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Two-time world champion Damien Hardman wins Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy 2012



Maldives Promotion House – Australian surfing legend and two-time world champion Damien ‘Dooma’ Hardman (Aus), 46, narrowly defeated three-time world champion Tom Curren (USA), 48, in the Grand Champions Final of the Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy 2012 today.

The invitational event saw five world champions, Hardman, Curren, Mark Occhilupo (Aus), Martin Potter (GB) and Rhil Rajzman (Brz) compete across three divisions to qualify for the Grand Champions Trophy.

It was a magical week in the Maldives for Hardman, winning both the Single and Twin Fin divisions to claim USD6000 before adding another UD$10,000 to his total prize tally of USD$16000.

“I can’t remember the last time I won sixteen grand,” said Hardman.

“It’s been a great week, for our ages we are all surfing on top of our game and Curren was amazing today,” said Hardman. “It was a serious contest out there, but at the same time I had a lot of fun.”

Hardman opened quickly in the final, locking in an 8.83, leaving Curren playing catch-up straight out of the gates. With two minutes remaining the door opened for Curren when Hardman lost priority, but the inconsistent conditions favored the ever-strategic Australian, who would eventually go on to claim the 2012 title. Curren, requiring a 7.5, made one last ditch effort but only managed a 6.5 on his final ride to be forced to settle for second,

“Opening up against Curren in a final where the winner gets ten grand and the waves are quite slow was great,” said Hardman. “You can’t get a better start than that so I think that was the one wave in the final that made the difference.”

Curren who finished with a heat total of 16:10 to Hardman’s 16:56 was happy with his performance and the USD6000 win.

“It was a close final and could have gone either way,” said Curren.

“We had some great exchanges and I knew I had to go on that last wave, as it was inconsistent, but it didn’t have the potential to get the score.  Sometimes it just goes that way,” added Curren.

Sultan’s Point turned on a flawless finals day for the Four Seasons Maldives Champions Trophy 2012 with crisp three- to five-foot (1.5 metres) reef-break waves pulsing through all day for the Thruster Division and the all-important Grand Champions Final.

Curren (USA) timed his run to perfection, coming from behind with subtlety, style and calculation to win the Thruster Division and secure a coveted Grand Champions Final berth. Curren was in command from the outset of the final over 2007 World Longboard champion Phil Rajzman (Brz). The American style master remained focused throughout the 30-minute matchup to leave Rajzman, 30, requiring an achievable 6.07 score on the siren.

“I’m very happy,” said Curren. “I like my board a lot and the waves are much better today. I knew Phil was going to be very hard to beat and it came down to that last set wave and he didn’t need much of a score, but it went my way.”

Semifinal one between archrivals and two of surfing most influential stars, Curren and Occhilupo, didn’t disappoint with its intensity. The lead exchanged constantly until Occhilpo looked secure, but Curren proved he could not be underestimated using a last second wave to take the win.

“That was a tough match-up with Occy,” said Curren. “There wasn’t that any waves in that heat and Occy got that really good one at the end. Then I got that pretty decent one behind it and that was enough.”

Despite losing in the opening round of the Thruster Division, Hardman’s earlier wins in the Single and Twin Fin divisions saw the goofy-footer accrue enough points to secure an all-important Grand Champions Final berth.

Minister of Defense and National Security Mohamed Nazim attended the awards ceremony and presented the surfers with their trophies.

Australian surfer/shaper Simon Anderson invented the Thruster design, which was met with skepticism initially, but after enhancements in 1981, he won the Bells Beach Classic and the Surfabout in Sydney, then later the Pipe Masters in Hawaii. Those victories brought the Thruster to everyone’s attention; from 1984 onward every world champion has used one.

Following the success of the second annual event Four Seasons and Tropicsurf have vowed to make the 2013 Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy even bigger and better next year.


