Surfing Champions Trophy August 7 to 13, 2017

It’s back! With less than 3 months to go until the 7th annual Four Seasons Maldives Annual Surfing Champions Trophy ( the line-up has already got off to a flying start: Australian aerial innovator and unflappable tuberider, Taj Burrow, is confirmed to defend his title, with two genius goofyfooters taking the second and third spots of the six competitor contest: ‘all-conditions’ pro, American CJ Hobgood, and fearless Brazilian ‘big wave’ rider, Maya Gabeira.

Taj Burrow. Hailing from Busselton, Western Australia, Taj is known for his cheerful demeanour, dynamic surfing and ability to engineer all manner of moves out of a steady, aerodynamic stance.  WCT Rookie of the Year in 1998 (having been the first and only surfer to turn down the pro circuit the year before saying he was “too young”), Taj ranked World Number #2 in 1999 and 2007 and has secured 12 World Tour wins during his career. He took last year’s SCT 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.”

CJ Hobgood winning in Round 2.

CJ Hobgood. Florida-native Hobgood first took to the waves aged 5 (with his twin brother, Damien); he won the Eastern Surfing Association Championships menehune division aged 10 (1991); and enjoyed a good long run at the top of the national amateur ranks before turning pro and qualifying for the world championship tour in 1998. Equally adept as a small-wave, creative aerial technician and fearless big-wave tuberider, he was rookie of the year (pro tour 1999 season, ranked 18) and ‘Breakthrough Surfer of the Year’ (Surfer Magazine Readers Poll Awards 2000, ranked 7) before his 2001 Championship season.

Maya Gabeira. Multiple ‘Big Wave’ champion – coined ‘Super Woman of Big-Wave Surfing’ by the Los Angeles Times – Gabeira was born and raised in Rio de Jeneiro, Brazil.  A relatively latecomer to the sport, she started surfing aged 14 and moved to Hawaii aged 17, where she soon gained a reputation for taking on towering waves at infamously heavy-water breaks around the world.  In 2007 she won the Billabong XXL ‘Best Girls Performance Award’, and held the title for a record four consecutive years.  In 2009 she was awarded ‘Best Female Action Sports Athlete’ by ESPY.  That same year she went down in the history books, surfing the biggest wave ever by a female: 14m / 46ft wave at Dungeons, South Africa.

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 US$25,000 prize winnings.

Following a full interior refurbishment, the 39m/128ft Four Seasons Explorer – the Maldives’ ultimate surf vessel – 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.

Keen to experience the surf tour lifestyle? Book our Surf, Spa & Save Package to save 15% on room rates, while benefitting from a host of added on-site extras.

Included in this package:

  • 15% discount 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. 

To book the event surf package – or secure limited VIP day passes – contact the Resort at or call +960 66 00 888.




More posts from April 2017