Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy unveils full line-up for August 7-13 event

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.”

Rob Machado

Rob Machado, Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy,

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.

Ross Williams

Ross Williams, Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy,

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).

Ismail Miglal

Ismail Miglal, Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy,

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.

K is for kids, H is for Haven: Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa offers “Grown Up” experiences in child-friendly sizes

Known affectionately as “KH,” Kuda Huraa may as well stand for “Kids Haven” for the quality and extent of activities geared towards younger guests at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa.

“There’s still a preconception that the Maldives isn’t great for children,” explains General Manager Randy Shimabuku. “But when you combine Kuda Huraa’s engaging activities, intimate size, accessible layout and effervescent service culture, nothing could be further from the truth.”

Kuda Huraa kids can visit the island’s cutest residents in the Resort’s turtle pools – where hatchlings from protected nests are hand-reared to increase their chance of survival in the wild – or learn about the vulnerable marine ecosystem with 3D movies in the Marine Discovery Centre. Little dudes as young as six can then swap the classroom for the ocean with year-round lagoon courses with the Resort’s Tropicsurf Surf School. Advanced courses and surf clinics are available for older children, or those with more experience.

Scuba programs are available for oceanic adventurers as young as eight – and thanks to special permission from PADI, the Resort is one of only a handful in the world where children can learn to dive directly among the fish in the shallow lagoon, as opposed to in the swimming pool.

Intrepid marine explorers will also love the Resort’s shark snorkel safaris, dolphin cruises, sunset fishing and Robinson Crusoe escapes; while adventure and sports lovers will relish soaring above the ocean on X-Jetblades or trying their hand at wake-boarding, tennis, parasailing and banana-boating.

After an action-packed day, wellness aficionados as young as 6 can catch a tiny dhoni (traditional Maldivian boat) to The Island Spa for marine-inspired spa treatments packed with oceanic wonders. Discover miracle shells, nourishing seaweeds, wobbly waterbed massages and yoga on land and at sea.

Children aged 4-12 seeking a more structured approach to their day will find all the entertainment they desire courtesy of Montessori-trained Kids’ Club Manager Lisa Rowland, whose daily program of complimentary activities includes crafts and cookery, spa sessions and scavenger hunts, beach games and garden fun. Under-4s are welcome when accompanied by an adult guardian or Resort babysitter.

In addition, a host of standard child-friendly extras await every child: goody bags; personalised treats and toiletries; child-size robes and slippers; complimentary meals for under-5s; and subsidised, tailored menus for 4-12 year-olds in all the restaurants. The Resort’s chefs happily cater to picky palates and will even accommodate early sittings for hungry little tummies.

Kids’ Club also organises extensive 2-week vacation programs during busy periods such as Christmas and Easter. During this time, the daily-changing schedule is supplemented by seasonal activities and entertainment from egg hunts to parties with Santa, as well as evening events including movie nights, theme nights, karaoke, treasure hunts, discos and s’mores under the stars. There is also a Kids’ Buffet Lunch in Cafe Huraa during the Easter and Festive holidays (USD 15 per child; complimentary for under 5 yrs).

“We base our kids’ activities on the understanding that if the kids are having fun, the parents are too,” concludes Randy. “And the best way to do that is to treat them like the ‘little grown ups’ they believe themselves to be. It also helps that Kuda Huraa is a small enough island for kids to feel right at home, yet big enough for those wanting peace and privacy to seek those all-important kiddie-free moments. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Burrow returns to defend at 7th Annual Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy

Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy takes place August 7 to 13, 2017

The 2017 Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy has got off to a flying start with Australian aerial innovator Taj Burrow confirming his return to defend his title at the seventh annual event.

Hailing from Western Australia, Taj lit up last year’s competition with his dynamic surfing and cheerful demeanour. Following a win in the thruster division, he took the title by pipping one of his childhood heroes – big wave legend Shane Dorian – to the post during a Grand Final head-to-head, an experience that he described as “like a dream come true.”

An unflappable tuberider, Burrow was the 1998 WCT Rookie of the Year. His rapid ascent up the standings saw him ranked world number #2 in 1999, a position he achieved again in 2007. Between 1999 and 2013 he secured 12 World titles as well as a number of records, including becoming the youngest surfer to ever win a national title.

