The 2016 Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy line up is complete and it is one of the most star studded the unique event has seen. Pipe specialists Jamie O’Brien, former Championship Tour competitor and WSL deputy commissioner Travis Logie, 2015 event champion Shane Dorian will be joined by Taj Burrow, Bethany Hamilton, Rob Machado and local champion Hussain ‘Iboo’ Areef.
The event pits surfers against each other in three rounds on single fins, twin fins and thrusters before a grand final between the two highest placed surfers.
“This event looks incredible,” Burrow said. “The waves in the Maldives look so fun and the resort looks amazing – there was no way I could knock this one back. The crew surfing in it this year is unreal. I can’t wait to get over there with my girls.
“I’m so excited to have fun surfing with the boys in the Maldives’ pristine waves,” Hamilton said. “It’ll be fun and interesting competing on twin and single fin boards. I’m Looking forward to a cruise time with my family and enjoying our time in paradise.”
Considered one of the smoothest surfers of his generation, Californian Rob Machado has ago to be a title favourite this year.
“I’ve always been a massive fan of this event,” Machado said. “Having the three different board types in one event is a really cool concept – it just sounds like an amazing event in an amazing location.”
“I can’t wait to surf in the Champions Trophy with Shane and Travis,” O’Brien said. “This event looks like everyone is always enjoying themselves and that’s what life is about.”
Event coordinator, Mark Winson of Tropicsurf, predicts the most exciting year yet with this incredible and diverse line-up of competitors.
“There’s no guessing which way this will go, and that’s what makes it so exciting,” Winson said. “Spectators are in for an electrifying show of surfing skills.”
For the first time in the event’s history a local wildcard will also go head to head with the world’s best in the main event. Hussain ‘Iboo’ Areef is widely recognised as Maldives’ national surfing hero. The reigning Domestic Champions Trophy winner and successful Maldives Open campaigner will be a legitimate threat on the world stage of the Champions Trophy.
“I am honoured to have this opportunity to surf in the Four Seasons Champions Trophy this year”, Areef said. “I am so stoked to be able to surf with my heroes. Thank you Four Seasons for giving a Maldivian a chance to participate in this event. I’m really looking forward to it”
Equally as exciting is the announcement that the upcoming Maldives Open surfing event will be used as the selection competition to determine the highest placed local surfer for future Champion Trophy’s. Mark Winson of Tropicsurf sees this as one of the most thrilling evolutions of the Champions Trophy.
“There is so much surfing talent here in the Maldives and the Maldives Open is widely regarded as the highest level of domestic competition in the country, Winson said. “It’s the perfect opportunity for local surfers to earn unequalled bragging rights, a share of US$25k prize money, and the Champions Trophy. I’m sure that Iboo and surfers just like him will be real contenders in this event for years to come”
Maldives Open contest organiser and president of the MBBA Fuku Areef explains that;
“Local surfers are really excited to see one of our own go head to head with the world’s best. It’s a tremendous opportunity for Iboo on the world stage and we’re confident that he will do really well. Furthermore, to now have the Maldives Open as the qualification event for future Champions Trophy’s is a great opportunity for any Maldivian surfer to put themselves up against the likes of surfers like Shane Dorian or Taj Burrow. That’s such a great step forward for local surfers and the Champions Trophy concept”
The 2016 Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy will run from August 8-14.
For a piece of the action, book the ‘Group Surf & Stay’ package, available for a minimum booking of five rooms at Kuda Huraa, between 8-14 August, 2016, including:
All-inclusive 5 or 7 nights’ accommodation (full board)
Competition day passes aboard Four Seasons Explorer
5 or 7 days of intense surfing with Tropicsurf expert guides
For more information visit: fourseasons.com/maldives. 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. Call + 960 66 00 888 for enquiries and rates.