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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.


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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