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Surfing legends line-up announced for 2019 Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy

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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: reservations.mal@fourseasons.com or tel +960 66 00 888.

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Mischa Zverev returns to JOALI BEING to host tennis workshops in August

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JOALI BEING invites German tennis professional, Mischa Zverev, to host tennis workshops between 9th and 19th August 2024. Young guests are welcome to join the Ace Academy workshops this Summer, where they can learn to become tennis pros through a variety of class levels that focus on the fundamentals of tennis all the way up to exciting tennis matches. Zverev will also host a tennis workshop for teenagers from the local community, supporting youngsters with diabetes as part of the Alexander Zverev Foundation.

Mischa Zverev had achieved a career-high ATP singles ranking of world No. 25. At the 2017 Australian Open, Zverev defeated world No. 1 Andy Murray in four sets. Zverev began playing tennis at the age of two with his father, Alexander, a former ATP pro and his coach from who he drew inspiration. Zverev is the elder brother of Alexander Zverev, who was ranked by the ATP as high as world No. 2. Together, they were the first brothers to reach 3R at the same Grand Slam event since Byron and Wayne Black in the 1998 Australian Open.

The B’Kidult Summer Programme – Ace Academy Tennis Camp

The B’Kidult Summer Programme took flight on 1st July 2024, welcoming adventurers of all ages to embark on a shared journey of joy, discovery and connection. Mischa Zverev will lead two sessions of the Ace Academy camp in August; the first workshop on 15th August 2024 and the second workshop on 17th August 2024.These workshops will focus on hand and eye coordination, foot work drills and cardio. Guided by Zverev, young players can start their tennis journey on the right foot, to develop essential life skills and a love for the game in a fun, supportive environment. Along with boosting speed and agility, the tennis workshops will also foster resilience and teamwork. Youngsters can learn to command the court with confidence and share their progress with the rest of the family.

Community Wellbeing and Inspiration

Following a successful local community workshop with the Zverev brothers in 2022, JOALI BEING is excited to welcome back Mischa Zverev to further inspire a group of teenagers from a neighbouring local island. “I am deeply honoured to return to the island of wellbeing, where we have created moments of joy and inspiration together with the team, guests and local community. I am very much looking forward to sharing my passion and motivate youngsters once again. JOALI BEING is truly my favourite place on earth” says Zverev.

Multi-generational play and learning

At JOALI BEING, we cater to multi-generational travellers, a place where every individual discovers and embarks on a journey of transformation and transcendence. Making the most of its remote tropical island setting, B’Kidult weaves elements of nature into each space and activity, awakening the senses and fostering a closer relationship with the earth. From crystalline waters and warm sunshine to soft sands and lush palms, nature’s sensory gifts set the stage for a memorable family journey that unites discovery, learning and wellbeing. The Four Pillars of JOALI BEING: Mind, Skin, Microbiome and Energy are brought to life through experiential learning and active engagement. Mischa Zverev will be visiting JOALI BEING with his family and will experience an array of multi-generational activities that nurture connection; from culinary classes, herbology workshops, yoga and sound baths, to marine conservation, snorkelling adventures and transformational wellbeing.

Since JOALI BEING opened its doors in late 2021, the wellbeing island has continuously strived to support and inspire local communities. In November 2022, the Zverev brothers visited JOALI BEING as part of tennis star Aleksander Zverev’s recovery journey from a past injury. Together, they hosted tennis workshops for guests and children from a local neighbouring island, supporting youngsters with diabetes. The Alexander Zverev Foundation had then been launched to help young people with diabetes to avoid limiting themselves because of the condition. The foundation particularly supports children with type 1 diabetes and aims to help prevent type 2 diabetes by encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle. At JOALI BEING, the wellbeing island’s philosophy of “Joy of Weightlessness” had well resonated with Aleksander Zverev at every level during his stay.

JOALI BEING has villas from $2700 per night based on two persons sharing an Ocean Pool Villa on a B&B basis. Wellbeing Programmes start from $1,693 per person based on a five-night programme.

For bookings and further information, please contact reservations.being@joali.com.

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Kandima Maldives remains top choice for sports celebrities; hosts futsal camp with Ricardinho

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Growing in popularity as a holiday hotspot among sports personalities, active lifestyle resort Kandima Maldives with Ricardinho, holding the title of being named the best Futsal player in the World 6 times by the Futsal planet.

