Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy names three competitors
The Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy 2017 – in its seventh year running – is set to return to the island paradise of Kuda Huraa from August 7 to 13, with the confirmation of some of the top competitors. The ‘world’s most luxurious surfing event’ has gone from strength to strength, attracting some of the biggest names in the sport and 2017 is no exception with three of the six competitors already being confirmed.
2001 World Surf League champion CJ Hobgood (USA) and inspirational big wave charger Maya Gabeira (Brazil) will be joining last year’s champion and 18-year Championship Tour (CT) veteran Taj Burrow (Australia) this year, according to a statement by Four Seasons Resorts Maldives.
A World Surf League Championship Tour stalwart for over a decade, Floridian CJ Hobgood is one of the most recognised names in recent surfing history. The stylish goofy-footer is best known for his grace under pressure in big, hollow, waves of consequence but it is his explosive and technical agility in small waves that attributed to his success in competition at the highest level.
Brazilian dynamo Maya Gabeira is one of the world’s most renowned big wave surfers. The fearless goofy-foot has gained global notoriety for her performances at big wave spots like Dungeons in South Africa and Nazaré in Portugal as a standalone female on some of the surfing’s most terrifying days. It will be a less intense experience in the warm blue waters of the Maldives when Gabeira debuts at the Champions Trophy, says Four Seasons Resorts Maldives.
Earning a return trip in 2017 is one of surfing’s most iconic personalities in Taj Burrow. Having overcome the field in 2016 and living the Four Seasons Maldives Kuda Hurra experience once before, high-performance machine Burrow is understandably excited to get back to paradise.
“I had an amazing time last year,” says Burrow. “I just can’t wait to get back, the waves are so fun and the Four Seasons experience is incredible. It’s hard to match. Rebecca (Burrow’s partner) and I are so excited, it will be so much fun to get back and do it all again.”
Event director Mark Winson of Tropicsurf is excited to see what these two fresh goofy-foots will bring to the table against the returner, Burrow. He says: “Once again, it’s exciting to watch the line-up unfold.”
“First we have Burrow, an aerial innovator and unflappable tube rider; then you add an ‘all conditions’ pro like Hobgood and a fearless ‘big wave’ rider like Gabeira. It’s anyone’s game. It’s the different competition categories and diverse surfing styles that make this contest so exciting to watch – and so unpredictable to call,” he adds.
Unique in many ways, the Champions Trophy determines a surfers heat time based on their age and tests skill across three different divisions: single-fin, twin-fin, and triple-fin thruster. Places are granted by invitation-only to just six prominent professional surfers in a battle for inner-circle kudos and the US$25,000 prize winnings.
The Surfing Champions Trophy is hosted onboard Four Seasons Explorer – the Maldives’ ultimate surf vessel. Fans can get up close to the action with onboard VIP passes, while the ‘surf tour’ experience continues with shoulder-rubbing events back at Four Seasons Kuda Huraa, which plays host to the contest’s competitors, judges and Tropicsurf partners.