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August 14, 2013

A Boutique Surfing Competition in the Maldives

By Erin Schumaker | sports

A Boutique Surfing Competition in the Maldives
Courtesy of Four Seasons Maldives

Despite its balmy air and mid-80-degree water temperatures, the Maldives has never been known as a surfing destination. But Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa and luxury surf-safari outfitter Tropicsurf are out to change that, hosting the Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy (August 26 to September 2)—a boutique surfing competition on the coast of Kuda Huraa—for the third year.

Six former world champions—including the defending 2012 winner, Aussie Damien “Dooma” Hardman—will battle for $25,000 in prize money distributed across three surfboard divisions: retro single fins, twin fins and triple-fin thrusters. It’s a relaxed atmosphere, explains hotel general manager Tulio Hochkoeppler. “But don’t get me wrong,” he says, “when you get these guys together, they are as competitive as you can be out on the water.”

Adventurous types needn’t leave the surfing to the professionals. Hotel guests can purchase day passes to board the Four Seasons Explorer, a 128-foot yacht stationed just off the surf break during the tournament. And available packages include Surf’s Up (from $1,300) or the Group Surf & Stay (from $6,590 for five nights), which includes surf safaris, intensive lessons and round-trip airport transfers by speedboat. Rest assured the fun is for everyone. “I’m really enthused to see folks in their forties who consistently come and vacation at our resort for the surf,” Hochkoeppler says. “It’s not just for teenagers and twentysomethings.” Rooms start at $900 (including breakfast); North Malé Atoll; 960/664-4888; fourseasons.com.