Having only just retired from the elite WSL Championship Tour (CT) prior to last year’s contest, Burrow was always going to be tough to beat. Can anyone rise to the challenge this year?

Commenting on his return, Burrow said: “My partner Bec and I are stoked to be returning to Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa. The event is so chilled on the island but so competitive on the waves – it’s the perfect combination. I can’t wait to hear who I’m up against.”

The Surfing Champions Trophy determines heat times based on age and tests skill across three divisions: single-fin, twin-fin, and thruster.  Places are by invitation-only to six world champions in a battle for inner-circle kudos and a USD 25,000 prize pot.

Four Seasons Explorer, Five star luxury yacht / cruise, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa
Four Seasons Explorer

Also returning to the event is Four Seasons Explorer – the Maldives’ ultimate surf vessel. Following a full interior refurbishment, the 39 metre / 128 foot catamaran will proudly be showcasing sleek new finishes and stylish soft furnishings across all three decks while hosting the contest.

Fans can get up close to all of the action with onboard VIP passes, then continue the “surf tour” experience with shoulder-rubbing events back at Four Seasons Resort Kuda Huraa – the homeport for the event’s competitors, judges and Tropicsurf partners.

And with Kuda Huraa recently unveiling its new all-villa water accommodations, Surfing Champions Trophy guests will have the opportunity to experience the country’s ultimate lagoon sanctuaries during their stay, with features ranging from water’s edge living and dining pavilions to freestanding tubs and overwater nets, and pools directly accessible from the bedroom.

Event Co-ordinator Mark Winson of Tropicsurf comments, “It’s great to be celebrating the Surfing Champions Trophy’s seventh year. Once again we’ll be utilising the amazing Four Seasons Explorer yacht for the event itself, but it’s Kuda Huraa’s brand new water villas that are getting everyone excited. Oh, and the surfing that is. If the current interest level is anything to go by, we are going to have another world class field to challenge Taj for the title. Watch this space!”

Limited day passes will be available at a fee for non-package guests and members of the public wishing to view the event from Four Seasons Explorer.  Call + 960 66 00 888 for enquiries and rates.

Four Seasons Resort Maldives At Kuda Huraa Announces Launch of Game-Changing Water Villas

Embrace an evolution in over-water living

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa unveils its brand new all-villa water accommodations – the country’s ultimate lagoon sanctuaries – in December 2016.

Completely renovated, refurbished and extended throughout, each vast oceanic haven has its own private 24 square metre (260 square foot) infinity pool, accessible through sliding glass doors from a brand new day bed alcove in the master bedroom.

New Water Villas, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa
Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa

But that’s not all. At the furthermost end of each villa’s vastly extended wooden sun deck – past the loungers and huge over-water sunbathing net – an open-air pavilion takes the notion of overwater living to the very edge with a shaded sofa area, dining table for four, over-lagoon hammocks and steps into the warm crystal lagoon dotted with fish and corals.

Available with one, two or three bedrooms, each ocean-top retreat is spaced widely for privacy along wither the sunset or sunrise side of Kuda Huraa’s long water villa jetty.

New Water Villas, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa
Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa

In addition to the daybed alcove and air-conditioned lounge area, internal highlights include a naturally lit walk-through wardrobe corridor and a huge marble bathroom complete with separate shower cubicle and freestanding ocean-view tub.

Contemporary interiors are inspired by the vibrant garden-fresh colours of Kuda Huraa and complemented by cool timber flooring. A handmade Maldivian thatch roof and distinctive architectural detailing draw on the traditions of generations of local craftsmen to complement the Resort’s sense of place. And upgraded in-room technology includes IPTV, full stereo system and 55-inch screen and espresso machine.

New Water Villas, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa
Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa

“We feel really proud to be putting Kuda Huraa on the map again with these exceptional over-water accommodations,” commented the Resort’s General Manager Randy Shimabuku. “We know guests will love the extra space and innovative touches but when combined with our wonderful surf and dive options, new Island Spa sea sanctuary and baby turtle-rearing pools, we hope to be able to immerse them in the deepest possible marine-inspired experience that the Maldives has to offer.”

