Veteran local surfer Ismail Miglal beat out C.J. Hobgood of the United States, a world champion surfer, in the Twin Fin division of Four Seasons Surfing Champions Trophy on Saturday to advance to the semi-finals.
Miglal came in second in the heat, beating out Hobgood to earn his slot in the semis while Taj Burrow of Australia came in first. C.J. Hobgood is a renowned US surfer who won the World Surf League (WSL) World Championship in 2001.
However, Miglal lost the Twin Fin semi to US surfer Rob Machado, who is the winner of the Single Fin division held Friday. Machado lost the Twin Fin final to defending champion Burrow.
Ismail Miglal is a local star in the field of surfing with a carrier spanning 25 years. He has participated in several international surfing championships and brought home great results, notably in the Covelong Point Classic Surf Contest 2014 in India and the Tioman Surfestival 2015 in Malaysia. He is also a coach at Raalhu Edhuru Surf School, which teaches surfing to young, promising athletes all across the Maldives through the "Raalhu Edhuru Raajje Tour".
This is Four Seasons' seventh Surfing Champions Trophy event with its traditional line-up of world champions. Four Seasons decided to extend the invitation to local surfers to show off their skills from 2016 onwards.
The Maldivian representative last year at the event was Ibrahim Areef, who had advanced to the semi-finals of the Thruster division. He lost the final to Taj Burrow, who won the championship.
The Thruster division of this year's event will be held Sunday. A final round will be held among the two surfers who accumulate the most points from all three divisions of Single Fin, Twin Fin and Thruster, and the ultimate winner will be awarded a cash prize of USD 25,000.
This year's Surfing Champions Trophy is organized in association with the World Surf League.