Once-in-a-lifetime baby Humpback Whale encounter at Komandoo Maldives



In the tranquil waters surrounding the Maldives’ Komandoo Island Resort & Spa, a remarkable event unfolded recently, captivating the hearts of guests and locals alike. A baby humpback whale, measuring between 8 to 10 metres in length, graced the reefs with its majestic presence, creating a stir of excitement and awe among those fortunate enough to witness this extraordinary spectacle.

The enchanting encounter began on April 10th at 9:00 am, when the young whale was first spotted near Komandoo Water Villas. Dive Instructor Anna, from Prodivers on Komandoo, was one of the first responders to this unexpected visitation. “I saw the big baby humpback whale sleeping at a depth of 7-8m and took some video footage as proof before heading back to shore as quickly as I could to alert others about this incredible sight,” Anna shared, reflecting on the initial moments of this once-in-a-lifetime event.

The news spread like wildfire across the island, with guests at the pool deck and from neighboring properties such as Kuredu, Hurawalhi, and Kudadoo joining in on the excitement. “It was a very joyful event for everyone. People were star-struck and some, myself included, even cried,” Anna recounted, underscoring the emotional impact of witnessing such a rare phenomenon up close. Tina, Kuredu Prodivers Dive Centre Manager, recounted the thrill of unexpectedly encountering the whale during her dive expeditions, “When I ascended from my dive in Aquarium, the Captain screamed at me that there is a humpback whale on Komandoo house reef – I couldn’t believe it!”

Efforts were quickly mobilised to ensure the well-being of the young whale. Komandoo’s General Manager at the time, Navaz, coordinated logistics to provide a speedboat for monitoring the whale’s movements, ensuring that guests and staff could observe from a respectful distance. “Everyone behaved very respectfully. In the water, it was not just guests; even the captain from Aisha Boat, Captain Ahmed, jumped in and snorkelled with the whale too,” Anna added, emphasising the community spirit that surrounded this natural marvel.

The whale’s journey continued to captivate throughout the following days, with sightings near Komandoo’s front jetty, and subsequently outside Hinnavaru’s and Kudadoo’s house reefs. Marlene, from Prodivers Office Team, shared her unforgettable experience, “When I think about my time with the whale, I still get goosebumps. Seeing the humpback was pure joy.”

Marine biologists were consulted to assess the whale’s condition and behavior. They confirmed that the whale appeared healthy and uninjured. “The information we got was that baby whales can get lost from time to time, and if they do, they seek shelter in shallower areas and wait for their family to pick them up again,” Anna explained, offering insights into the whale’s behavior and reassuring observers of its well-being.

For those who cherish wildlife encounters and the magic of the ocean, Komandoo’s recent visitor has left an indelible mark. As the young humpback continues its journey, the memory of this special encounter remains a testament to the wonders that await in the pristine waters of the Maldives. Whether from the shores of Komandoo or neighbouring islands, guests and locals alike were united in marvelling at nature’s beauty, reminding us all of the importance of preserving and cherishing our marine ecosystems.

For travellers seeking unforgettable experiences amidst breathtaking natural beauty, Komandoo and its surrounding islands continue to offer glimpses into the wonders of the ocean that are truly beyond compare.

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Earth, space camp adventures at COMO Maalifushi, COMO Cocoa Island this Summer



This summer, COMO Hotels and Resorts’ two Maldives properties are offering a unique and exciting line-up of activities designed to inspire and educate all ages. From an exhilarating Space Camp with astronaut-led adventures, to an immersive Earth Camp exploring the natural wonders at COMO Maalifushi, and the exploring the captivating universe under the ocean at COMO Cocoa Island.

Island Astronauts Return To Maldives: Space Camp at COMO Maalifushi

Join us for an unforgettable galactic quest from August 5th to 14th, 2024, at COMO Maalifushi, led by American astronaut Nicole Stott and space advisor Christina Korp. Inspiring for both children and adults, this Space Camp offers a unique blend of adventure and education through art, food, and movement.

