Luxury resort brand Soneva successfully completed the Noonu leg of its 'Soneva Surf Pro 2019' this week.
While Soneva held the annual competition in Baa Atoll earlier in October, the Noonu leg featured 35 participants between the ages of 10 and 26, hailing from Lhohi, Kudafari and Manadhoo. They challenged the waves across three divisions: Shortboard Under 18, Shortboard Over 18, and Bodyboard.
The Noonu atoll champions to take home titles were:
Shortboard Under 18 - Ahmed Shaheedh, 16, Lhohi
Shortboard Over 18 - Mohamed Shuhad, 20, Lhohi
Bodyboard - Hassan Nadheeh, 11, Lhohi
Soneva also awarded prizes for the most promising surfers:
Shortboard - Yoosuf Rahaau, 11, Kudafari
Bodyboard - Mohamed Saadhin, 13, Lhohi
The prizes included a 5-night stay on a luxury surf safari boat, brand new surfboards and bodyboards, a dinner for two at Soneva Jani, and surfing accessories such as fins, leashes, leg ropes and board wax.
Soneva also encouraged local women and girls, who are beginner surfers, to take part in Soneva Surf Pro. The resort's surf experience manager, Azhoora Ahmed, and competition judge Kuda Naanu provided them one-on-one guided surf lessons.
Soneva launched the Surf Pro competition in May 2018, as part of the Soneva Ocean Stewards (SOS) programme under the resort's ‘Soneva Namoona’ initiative. The competition aims to foster and nurture love for the ocean, help local surfers improve their skills, and introduce new surfers to the community.