With just five weeks to go until the Indian Ocean’s hottest surf invitational, the news is out that surfing legends Joel Parkinson, Kai Lenny, Wiggolly Dantas, Matt Wilkinson and Maldivian wildcard Mohamed Fayaz are booked to take on defending champion Josh Kerr in the world’s most luxurious annual surfing contest: Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy held at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa.
Bringing a promising mix of style, creativity and big wave prowess, the new announcements are set to seriously ramp up the competition at the epic one-of-a-kind event, which tests some of the world’s hottest surfing names, past and present, across three different divisions: single-fin, twin-fin, and triple-fin thruster.
“We’re extremely excited about the assemblage of surfers in this year’s event. With such a diverse and talented field competing, you can be sure that there will be some amazing surfing taking place. We’re in for a real treat,” event co-ordinator Mark Winson of Tropicsurf was quoted in a statement, as saying.
Joel Parkinson (AUS)
“Parko” grew up surfing on Queensland’s Gold Coast. At just 18 years old, Parko stunned the surfing world by winning his first World Tour event as a wildcard, which set the scene for a remarkable career.
During his nearly two-decade ride, he racked up 12 World Tour event wins and a host of major milestones including: four runner-up finishes on the World Tour (2002, 2004, 2009 and 2011); the ASP World Title in 2012; and a perfect heat at the Oakley Bali Pro in 2013, skilfully pairing two perfect 10 rides.
More than that, he’s a fun, laidback lovable guy, and one of the sport’s most stylish and naturally gifted surfers, blending power with grace and finesse.
Parkinson shares, “Surfing at an event like the Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy is an opportunity I could not pass up on given my love for the Maldives and having fun. The Maldives is one of my favourite surf spots in the world and as a holiday destination it doesn’t get more amazing for a surfer and his family. Now my kids are older we are making this contest into a family project and I am coming to win the Four Seasons Surfing Champions Trophy to show them Dad can still mix it with the best of them.”
Kai Lenny (HAW)
Happiest on a wave – and true to his name, which means “ocean” – Kai Lenny grew up on Maui’s northern shore, riding all manner of boards: kiteboards, windsurfs, stand-up paddleboards and, of course, surf boards, riding his first wave aged four.
Undeniably one of the world’s greatest watermen, at 26 years old Kai is pushing the boundaries of big wave surfing, recently being awarded Men’s Best Overall Performance and Men’s XXL Biggest Wave at the World Surf League Big Wave Awards.
Lenny’s talents, however, aren’t confined to big wave surfing, with the young Hawaiian being an accomplished short boarder who’ll be looking to showcase his full repertoire on the speedy walls of Sultans.
Wiggolly Dantas (BRZ)
A goofy footed, big waver lover from Ubatuba, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Dantas’ surfing initiation happened at the tender age of three when his brother would repeatedly push him into their local breaks (their mum owned a shop on the beach, so the sand and waves were their playground). It wasn’t long before he was taking his brother’s board when he wasn’t using it.
Dantas first competed at the age of six and has been gunning to be the best surfer in the world ever since, joining the World Surfing League in 2015.
Hugely respected in the sport and known for his humble yet fiercely competitive nature, watch out for Wiggolly’s powerful rail game, lightning fast reflexes and critical backhand attack.
Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
One of the world’s most free-spirited surfers, Australian goofy footer Wilko finished in the top five of the Championship Tour in 2016 and 2017, transforming from offbeat party boy to title contender.
Raised near Avoca Beach, New South Wales, he spent his formative years catching breaks on Copacabana Beach and traversing the coast with his dad in their van, participating in surfing contests. A savvy competitor from a young age, he joined the CT in 2010 and quickly established his position within the upper echelon of surfing, taking the surf world by storm with epic back-to-back victories at the start of the 2016 season (and the legendary bar tab that followed at Bells!).
The life of the party on and off the waves, Wilko will bring a unique splash of creativity to this year’s event.
Wilko comments: “I’m so excited to experience the luxury of Four Seasons Resort Kuda Huraa while surfing an event with an emphasis on fun. It’s rare to be able to enjoy such amazing waves without too much pressure and to be able to bring some of the historic surfboard shapes back to life.”
