped up with former CT competitor Freddy Patacchia Jnr taking the win with an incredible display of backhand tube riding. The Hawaiian goofy-footer was searching for a solid result in the Maldives and just came short of the grand finale. He rated his thruster final against Alejo Muniz as one of the “most fun” in his career.

“It’s really funny because when I arrived here I thought I wouldn’t be taking it to seriously but as soon as you put on the contest jersey, the fire is lit,” Patacchia said.

“We are all so competitive, so after a couple of average results I was so stoked to win one of the disciplines – I knew I had to bring it. My thruster definitely felt like my best board so I put some more time into focusing today. This has been an amazing experience at Four Seasons Kuda Huraa and such a cool event. It’s definitely the most fun I have had in a WSL jersey.”

CJ Hobgood – thruster and grand finals. PHOTO/ FOUR SEASONS

Coming into the Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy for his second year in a row, 2001 WSL Champion CJ Hobgood was the most experienced competitor in the field. Hobgood came into the final day with a shot to the top spot, but came short in the thruster division being eliminated in the first round. The Floridian charger was just stoked he got asked to replace 2017 event winner Taj Burrow who pulled out of the event due to a knee injury.

“I definitely have to thank Mr Taj for missing out this year,” Hobgood said.

“It was definitely an honour to return to such an incredible event. It’s such a special place and we get so well looked after. I was a bit down that I didn’t do better because the waves are so pumping right now, but at the end of the day, surfing is just part of this contest, but the best part is being in paradise with friends and family.”

Fuku Areef – thruster and grand finals. PHOTO/ FOUR SEASONS

Local wildcard Abdulla ‘Fuku’ Areef was another competitor who hadn’t had much experience on the different boards and surely had his best performance on the thruster. The Maldivian surfing legend was impressive amongst the world’s best and puts this week’s experience as one of the best of his life.

“This has been such an incredible time for me,” Areef said.

“All of the pros have been so welcoming and friendly to me which was awesome – I felt very welcome surfing with them. We got so lucky with the waves as well and the best was definitely today on finals day, Sultans was pumping.”

Surfers with their family. PHOTO/ FOUR SEASONS

Unique in many ways, the Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy determines a surfer’s heat time based on their age and tests skill across three different divisions: single-fin, twin-fin, and triple-fin thruster. Places are granted by invitation-only to just six surf champions in a battle for inner-circle kudos and the USD 25,000 prize winnings.

The Surfing Champions Trophy is hosted onboard Four Seasons Explorer – the Maldives’ ultimate surf vessel. Fans can get up close to the action with onboard VIP passes, while the ‘surf tour’ experience continues with shoulder-rubbing events back at Four Seasons Resort Kuda Huraa, which plays host to the contest’s competitors, judges and Tropicsurf partners.

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Catch the wind with Kitesurfing World Champion Youri Zoon at COMO Cocoa Island

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Embark on an exhilarating kitesurfing odyssey from May 6th to 20th, 2024, at COMO Cocoa Island alongside Youri Zoon, celebrated for seizing the kitesurfing world championship twice. Under his seasoned guidance, amplify your kitesurfing prowess, whether you’re a neophyte craving the fundamentals or a seasoned aficionado striving for intricate manoeuvres and airborne thrills.

Kitesurfing merges windsurfing, surfing, and wakeboarding for a dynamic water sport. Using controllable kites, riders harness wind power to glide across the ocean’s surface while being set against the backdrop of endless horizons and azure waters.

Throughout his residency, Zoon will conduct guided kitesurfing sessions, offering novices a gentle introduction to the sport or empowering veterans to elevate their abilities. Additionally, Zoon will host enlightening COMO Conversations, delving into his personal journey to kitesurfing eminence and the obstacles he surmounted along the way.

Guests may arrange activities with Zoon at their leisure, with plenty of time to make the most of our private island comforts, from massage treatments at COMO Shambhala to sandbank dinners under the stars and more.

Hailing from the Netherlands, Zoon’s affinity for kiteboarding burgeoned at the tender age of 13. A prodigious talent, he swiftly amassed accolades, securing victories at the Junior European Championships and Dutch Nationals in his inaugural year. Subsequently clinching the world title in 2011 and 2012, Zoon’s enduring passion for the sport fuels his ongoing commitment to mentorship and coaching, ensuring his legacy endures both on and off the water.

Nestled within South Male Atoll, COMO Cocoa Island beckons discerning travelers with its intimate enclave of 33 overwater villas. Renowned for its iconic Dhoni Water Villas, which pay homage to Maldivian maritime heritage, this idyllic retreat offers a sanctuary of tranquillity and indulgence. Accessible via a scenic 40-minute speedboat journey from Velana International Airport, COMO Cocoa Island promises an unrivalled blend of luxury and seclusion.

