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Joel Parkinson wins twin-fin division at Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy



The twin-fin division of the Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy was run and won by Joel Parkinson in clean head-high tubes at Sultans Saturday afternoon, with competitors revelling in the dreamy conditions on offer at the right hand point break.

After meeting in the final of the single-fin division on Thursday, it was again Australians Joel Parkinson and Josh Kerr who squared off in the last heat on Saturday to decide the twin-fin champion for 2019.

After an incredible afternoon of surfing blessed with the cleanest waves of the window so far, the final was the icing on the cake as Parkinson and Kerr went back and forth, exchanging long tubes, vicious turns and the lead a number of times.

There could only be one winner, however, and as the final hooter sounded it was 2012 world champion Parkinson who gained his revenge for the earlier single-fin loss with an incredible 17.36 two-wave total to better Kerr’s 16.64, and claim the second of the three divisions. Parkinson did the damage with consecutive waves at the halfway mark, backing up an 8.33 with a 9.03 for a long, double-barrelled drainer. With Kerr already sitting on an 8.67 he spent the rest of the bout on the hunt for an almost identical 8.69, and although he had a number of opportunities he couldn’t quite overhaul his fellow Queenslander, a 7.97 the best of his attempts as the waves continued to cook.

“That was amazing,” said Parkinson,

“Wave after wave after wave. They’re the finals you dream of. There were two waves in every set, which was even better. You could get back to the top and say, ‘You have the first one, I’ll have the second one!’ It was an amazing day of surfing. The whole Four Seasons experience has been incredible, the hospitality, the staff and just how luxurious it is, it’s really something I could get used to. I see myself and the family spending a lot more time here in future.”

Kerr rode the final on a surfboard he borrowed from Hawaiian Kai Lenny, after knocking a fin out in his semi-final showdown with Matt Wilkinson.

“Obviously I would like to have been on my own board, especially as the waves got so good during the final. They’re easily the best conditions we’ve had so far; it was epic. Obviously Joel was in rhythm, whereas I probably was forcing it a bit hard on a board that wasn’t built for me. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow though, we could be finishing with a bang if conditions hold up.”

The first semi-final was the day’s slowest heat, Parkinson accounting for Lenny on the strength of an 8.27 and a 7.00. Lenny had a 7.07 on his opening wave but couldn’t find a backup, and was forced to settle for a third place.

Things heated up in the second semi-final as Wilkinson, famed for his incredible backhand, unleashed a string of sizzling re-entries to lock in the highest scoring wave of the day, a 9.17. Kerr countered with a 7.60 and an 8.17 to narrowly edge in front. With Wilkinson chasing a 6.60 to make the final he came up agonisingly short, missing out by 0.1 in the closest heat of the event so far.

Due to Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) having to withdraw from the event, Kerr and Parkinson received first round walk-throughs on Saturday. In the second of the three-man round one heats, Wilkinson and Kai Lenny defeated local wildcard Mohamed Fayaz, who was thrilled to once again come up against some of surfing’s icons.

“It’s such a great opportunity to me to get to surf with some of the legends of the sport,” said Faya, who is nicknamed Pelé.

“It’s a dream come true, I’m so happy! I wasn’t nervous at all; I was just excited. I had so much fun. The guys have all been so nice and so friendly; it’s been really special. Maldivian surfing is getting better and better, and hopefully through me getting a chance to compete in this event I can show some young kids of the level that it is possible to get to.”

Conditions are primed for an epic final day on Sunday as the surfers revert back to the modern weapon of choice, the thruster. At the end of that division a grand final will be contested by the two surfers with the highest points, and whilst Kerr and Parkinson each have one foot in the ultimate showdown, Wilkinson, Lenny and Fayaz are all still within striking distance.

The Four Seasons Maldives 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 whilst the ‘surf tour’ experience continues with nightly events back at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa, which plays host to the contest’s competitors, judges and Tropicsurf partners.


Experience tennis excellence amid tropical luxury: Hideaway Beach Resort’s exclusive tennis camp with WTA Coach Carlos Martinez Comet



Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa, the epitome of luxury in the Maldives, has announced an extraordinary tennis camp experience featuring renowned WTA tennis coach, Carlos Martinez Comet.

Set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Maldivian paradise, this exclusive event promises to elevate your tennis skills while indulging in the lap of luxury. The camp is to be held during this October for five days.

Carlos Martinez Comet is the driving force behind acclaimed tennis academy based in Spain – CMC Competition. He is a tennis visionary known for his commitment to shaping the future of women’s tennis. With an unwavering passion for the sport, his coaching philosophy emphasises technique, mental strength, and hard work, fostering a new generation of tennis stars. His students, mentored under his expertise, have risen through the ranks of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and currently is coaching the rising star – Daria Kasatkina – who reached to the top 8 in the World WTA rankings last year.

From October 16th to 20th, 2023, Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa will transform into a tennis enthusiast’s haven as it welcomes acclaimed Coach Carlos Martinez Comet. With a track record of coaching some of the world’s greatest players, Coach Comet will lead an immersive tennis camp that promises to refine your game, perfect your strokes, and elevate your serve.

In collaboration with RTC Sport (Royal, Timeless & Challenging), Hideaway’s resident tennis pro and also the resort’s resident Sports Master, Ameen, will guide participants of all experience levels through a series of comprehensive tennis lessons. Whether you’re an absolute beginner or a competitive player, this five-day intensive course will cater to your individual needs.

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ROBINSON NOONU offers exciting sports, well-being events for guests



ROBINSON NOONU, the premium resort on the Maldivian island Orivaru, is offering guests the chance to experience innovative concepts and practice them with experienced coaches and experts. The resort’s upcoming event weeks include the HOT IRON Event Week, Mindful METIME Event-Week, “BODY POSITIVITY”-Event, and “Your timeout” Yoga-Event.