Mohamed Fayaz (MV)
Hailing from the Maldives’ capital city Male, Pelé (as locals affectionately know him) grew up surfing nearby Raalhugandu.
Rookie of the Tournament in his very first contest – which took place in China, far from his familiar home surf – Pelé went on to compete in multiple WSL QS competitions held in the Maldives from 2001 to 2005, securing the national title in 2003. A bad knee injury in 2007 temporarily sidelined this regular footer, who made a comeback in 2014 and spends his spare time working for a nationwide surf development programme.
As a local surf guide, no one knows the home swells better than Pelé. Keep an eye out for his impressive rail work, surfing with a beautiful floor.
The Surfing Champions Trophy is hosted aboard 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 nightly cocktail events back at Kuda Huraa, which plays host to the contest’s competitors, judges and Tropicsurf partners (the pros behind the Resort’s surf operation).
For a piece of the action, guests can book the Surfing Champions Trophy 2019 package, available at Kuda Huraa between August 5-12. The packages includes:
- 10 per cent off Bed & Breakfast rates
- Daily breakfast
- VIP event passes on board Four Seasons Explorer
- Nightly cocktail hour with the Championship pro competitors
- One Surf Lagoon lesson for two (option for advanced surfers to upgrade to Ocean Transition classes)
- One 60-minute massage for two at Kuda Huraa’s pop-up Garden Spa
- Surf’s Up call service: complimentary daily surf reports with the latest conditions and event updates
- Use of stand-up paddleboards
- Complimentary daily group yoga class
Limited day passes will be available at a fee for non-package guests and members of the public wishing to view the event from Four Seasons Explorer.
World-renowned hotel chain Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts runs three resorts in Maldives: Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa and Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah.
Combining innovation, wellness and conservation, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at 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 2016 as the group’s first exclusive-use private island: off limits to everyone else, limitless to the guests.
To book the Surfing Champions Trophy 2019 package contact: email@example.com or tel +960 66 00 888.
Umair Badheeu sets new, national freediving record at AIDA Philippines National Championship
Maldivian freediver Umair Badheeu has achieved a new national record with a dive to a depth of 62 meters in the bi-fin category. His accomplishment was made possible with the support of Kaimoo Resorts and Hotels, a key sponsor and advocate for Umair’s pursuit of excellence in freediving.
Competing among 14 international participants, Umair’s performance not only secured a new national record but also surpassed his previous bi-fin category record of 60 meters by a margin of two meters.
Reflecting on the challenges of transitioning from his training in Egypt to competing in the Philippines, Umair said: “Adapting to reduced buoyancy due to warmer waters and encountering jellyfish were part of the new environment.”
This marks the third national record Umair has achieved. He previously set two national records of 62 and 64 meters in the free immersion category of free diving at the Andrea Zuccari World Cup held in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt in October. Free immersion freediving is a discipline that requires divers to descend and ascend pulling a rope.
Umair’s switch from training in free immersion in Egypt to the bi-fin category for this tournament demonstrated his adaptability: “It felt like shifting gears, utilising distinct techniques, and returning to a more familiar discipline. This dive marks a confident depth for me, focusing not just on depth but also on refining dive times for a more enjoyable experience,” he remarked.
“Kaimoo’s support has been instrumental, offering me the freedom to train. This support has allowed me to focus on honing my skills and achieving new heights in my freediving,” Umair added.
“Umair’s third record-breaking dive this year is a testament to his exceptional skill and determination. Kaimoo is thrilled to continue supporting Umair’s journey in the world of freediving. His achievements inspire us, and we congratulate him on this impressive feat, looking for-ward to his continued success,” said Mohamed Manih Ahmed, Kaimoo’s Managing Director.
With this record-breaking achievement, Umair now looks forward to a period of rest before gearing up for the upcoming freediving season.
Kaimoo Resorts and Hotels is a leading tourism company in the Maldives that manages five properties across the country. In addition to Embudu Village and Summer Island Maldives, Kaimoo also operates Equator Village in Addu Atoll, and the Mookai Hotel and Mookai Suites in Male’.
