Hardman returns to the competition for the second consecutive year, having taken eventual winner, Mark Occhilupo, to some very close heats in last year's inaugural event. Nicknamed ‘Iceman’ for his ferocious concentration and nerve-free attitude, Hardman’s wave precision and tactical genius make him a dangerous opponent in any contest. His previous experience of the competition and its waves will be a distinct advantage – and his memories of last year’s event means he’s never looked forward to a contest quite so much before: "I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to go on some pretty special trips but last year’s Surfing Champions Trophy was the highlight of my life so far! Great waves, great service and great vibes: needless to say I can't wait be part of the contest again!"
Chelsea Hedges (nee Georgeson), the 2005 Women’s World Champion, has been making waves in the surfing world since she was 13 years old. Highly masterful and with youth on her side, the event marks the 28-year-old’s comeback to competitive surfing after taking time away from the tour to become a mother – and now she can’t wait to bring it to the men in maximum style: "Having the opportunity to surf with five World Champions in world class waves is any surfer's dream. To have luxurious Four Seasons Resort accommodation as well is heaven! If I could have added one location the World Tour this would be it.”
Hardman and Hedges join an illustrious line-up of four other World Champions: Mark “Occy” Occhilupo (AUS) – the event’s defending champion and 1999 World Champion; Tom Curren (USA) – three-time world champion and true soul surfer; Martin ‘Potz’ Potter (SA) – 1998 world champion, aerial-pioneer and all-round Mr Cool; and Phil Rajzman (BR) – Brazilian longboard master and 2007 World Champion.
Commenting on the final line-up and the competitive buzz surrounding the competition, Event Coordinator Mark Winson of Tropicsurf, the luxury surf pioneers behind the event, said, “It’s an amazing line-up, and despite the idyllic surrounds I’m sure that some old grudge matches will be rekindled come August. These world champions are competitors by nature and any of the six have what it takes to win the Trophy and US$25,000. It’s going to be a very special few days.”
Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy 2012 sees six ex-world champions battle it out on single-fin, twin-fin and triple-fin boards in a US$25,000 showdown for the ultimate crown.
Billed as ‘the world’s most luxurious surfing event’, the Surfing Champions Trophy is hosted aboard Four Seasons Explorer – the Maldives ultimate surf vessel – with all competitors, judges and spectators taking up residence on Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa’s paradisiacal private coral island for the duration of the event.
This year’s event will also feature the launch of the inaugural Four Seasons Maldives Domestic Champions Trophy 2012, a simultaneous contest between eight Maldivian surfers that is hotly anticipated to be the biggest ever showcase of Maldivian surfing.
Guests booking Kuda Huraa’s all-inclusive four- or seven-night Champions Trophy package – available from August 27 to September 2 only – can get right on top of the action with competition day passes aboard Four Seasons Explorer plus three half-day surfing passes with Tropicsurf. Back on land, they’ll also get to rub shoulders with their surfing heroes and experience a level of intimacy and camaraderie unique in competition surfing.
Limited day passes will be available (at a fee) for non-package guests/members of the public to view the event from Four Seasons Explorer.
Call + 960 66 00 888 for enquiries and rates.