Our immersive Space Camp features a fun-filled itinerary of complimentary space-themed island activities for ages up to, ensuring every moment is packed with excitement and learning. All camp activities are complimentary for children aged four to 16.

  • Postcards to Space: Participate in Nicole Stott’s “Postcards to Space” project by creating postcards with artwork and messages about your hopes and dreams. These postcards will be sent to space and returned to you with a “flown in space” stamp.
  • Spacesuit Art: Contribute to “Quilted,” a collaborative art project with children from around the world by adding your unique touch to a spacesuit.
  • Blast Off: Build your own rocket from recycled materials and launch it high into the sky for a thrilling blast off!
  • Protect Our Planet: Discover the impact of human activity on our planet from a space perspective, followed by a beach clean-up on a neighbouring island.
  • Galactic Gastronomy: Enjoy a stellar dinner under the stars, hosted by Nicole Stott. Hear about her adventures aboard the International Space Station while savouring a specially crafted menu.

Island Warriors: Earth Camp at COMO Maalifushi

From July to August 2024, younger guests can join us for a journey through the wonders of the natural world, on land and under the sea. Enjoy educational activities exploring everything from marine biology to traditional crafts, fun-filled fitness workshops, treasure hunts on our castaway island, and more.

Take advantage of our exclusive Family Getaway Offer when you book a stay of five nights or more for Space and Earth Camp. Adults will receive daily half board and complimentary full-board and seaplane transfers for two children (under the age of 12).

Universe Under The Ocean: COMO Cocoa Island

From August 16th to 17th, 2024, dive into the depths of the ocean with NASA astronaut and aquanaut Nicole Stott at COMO Cocoa Island. Experience the ocean through a guided reef dive, learn about the rigorous training astronauts undergo, and enjoy a specially curated menu shared beneath the stars.

Join us for these extraordinary experiences and let your imagination soar beyond the stars!

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Patina Maldives invites guests to embark on journey of artistry with Clay Studio partnership



Patina Maldives, renowned for its seamless blend of luxury, nature and artistic expression, has announced an exclusive collaboration with Clay Studio, the premier ceramics hub in the Maldives. The unique partnership brings a series of engaging and creative pottery experiences to guests of all ages, offering an enriching addition to their island stay.

Starting on 1 June, Patina Maldives invites guests to embark on a creative with Clay Studio, where they can explore the therapeutic and artistic world of ceramics. This collaboration offers a variety of immersive pottery classes that cater to both novice and experienced artisans.

Wheel Throwing Experience Taster Class

Guests can discover the soothing rhythm of shaping and molding clay in this engaging session. Perfect for unwinding and tapping into their artistic side, this class offers a hands-on introduction to the art of wheel throwing.

Hand Building Experience Taster Class

Participants will enjoy the intimate and expressive art of hand-building pottery. This class provides greater creative freedom, allowing them to craft intricate, personal designs that reflect their unique artistic vision.

Paint A Pot

Guests can unleash their creativity by transforming pre-made clay items into unique masterpieces. This session invites participants to paint their imagination onto cups, trinket dishes, and more.

Kids Clay Studio

Designed for young artists, this class nurtures creativity and imagination through fun, hands-on activities. Children develop fine motor skills and sensory awareness as they create their own unique pieces.

Couple Wheel Throwing Date

Couples can experience a romantic and unique activity in a private setting. This special session offers personalised instruction, making it memorable and intimate experience.

Guests can also enjoy personalised attention and exclusive guidance through private sessions. Ideal for families or couples seeking a bespoke experience, private classes are tailored to meet individual interest and skill levels.

Patina Maldives honours itself on offering extraordinary experiences that blend art, nature, community and connection. This collaboration with Clay Studio is a testament to the resort’s commitment to providing guests with sophisticated and fresh experiences that reveal new layers of possibility and inspiration.

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