It was a nothing short of a sensational day at Kuda Huraa, Maldives today. Amazing surf, weather, and vibes. Plus Shane Dorian posted a near perfect heat total of 19.60 to beat Neco Padaratz in the final of the Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy Thruster Division including a 10 that seasoned onlookers said is one of the best waves ridden at Sultan’s.
Sultan’s turned on and the two traded barrels for what was without a doubt, the heat of the contest so far. Padaratz posted three excellent scores but was unable to escape the combination situation Dorian had put him in.
“The conditions were just magic,” said Dorian. “That Maldivian water clarity, the sun shining, and perfect off shore, when that first one came it was such a perfect shape but I thought it might run a little fast so I had to race straight away. Then I pulled in and it ended up going the perfect speed, it was a blast. The wave is so rippable and user friendly
“I’m really stoked to be here. It’s such a magical place, the Four Seasons Resort is top notch in every way, the staff, the service, the food it’s all amazing and the proximity of the resort to the waves is also incredible”
Padaratz was a clear stand out in and out of the water. At 38, his skills and competitive drive have certainly not left him. (Brazil, if you are reading, you should be very proud of this guy)
“Everything was so perfect for that heat,” Padaratz said. “The water and colours, especially the waves. I have surfed here before and knew you can get barrels at the end, but today it was going all the way through from start to finish, just awesome!”
“This event has been so amazing, it feels good to know I can still perform with these guys. Shane and I were just trading waves and laughing sitting out there”
Dorian now moves through to the Grand final of the Champions Trophy, where he will meet last year’s winner Dave Rastovich.
“Surfing against Rasta should be fun. He’s really cruisey and mellow and goes with the flow but as soon as a heat starts he’s all action, he’s actually a bit of a contest machine. It’s always such a good vibe in the water with Rasta so I can’t wait.”
The two met today in semi-final two where Dorian’s 17.90 got him through by 0.70 of a point as Rastovich was unable to find an 8.78 in the final minutes.
In another close semi-final, Harley Ingleby, needing a 7.50 took off on one of the last set waves of the heat, but it only offered one critical section and Ingleby had to settle for a 6.77 and an equal third place.
“I could see a good sized set and let the first one go,” said Ingleby. “I didn’t think there would be four waves in the set so took the third wave, but it only had one good section and then raced away. It was a super fun heat though; it’s been an incredible experience here, having really good heats, in really good waves, it’s been a dream come true trip.”
Brad Gerlach was unlucky to get knocked out in the opening round. Posting a 9.00 early in his heat, ‘Gerr’, although staying busy, was unable to find the eight point back up that he needed.
“The waves are super fun, it’s super shredable. I suppose that’s the most frustrating thing, I don’t get to go back out. Overall it’s been a fun week, it’s great to chat and hang with everyone, getting to surf these waves without anyone out, it’s been great”
With an amazing display of stylish rail surfing, 2004 WSL Women’s World Champion Sofía Mulánovich was not able to progress. She showed off her amazing ability off against the guys as the only female in the event.
“This was my first time competing against guys,” Mulánovich said. “It’s been such an amazing experience getting to surf against my idols, in these waves and in paradise, it’s an honour, I’m super happy to be here and I hope I can come back in the future.”
Tomorrow is the final day of the waiting period and means our two finalists, Shane Dorian and Dave ‘Rasta’ Rastovich will take to the water on their own choice of craft and a Champion will be crowned.
Shane Dorian (HAW) 2800
Dave Rastovich (AUS) 2700pts
Neco Padaratz (BRA) 2600pts
Harley Ingleby (AUS) 2300pts
Brad Gerlach (USA) 2200pts
Sofía Mulánovich (PER) 2100pts