From October 16th to 21st, 2023, guests can participate in the HOT IRON Event Week “Strength meets mobility”, led by Sebastian Prahl. This strength-endurance training with the barbell is suitable for all levels and focuses on body toning and fat reduction.

From October 16th to 21st, 2023, guests can participate in the HOT IRON Event Week “Strength meets mobility”, led by Sebastian Prahl. This strength-endurance training with the barbell is suitable for all levels and focuses on body toning and fat reduction.

The Mindful METIME Event Week, led by Peter Praunsmändtl, takes place from November 7th to 19th, 2023. Guests can find their inner strength through meditations, breathing exercises, and workout classes, including Pilates and mobility sessions.

From December 22nd, 2023, to January 13th, 2024, guests can participate in the “BODY POSITIVITY” Event with Sava Assenov. This event includes core training, Pilates, and yoga flows, as well as early bird workouts and intensive whole-body workouts.

For those looking for a yoga-focused event, the “Your timeout” Yoga Event with Anja Bölitz takes place from January 13th to 27th, 2024. Bölitz, founder of emBODYMINDing®, focuses on healthy alignment for the body and mind, combining yoga and fascia training with meditation and mindfulness.

“Many of our guests come to our island not only to relax and enjoy the dreamlike scenery, but also to benefit their body and mind during their holiday,” said Jan-Hendrik Karliczek, General Manager of ROBINSON NOONU. “With our sport and well-being event weeks, we offer them the opportunity to get to know new innovative concepts and to practice them with experienced coaches and experts.”

In addition to the special event weeks, the resort offers a wide range of activities for all guests to enjoy, including volleyball, badminton, football, water polo, table tennis, billiards, snorkelling, diving, fishing, sailing, boat tours, and wakeboarding.

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Inaugural Kandooma Manta Week kicks off on World Manta Day 2023



Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives celebrates the annual World Manta Day (17 Sept) with the naming of a recently rescued Giant Oceanic Manta Ray, an award and a variety of guest activities for the resort’s inaugural Kandooma Manta Week. World Manta Day has been created to celebrate manta rays and to raise awareness of the threats that these beautiful, mysterious, ocean giants face.

Last month divers from Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives led by Japanese PADI-certified Dive Instructor Tomoyo, freed a Giant Oceanic Manta Ray tangled in ghost nets, at a site nearby to the island resort. The Manta Trust through its identification process has now confirmed the Manta is an adult male and is the 915th Oceanic Manta Ray to be spotted in Maldivian waters. As part of the identification process the Manta was named ‘Kandooma’ in honour of where it was seen and the dive team who freed it from tangled nets.

“We are delighted to have the Manta named after our natural island, Kandooma. When the Manta Trust shared confirmation of the name with us, I was absolutely thrilled,” said Mark Eletr, General Manager, Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives, who was one of the divers who freed the Manta.

As part of the Kandooma Manta Week activities at the resort, the team at Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives will host a naming ceremony for Kandooma the Manta and will honour the Dive Instructor, Tomoyo from the Kandooma Dive Centre for her bravery, seizing the opportunity to cut ‘Kandooma’ the Giant Oceanic Manta Ray free. Other activities for the week long celebration of Manta Rays includes special scuba dives and snorkelling excursions to observe these giants in their natural environment and learn about their behaviours, the threats to their survival and share the story of the freeing of ‘Kandooma’.

“Tomoyo showed no hesitation on the dive. First ensuring the group of accompanying divers were all safe before proceeding. Fortunately they were all experienced and each had enough air remaining for her to do this. In all it took about three and a half minutes to free Kandooma. I was so proud of her for the way she conducted herself and took positive action. I think also the other divers need to be acknowledged as well, they remained calm, kept their distance, didn’t interfere with what Tomoyo was doing and recorded the entire encounter,” added Mark.

The newly named Manta, ’Kandooma’, is estimated to be 4 metres in size. While confirmed origin of the fishing net is yet to be confirmed, it is understood it is not Maldivian and has drifted with the tide from another country, reinforcing the importance of education and responsible disposal of nets and fishing line.

The theme of World Manta Day 2023 is Tourism. Tourism plays a pivotal role in Manta Ray conservation, as it helps to raise awareness, generates funding for research, and contributes to efforts to protect Manta Ray habitats and prevents their exploitation.

Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma is on the doorstep to some of the Maldives Top Ten Dive Sites and the wellbeing of the ocean and all the life within it, is important to guests and hotel staff alike. The resort aligns its efforts with IHG’s purpose True Hospitality for Good, through their sustainability programme ‘Journey to Tomorrow’ which is the hotel group’s response to helping achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. 

Recent events with Kandooma the Manta have inspired the resort’s management to add two free Scuba Dives per day for certified divers staying at the resort for 3 nights or more.

Located in the South Male atoll just 40 mins from the airport by boat, Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives is a beautiful island paradise. White sandy beaches, swaying coconut palms and turquoise waters form the backdrop for various leisure pursuits and some of the best diving in the Maldives. Guests can choose from Garden and Beach Villas, two-storey Beach Houses and the popular Overwater Villas. Families are well catered for with a choice of 2- and 3-bed villas, the Kandoo Kids’ Club, and its complete activities programme. Six food and beverage outlets ensure healthy appetites are satisfied and the flavours of the Maldives are explored. For guests who desire the ultimate relaxation, sun loungers and hammocks are located around the island. The Kandooma Spa by COMO Shambhala offers the ultimate tranquility and escape for body and mind.

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