The legendary Ricardinho spent a week at the island resort from 30th June to 6th July, providing a once-in-a-lifetime experience for both local youths and Kandima guests.

During his stay, Ricardinho conducted an engaging three-day futsal camp, coaching aspiring players from the local Kudahuvadhoo Island. The camp was open to Kandima’s guests too and provided an amazing opportunity for participants to learn from one of the greatest futsal players of all time.

Throughout the event, Ricardinho actively engaged with visitors, playing matches with fans and futsal enthusiasts, and showcasing his expertise in a community setting. Guests had the rare chance to watch, learn, and interact directly with the futsal legend, making the experience truly anything but ordinary.

“We are honoured to welcome Ricardinho, the world’s top Futsal player, to Kandima,” said Tom van Tuijl, General Manager, Kandima Maldives “This collaboration aligned perfectly with Kandima’s focus on an active lifestyle. Our commitment to promote a fitness-oriented way of life in a tropical island setting and Ricardinho’s visit undoubtedly inspired our guests, especially families with young futsal enthusiasts, to embrace a more sporty lifestyle.”

Kandima is no stranger to hosting renowned athletes from around the world and the UK. In recent years, the island resort has already hosted premium league footballers Liverpool FC’s Joe Gomez, Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson Moraes, and freestyle football champion Lia Lewis for a holiday. Innovative in their approach to creating distinct and memorable sports experiences for guests, Kandima continues exploring fun and educational partnerships with esteemed athletes to impress fitness-oriented travellers.

“We are thrilled to partner with Kandima Maldives for this exciting football camp,” said Ricardinho.” It was a great opportunity to share my passion for the sport and engaging with the Kandima’s guests, local youths and staff. Together, we created unforgettable memories and inspired a love for football and an active lifestyle.”

For more information about Kandima Maldives and upcoming Uber Kool events, please visit www.kandima.com.

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Tennis pro Dominik Hrbaty to conduct training sessions at Sirru Fen Fushi Maldives

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Sirru Fen Fushi – Private Lagoon Resort has announced the arrival of tennis legend Dominik Hrbaty for an exclusive series of training sessions at their luxurious island retreat in collaboration with LUX Tennis Private Coaching Academy. From 6th August to 14th August 2024, guests at this breathtaking Maldivian resort will have the unique opportunity to train personally with Hrbaty, benefiting from his exceptional skills and expertise in the sport.

Born on April 1, 1978, in Slovakia, Dominik Hrbaty is celebrated worldwide for his illustrious career as a professional tennis player. Throughout his tenure on the ATP tour, Hrbaty achieved a highest singles ranking of 12 and doubles ranking of 14, capturing the hearts of tennis enthusiasts with 6 career singles titles and 2 doubles titles. His remarkable achievements include victories at prestigious tournaments such as San Marino, Prague, Auckland, Adelaide, and Marseille, among others.

“We are honoured to host Dominik Hrbaty at Sirru Fen Fushi,” said Wellness & Recreation Manager, Wilfred Suarez. “His presence underscores our commitment to offering unparalleled experiences that combine wellness, fitness, and the pursuit of excellence. Guests will have the extraordinary opportunity to learn directly from one of tennis’s most esteemed figures in our idyllic island setting.”

Nestled amidst the serene beauty of the Maldives, Sirru Fen Fushi offers a haven of luxury and tranquility. The resort’s tennis facilities boast a stunning court set beneath swaying palm trees, complete with floodlights for evening games, ensuring an unforgettable tennis experience day or night.

In addition to personalised training sessions with Hrbaty, guests can indulge in a range of wellness activities, including yoga on the beach, rejuvenating spa treatments, and exquisite culinary offerings featuring fresh, local ingredients.

Hrbaty’s visit aligns seamlessly with the resort’s philosophy of promoting overall well-being and personal improvement. His exceptional career achievements and dedication to the sport make him an ideal mentor for guests looking to enhance their tennis skills while enjoying a world-class vacation.

For more information on Sirru Fen Fushi – Private Lagoon Resort and to reserve your exclusive training session with Dominik Hrbaty, please visit www.sirrufenfushi.com or contact our reservations team at reservations@sirrufenfushi.com.

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