For details on COMO Hotels and Resorts or to plan your next escape, please visit https://www.comohotels.com/cocoaisland.

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Sheraton Maldives hosts successful second season of Full Moon Futsal Cup

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Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa celebrated the culmination of the highly anticipated Full Moon Futsal Cup on March 31, 2024. The tournament, which commenced on March 17th, brought together 12 teams from neighboring resorts in Malé Atoll, fostering a spirit of friendly competition and camaraderie.

SO/ Maldives emerged victorious after a thrilling final match, securing the coveted title of Full Moon Futsal Cup Champions 2024. Mohamed El Aghoury, General Manager of Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa, presented the winning team with the Championship trophy and gold medals during a closing ceremony. Additional prizes, medals, and certificates were awarded to recognize the exceptional talent displayed by all participants.

“We are honored to have hosted and participated in such a vibrant tournament,” Mohamed El Aghoury commented, reflecting on the event’s success. “The Full Moon Futsal Cup celebrates not only sportsmanship but also fosters strong bonds within the resort community.”

Throughout the tournament, all teams showcased exceptional skill, determination, and teamwork, captivating spectators and fellow competitors alike. Notably, Sheraton Maldives’ own associate teams, Team Sheraton and Team Furana FC, participated with commendable spirit.

This involvement aligns with Marriott International’s Associate Resource Groups (ARGs) initiative, which prioritizes fostering an inclusive workplace where employees feel valued. The participation of the Young Professionals ARG team specifically exemplifies the group’s dedication to community building, skill development, and mentorship. The tournament provided a platform to spotlight the energy and potential of young professionals, promoting their growth and contributing to the organization’s future success.

Extending beyond a sporting event, the Full Moon Futsal Cup embodies the values of unity, friendship, and healthy competition. This aligns with Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa’s commitment to fostering community connections and Marriott International’s TakeCare philosophy, which emphasizes the importance of physical well-being among associates.

The Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa extends its sincere gratitude to all participating teams, supporters, sponsors, and organizers who contributed to the resounding success of the Full Moon Futsal Cup 2024. The resort eagerly anticipates continuing this tradition of sporting excellence and camaraderie in the years to come.

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Dive into memorable underwater adventure with Baros Maldives’s Eco Explorer Experience

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In today’s world, where the fragile balance of marine ecosystems teeters on the edge, to call for sustainable tourism practices resonates louder than ever. Baros Maldives, deeply rooted in its respect for nature, leads the way in conservation and preservation. Baros’s Eco Explorer Experience stands as a testament to the island’s commitment, inviting guests to not just observe but to actively contribute to the safeguarding of our underwater sanctuaries.

Nestled on a lush, natural island paradise, Baros is a sanctuary surrounded by a kaleidoscope of marine life, boasting a world-class house reef, celebrated for its unparalleled beauty and biodiversity, attracting adventurers and nature lovers alike.

The Eco Explorer Experience is a carefully curated immersive experience designed for those who seek to delve deeper into the mysteries of the ocean. This experience is more than an adventure; it’s a journey of discovery and contribution, offering intimate encounters with the marvels of the sea, all while promoting marine conservation.

With this experience, Baros guests enjoy a myriad of enriching activities, culminating in a bespoke photobook documenting the essence of their Eco Explorer journey beneath the waves.

Coral Restoration and Conservation: Participants will immerse themselves in coral ecology, by planting personal coral gardens under the guidance of Baros’s resident Marine Biologist. This hands -on experience not only fosters coral growth but also contributes to the restoration of these vital habitats. Through the Coral Cube initiative, guests will apply innovative techniques like using fast plug cement to build thriving underwater ecosystems. The Baros marine team will share bi-annual updates with the guests so that they can follow the growth of their corals.

Marine Life Identification: This educational session equips guests with the knowledge to identify different fish species and understand their vital roles within the marine ecosystem. Equipped with snorkelling gear and new insights, guests will explore Baros’s world- class house reef during a snorkelling tour, guided by the resident marine biologist, to witness the vibrant marine life.

Night Snorkelling and Bioluminescence: As night falls, the reef reveals a different kind of beauty. With UV lights, guests will explore this nocturnal wonderland, observing the reef’s inhabitants in a new light. This magical experience is not only enchanting but also educational, offering insights into coral health and the ecosystem’s delicate balance.

Baros recognises the fragility of the marine environment and is committed to fostering sustainable tourism practices. The Eco Explorer Experience is more than a holiday activity, it’s an invitation to become part of a larger movement, advocating for the protection and preservation of our marine environments.

Join the Baros marine team on this extraordinary journey. Together, dive deeper, explore further, and unveil the boundless wonders of the ocean, ensuring they remain vibrant for generations to come.

For bookings and more information, please visit www.baros.com or contact Baros directly at reservations@baros.com or call +960 664 26 72.

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