To be one of the first to experience Kuda Huraa’s new Water Villas contact the central reservations department of Four Seasons Resorts Maldives at tel: (960) 66 00 888, email: [email protected] or book online.

New Water Villas, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa
Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa hosts Surfing Champions Trophy from August 8 to 14, 2016

As surf season gets underway in the Maldives, so too does the build up to the country’s hottest invitational: Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy. And kicking off 2016’s illustrious line-up, big wave legend Shane Dorian has confirmed his return to defend last year’s title.

Unique in many ways, the 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 world champions in a battle for inner-circle kudos and the USD 25,000 prize winnings.

Hawaiian big-wave slayer Dorian secured the 2015 title in a nail-biting Grand Final against defending champion Dave Rastovich (AUS). En route to the final, he achieved the Champions Trophy’s highest single wave score – a 10, the first in the competition’s history – and the highest heat total: 19.60 (out of a possible 20).

A recent finalist at the Quicksilver Eddie Invitational and The Jaws Big Wave World Event, Dorian is already turning his attention to the August event, commenting, “Lisa and I can’t wait to return to the Maldives to enjoy the chilled out vibe of the Champions Trophy. It’s such a unique concept with fun waves and great company and definitely one of the highlights of our year.”

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 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).

Event Coordinator Mark Winson of Tropicsurf comments, “It’s crazy to think how prominent the Surfing Champions Trophy has become in just six years. It’s a one-of-a-kind event where the camaraderie off the waves makes for an even more magical competition on them.”

It won’t be long before the remaining five world champions are announced, and if previous years are anything to go by, fans can expect powerhouse names and some interesting twists.

For a piece of the action, book the Group Surf & Stay package, available for a minimum booking of five rooms at Kuda Huraa between August 8 and 14, 2016, including:

  • All-inclusive 5 or 7 nights accommodation (full board)
  • Competition day passes aboard Four Seasons Explorer
  • 5 or 7 days of intense surfing with Tropicsurf’s expert guides
  • Return transfers

Limited day passes will be available (at a fee) for non-package guests and members of the public wishing to view the event from Four Seasons Explorer.  Call + 960 66 00 888 for enquiries and rates.

Delve Deeper Into The Healing Benefits Of The Ocean With New Healing Waters Spa Menu At Four Seasons Resort Maldives At Kuda Huraa

“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me), it’s always our self we find in the sea.” – EE Cummings

The Island Spa at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa is launching a new Healing Waters spa menu: an innovative three-tier concept that helps guests restore their primal connection to the sea and reconnect with the essence of their true self.

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa
Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa

Pioneering marine-based OSEA therapies and rituals draw on the healing properties of the ocean – from sea oxygen and sea salt to wild-harvested seaweed and nutrient-rich sea algae – via three “depths” of treatment experience to refresh, rebalance and rejuvenate:

  • Deep: incredibly effective treatments designed to have deep therapeutic impact in the minimum amount of time to take guests closer to themselves.
  • Deeper: exploratory experiences that draw on the essence of the ocean to restore a sense of harmony, ease and deeper reconnection to one’s true self.
  • Deepest: immersive journeys to support physical, mental and emotional wellbeing at the deepest level, leaving one’s entire being riding on the crest of a wave.

The star of the show, seaweed, is featured as seven different organic types (including gigartina, undaria and macrocystis) in powder, whole leaf and extract form, all hand-harvested from the most pristine waters on the planet. Treatments also use mineral-rich, sustainably harvested sea grass from the Resort’s own lagoon.

“The health benefits of spending time near and in the sea have been known for millennia,” explains Spa Manager Sanju Udhadhyay. “Seawater contains the same percentage of salt as human blood, sweat and tears and the same 66 trace elements, vitamins and minerals as the human body. Seaweed absorbs all these hydrating, softening, toning, slimming and anti-ageing properties, which can then be absorbed by the skin with wonderful results.”

The New Island Spa Healing Waters Menu

Located on its own private island, The Island Spa is a sanctuary unto itself, offering unique massages, therapies, wraps, bathing, rituals, Night Spa, yoga and meditation.

