Ismail Rasheed (Smiley), on Friday, was crowned champion of Maldives Surfing Association (MSA)'s 'The Trials 2019', at esteemed wavebreak 'Raalhugandu' in capital city Male'.
'The Trials' became the second competition the national governing has hosted in 2019.
During the final heat of the competition, the native of Gadhdhoo, Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, beat the highly decorated champion Hussain Areef (Iboo), Ahmed Agil (Ammaday) and Hassan Nasih (Chika).
In an interview with local media Mihaaru, Ismail stated that "While it is very special to win against Iboo, he is still number one", adding that "however, I want to defend the title now that I am here."
Having started surfing at the age of 13, The Trails is both the second instance of Rasheed competing and the first time he tasted victory. In his first competition, Rasheed placed on the podium with third place.
Further, Rasheed expressed his appreciation for the immense support he received from friends and family, and for being able to become an example for the youth of his island in the field of surfing.
Employed as a surf guide in Adaaran Select Hudharanfushi, he said that he plans to "compete in any competitions possible".
MSA will prepare the seeded finalists, Areef, Agil, Nasih and Rasheed to participate in the International Surfing Association (ISA)'s World Surfing Games, slated for the September in Japan.
The 26-year-old Rasheed hopes to show a great performance at the upcoming games.
The competition featured a single discipline of surfing, the shortboard category.
The event marks the second competition held by the organization since a new executive board of directors was elected.
In May, MSA hosted the 'Raalhu Season Opening' competition at Raalhugandu. It followed an approximate 5-year hiatus of contests by the association, and involved bodyboarding in its categories.
Prior to the season-opening, MSA organized judging courses for the divisions of bodyboarding and shortboard. These newly trained judges were part of the judging team for the competition.