Four Seasons Resort at Kuda Huraa kicked off its annual Surfing Champions Trophy late Tuesday with an impressive line-up of surfing legends.
With local star Ismail Miglal representing the Maldives, this year’s line-up includes defending champion Taj Burrow of Australia, Maya Gabeira of Brazil, CJ Hobgood of the United States, Ross Williams of Hawaii, and Rob Machado of the US.
Speaking to Mihaaru, Ismail Miglal, who has shone at several international championships, said that despite sufficient lack of preparation, the opportunity to show off his skills in the Surfing Champions Trophy is too good to pass up.
The Maldives’ representative last year was Ibrahim Areef, who rose all the way to the semi-finals in the Thruster division. He lost out to Taj Burrow who bagged the trophy.
The defending champion told Mihaaru that he has been looking forward to the championship this year after his win in 2016. Noting that his rivals in the contest are good friends of his, Burrow said he was ready for a strong competition.
The Chief Guest at the opening ceremony was Minister of Environment and Energy Thoriq Ibrahim. Also in attendance were State Environment Minister Abdul Shukoor Abdulla and the senior management of Four Seasons Kuda Huraa.
Environment Minister Thoriq declared that surfing has become a sport wildly popular among Maldivian youth within a short period of time. He expressed joy over the international opportunities opened for local surfers via the Champions Trophy.
Speaking at the ceremony, Four Seasons Kuda Huraa’s General Manager Randy Shimabuku noted that this year marks the seventh time for the resort to organise the event. Thanking the support of the government and sponsors, he said that Four Seasons always strives to make the championship bigger and better with each time.
Surfing Champions Trophy will be held through August 13. Organised in association with World Surfing League this year, the event features three divisions with Single Fin, Double Fin and Thruster. The winner of the championship will be awarded USD 25,000.