Island Spa rituals, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa
Island Spa rituals, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa

The ocean-inspired theme runs throughout: from Tides of Time – Return to Youthfulness facial to Surfer – Return to Balance massage, and Sea of Life – Return to Peace ritual, as well SUP Yoga.

Island Spa rituals, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa
Island Spa rituals, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa

Guests can also embark on transformative 5-day spa journeys: Marine Detox – Return to Firmness, Siren Song – Return to Loveliness, and Find Your Flow- Return to Source. Standout treatments in the “Deepest” category include:

  • Kuda Huraa Healing Waters – Return to Tranquility – 60/90 minutes – Performed lying face up on cushions of warm water, this pioneering full body therapy will lull guests into a complete state of tranquility and leave one’s spirit floating.
  • The Big Blue – Return to Wellbeing – 150 minutes – A super-hydrating ritual to counter the drying effects of sun and sand, via a sea lavender salt bath, cocooning gigartina and aloe body wrap, extra-long wild algae massage and gigartina face compress.
  • Night Spa Ritual Secrets of the Sea Return to Self 150 minutes – A soul-soothing experience on a private beach beneath a blanket of stars.  Designed to stop the storm of stress and self doubt and help attune to inner stillness, it focuses on the vagus nerve – the master of memory-making and relaxation – and includes a Gigartina Beauty Bath, Bach flower essence wrap, Kuda Huraa Healing Waters Massage and Vagus Face Treatment.

Yoga Master Kat Harding launches SUP yoga at Four Seasons Kuda Huraa

The yogis at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa will be enjoying a few lessons themselves this summer. Kat Harding – Australia’s first qualified Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) yoga instructor – is coming island-side to train Kuda Huraa’s mat masters in the art of paddleboard-based poses. Kat will also be available for exclusive guest sessions from August 3 to 9, 2015, the week of the annual Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy: a WSL specialty event between six world champion surfers. Doyenne of SUP yoga and all-round yoga guru, Kat Harding is set to unite – and elevate – Kuda Huraa’s surf and Spa offering, expanding the opportunity for guests to strengthen their connection, both within their core and with the ocean.

“SUP Yoga is an amazing experience where you are able to synchronise the movements of your body with the ocean,” explains Kat. “Its appeal is in its natural rawness, floating gracefully and using your own strength to balance as you move and flow with the water underneath you.”

Kat Harding, SUP Yoga, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa
SUP Yoga, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa

While yoga’s origins date back thousands of years – and is practised to unite mind, body and spirit through breath – SUP Yoga is a relatively new hybrid, uniting yoga traditions with surfing and wellbeing through the paddleboard. It’s a discipline that engages the whole body, building strength, flexibility and focus while imparting an incredible sense of joy and freedom.

Kat hails from Noosa, Australia – home of Kuda Huraa’s surf partners, Tropicsurf – continuing the surf pedigree and easy laid-back vibe that the Resort has become synonymous with. Kat’s own yoga journey began as a teen with a Christmas gift of a yoga DVD. Her love of movement flourished, inspiring her to travel and experiment with various yoga disciplines; train as a yoga teacher with Laxmi Yoga (Sally Parkes) in London and Spain; and go on to qualify as Australia’s first SUP yoga instructor. Trained in vinyasa, hatha, dynamic, yin and prana flow yoga, she combines her passions for yoga, surfing, healthy living and nature on the paddleboard. She’s also an ebook co-author, blogger, Fire and Shine luminary, Wanderlust Festival presenter and hosts Australia’s only luxury SUP yoga retreats.

Kat Harding, SUP Yoga, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa
SUP Yoga, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa

“It’s a real honour to have Kat on board to help us launch SUP Yoga,” concludes Sanju Upadhyay, Manager of The Island Spa. “As a discipline it incorporates the best of Kuda Huraa – ocean-inspired activities, yoga and healthy outdoor living – while our warm, shallow lagoon makes the ideal practice ground. Our yogis and guests are in for a real treat.”

To be one of the first to experience SUP Yoga at Kuda Huraa, contact Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa on tel: (960) 66 44 888, fax: (960) 66 44 800 or email [email protected], or book online.http://www.fourseasons.com/maldiveskh