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Young surfers trade wave for wave at Soneva’s 2nd Surf Pro in Baa

Fathmath Shaahunaz
06 October 2019, MVT 08:35
A surfer at the 3rd Soneva Surf Pro Competition, hosted in Baa Atoll this year. PHOTO: HAWWA AMAANY ABDULLA / THE EDITION
Fathmath Shaahunaz
06 October 2019, MVT 08:35

Luxury resort brand Soneva hosted the second installment of the Soneva Surf Pro Competition in Baa Atoll on Saturday.

The competition took place at ‘Dhorukandu’ surf break, south of Soneva, facing Goidhoo in administrative Baa Atoll.

Over 40 surfers, between the ages of 12 and 29, from across the atoll conquered waves in three divisions: Shortboard Under 18, Shortboard Over 18, and Bodyboard.

The winners to take home titles this year were:

Shortboard Under 18 - Hassan Mahir, Goidhoo

Shortboard Over 18 - Ahmed Zain, Goidhoo

Bodyboard - Mohamed Nabeel, Maalhos

Of the champions, Zain was also the Under 18 champion last year.

Soneva team and surfers at the 3rd Soneva Surf Pro Competition, hosted in Baa Atoll this year. PHOTO: HAWWA AMAANY ABDULLA / THE EDITION

Soneva further awarded prizes for the most promising surfers:

Shortboard - Liyan Mohamed, Fulhadhoo

Bodyboard - Mohamed Nabeel, Maalhos

The judging panel comprised of three-time national surf champion Ismail Miglal (Kuda Issey) and renowned bodyboarder Mushan Adnan (Kuda Naanu).

“This is a wonderful contest organised by Soneva for this Atoll. I want to see more of such competitions in the future, as there are many talented children in Baa”, said Kuda Issey.

The judges hailed the young surfers’ skills and encouraged them to take part in the upcoming National Surfing Champion, slated for November this year.

Mohamed Nizam, the principal of Baa Goidhoo School, also praised Soneva for the initiative.

“Half the participants here are from Goidhoo”, he said with pride.

Surfers at the 3rd Soneva Surf Pro Competition, hosted in Baa Atoll this year. PHOTO: HAWWA AMAANY ABDULLA / THE EDITION

“Different students have different talents, and so I’m very grateful [to Soneva] for the efforts to develop and hone skills [like surfing]".

The sentiment was echoed by Zayan Nazim, 17, of Goidhoo island.

“This is my first time participating in the competition and I made it to the semi-finals of Shortboard. I’m ecstatic!” he said. “Thank you, Soneva, for hosting this competition.”

Moreover, Soneva invited three girls from Goidhoo School, noted for their surfing talents, to observe the competition.

“We didn’t get any takers for the Women’s Division this year. So with this exposure session, we’re hoping to increase female participation and inspire more girls to take up this sport and compete”, said Azhoora Ahmed, Surf Experience Manager at Soneva Resorts.

Soneva team and surfers at the 3rd Soneva Surf Pro Competition, hosted in Baa Atoll this year. PHOTO: HAWWA AMAANY ABDULLA / THE EDITION

Soneva launched the Surf Pro competition in May 2018, as part of the Soneva Ocean Stewards (SOS) programme, which aims to inspire more Maldivians to interact, enjoy and protect the ocean. Under the programme, Soneva holds programmes such as Learn to Swim, swimming competitions, and water sports festivals in addition to Soneva Surf Pro.

The competition is borne from Soneva’s sustainable surf programme, a world-first that is dubbed as such for its sole use of environment-friendly surfboards, leashes, fins, rash guards, sunscreen and board wax.

The first competition was held in Goidhoo in September 2018, followed by the next segment at Bodu Olhu surf break off Lhohi Island, Noonu Atoll in October that year. The company revealed plans to hold the next Soneva Surf Pro in November at Soneva Jani, Noonu Atoll, with hopes to implement the programme at all Soneva properties.

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