Kuramathi Maldives and Rasdhoo Divers dive into adventure with speciality courses
Kuramathi Maldives, in collaboration with Rasdhoo Divers, is elevating the underwater experience by offering a captivating range of Dive Speciality Courses, tailored for both novices and seasoned divers alike. These courses go beyond the ordinary, immersing participants in topics such as Perfect Buoyancy, Wave, Tides and Currents, Turtle Ecology, Manta Ecology, Marine Ecology, Deep Diver Speciality, and Enriched Air Nitrox Speciality.
Perfect Buoyancy: Master the art of achieving and maintaining perfect buoyancy underwater, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable diving experience.
Wave, Tides, and Currents: Dive enthusiasts can now confidently navigate ocean dynamics, enhancing their skills in diverse underwater conditions.
Turtle Ecology: Gain insights into the captivating world of sea turtles, understanding their behavior, and contributing to their conservation.
Manta Ecology: Delve into the mysterious realm of majestic mantas, exploring their habitat, behavior, and the crucial role they play in marine ecosystems.
Marine Ecology: Discover the delicate balance of marine ecosystems and learn how divers can contribute to their preservation through responsible and sustainable practices.
Deep Diver Speciality: Embark on a thrilling adventure below 18 meters, gaining advanced skills for deep-sea exploration and mastering safe diving techniques and pressure management.
Enriched Air Nitrox Speciality: Unlock the secrets of the deep with Nitrox, ensuring safer and longer dives. Enhance your dive planning, elevate safety, and indulge in extended reef adventures.
These Dive Speciality Courses at Kuramathi Maldives are designed not only to enhance participants’ diving skills but also to instill a sense of environmental awareness and responsibility. As custodians of the pristine underwater environment, Kuramathi Maldives is committed to nurturing a community of conscientious divers dedicated to appreciating and protecting delicate marine ecosystems.
Led by certified dive instructors from Rasdhoo Divers Kuramathi, these courses provide a safe and enjoyable learning experience. Whether you are a beginner eager to explore the underwater wonders or an experienced diver looking to expand your knowledge, Kuramathi Maldives invites you to embark on a journey of discovery beneath the azure waves.
Visit Maldives collaborates with Surf Session and Kyllian Guerin to promote the Maldives as a leading surf destination
Visit Maldives has collaborated with ‘Surf Session’, a media platform dedicated to surﬁng. An exciting familiarisation trip and a digital campaign was conducted to promote the Maldives as a leading surf destination in the French market. The digital campaign was conducted on social media and the Surf Session website.
During the ﬁrst part of the campaign, a young surfer, Kyllian Guerin, accompanied Surf Session on a week-long trip where he surfed and explored the best waves of the Maldives. Ayada Maldives, Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi, and Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives hosted this familiarisation trip. Kyllians’ journey was captured and brand content in the form of Instagram stories, posts, articles and banners were disseminated on Kyllian Guerin and Surf Session social media platforms and oﬃcial website. As for the second part of the campaign, digital and print articles highlighted the surf lifestyle in the Maldives and were published on Surf Session website. Additionally, an exciting video of Kyllian’s journey in the Maldives was posted on YouTube, showcasing the beauty of the surf spots of the destination.
The campaign strengthened Maldives’ presence as a premium surf destination and drove excitement among Surf Session’s readership and surﬁng community. The campaign increased visibility for French surfers and further strengthened the Maldives brand in the French market. Collaborating with prestigious media like Surf Session and inﬂuential personalities like Kyllian Guerin allows MMPRC to capture the attention of potential surfers and travel enthusiasts alike, encouraging them to choose the Maldives as their preferred holiday destination. The entire campaign resulted in over a collective reach of 919,209.00.
The current ranking of France is at #8 with 41,072 arrivals as of 31st October 2023. MMPRC is consistently promoting the Maldives in the French market through various marketing activities. This year, we conducted a campaign with Vogue France and IFTM Top Resa 2023. We also plan to promote the Maldives at ILTM Cannes 2023 later this year. These marketing activities ensure the Maldives remain a top-of-mind destination for travellers from the French market.
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