Rob Machado, Ross Williams and Ismail Miglal complete the championship line-up
The countdown to the world’s most luxurious surfing event, Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy, continues with the announcement of three further competitors: Rob Machado (USA), Ross Williams (HAW) and local star Ismail Miglal (MV) join already-confirmed CJ Hobgood (USA), Maya Gabeira (BRA) and defending champion Taj Burrow (AUS).
Event coordinator Mark Winson of Tropicsurf comments, “The line-up is looking epic. A World Tour veteran, Williams brings with him a wealth of performance experience. And, fresh from retirement, Machado’s free surfer style and twin fin skills will give him a sure-fire edge in the competition’s twin-fin division. But no one knows the locality like three-time Maldivian National Champion Miglal. Everyone in the line-up has a different area of expertise, just what’s needed for our multiple-division contest.”
Australia-born Rob grew up in Cardiff, California and began hitting the waves aged nine. In 1993 he was named WCT Rookie of the Year, rising to a world ranking of #5 the following year. His 1995 championship-deciding semi final against Kelly Slater at the Pipeline Masters has been coined the most exciting match in pro surfing history; Rob finished the season ranked #2, a career best. With 12 World Tour Wins under his belt and inducted into the Surfing Walk of Fame at Huntington Beach in 2011, Rob is considered the smoothest surfer of his generation.
Ohio-born Williams took up surfing soon after moving to Hawaii with his family aged six. Less than a decade later he won the boys’ division of the 1988 United States Surfing Championships before embarking on a nine-year world circuit career that saw him acclaimed as one of the sport’s best all-rounders. As smooth and strong in waves from 2 to 20-foot (1-6 metres), the powerful, easygoing regular footer also enjoyed plenty of screen time in numerous productions of surf video king Taylor Steele, including Momentum (1992), Loose Change (1999), and Hit and Run(2000).
Three-time national champion, “Kuda Issey” is one of the Maldives’ most popular surfers. His 25-year surfing career has included a wealth of international competitions, including the victory at India’s Covelong Point Classic 2014 and Malaysia’s Tioman Surf Festival 2015. Every passionate about his home waves, he achieved a lifelong dream in 2015 when he founded Raalhu Edhuru: a Male-based Surf School on a mission to extend the sport’s reach around the Maldives through community-based sponsorship programs for young surfers in non-central atolls.
Commenting on his place at this year’s SCT, Kuda Issey said, “It is an honour and a privilege to surf our local waves with this line up of legends. Thank you for the opportunity.”
About Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy
Unique in many ways, Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy determines a surfer’s 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 champions in a battle for inner-circle kudos and the USD 25,000 prize winnings.
The Surfing Champions Trophy is hosted on board 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 Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa, which plays host to the contest’s competitors, judges and Tropicsurf partners (the pros behind the Resort’s surf operation).
Experience the surf tour lifestyle with the Surf, Spa & Save package: Save 15% on room rates, benefit from a host of added extras and rub shoulders with surfing legends. Join in on all the action at “the world’s most luxurious surf event,” Four Seasons Maldives 7th Annual Surfing Champions Trophy from August 7 to 13, 2017.
Included in this package:
- 15 percent savings on published room rate
- One 60-minute spa treatment
- Day passes to view the competition from Four Seasons Explorer (individual tickets to single, double, triple fin and Grand Finale)
- VIP tour cocktails – nightly cocktail hour with the six Surfing Champions contestants throughout the week of the competition
- Minimum stay of four nights, with package inclusions are based on a four-night stay.