With just a few weeks until the 2018 Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy kicks off, momentum is building with the announcement of the final invitees for “the world’s most luxurious surf event” including surfing superstar Bruce Irons (HAW), Brazilian livewire Alejo Muniz (BRA), 2001 WSL Champion CJ Hobgood (USA) and local wildcard Abdula “Fuku” Areef (MDV).
Bruce Irons (HAW)
Former Championship Tour star Bruce Irons needs little introduction in the surfing world. Renowned for his technical brilliance in the tube, ability to land massive aerial manoeuvres and general all-round style, Irons is one of the most iconic surfers of his generation. After retiring from competitive surfing in his late twenties, Bruce has spent the last decade travelling the world hunting for perfect waves in the most idyllic locations. With a thirst for warm water reef breaks and an inbuilt competitive tenacity, Irons is sure to be one of the most exciting names added to the Champions Trophy competitors list in its 8 year history.
“I’m so pumped to be invited to this event,” Irons said. “The Maldives is such a fun place to go surfing with the awesome waves, picturesque Islands and clear warm water, it’s a surfing paradise. I’ve seen and heard things about Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy in the past and think it sounds like the sickest event. I can’t wait to get over there and surf the different boards in those waves – It’s going to be amazing.”
Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Another former CT surfer who will be joining Bruce Irons, Josh Kerr and Fred Patacchia Jr is Alejo Muniz (BRA), who burst onto the elite CT as a teenager and wowed the tour with his lightning fast brand of surfing. Muniz will be taking a short break from re-qualifying to rip into the walls of Sultans with some of his idols.
“I’m so stoked and honoured to get the invite to Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy,” Muniz said. “It is a really cool event and such a great concept and the fact there are some of surfing’s biggest names coming is so incredible. I’ve followed it over the years and I’m ready to go and put on my best performance possible. I will be travelling to the event with my son and wife and having them along to experience this luxury will make it all the more enjoyable.”
Abdulla “Fuku” Areef (MDV)
With multiple Maldivian Surfing Championships to his name, along with a string of WSL Qualifying Series event appearances, the 2018 Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy event wildcard has gone to Abdulla “Fuku” Areef. With a lightning fast backhand and superior knowledge of the waves in the area, Areef will be one to watch when he takes on his heroes this August at Sultans.
“I’m so excited to be invited to this event,” Areef said. “I’d like to thank Four Seasons Resorts Maldives and Tropicsurf for this incredible opportunity. Surfing against some of my heroes will be such a great experience and especially on all of the different equipment. I can’t wait.”
CJ Hobgood (USA)
With the unfortunate withdrawal of the two-time reigning event winner Taj Burrow due to the knee injury, the door has been opened for 2001 WSL Champion CJ Hobgood to return in 2018. Hailing from Florida, Hobgood’s antics in big barrelling waves gained him global notoriety, but it is his super stylish backhand that will make him a favourite at Sultans when competition gets underway this August. CJ was a standout at the 2017 Champions Trophy, only just being edged out by eventual winner Burrow so was understandably stoked when he got the call up again in 2018.
“I honestly can’t believe we are going back! It’s the best trip my wife and me have ever had and we’ve travelled a bit. Thank you Taj, get better and hope they get you an injury wild card next year. I tried so hard to win last year but Taj was too good and smashed me in the final. I still vividly remember those couple of waves that came in and they were perfect in that heat.”
Surfing superstar Alana Blanchard has withdrawn from the 2018 event as she and partner Jack Freestone focus on their newly born son, Banks. The event hopes to see the Hawaiian sensation back to compete in the years to come.
About the Surfing Champions Trophy
Unique in many ways, the 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 to surfing’s elite by invitation-only, who then battle it out for both “surfing inner-circle” kudos and USD 25,000 prize winnings.
As ever, the event will be 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.
Surf, Spa and Save with an exclusive Four Seasons Kuda Huraa offer:
- 15 percent off Room Rate
- One 60-minute massage in The Island Spa for two guests per stay
- Two day passes to view the SCT 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)
This offer is only available from August 3 to 13, 2018, and requires a four-night minimum stay. Package inclusions are based on a four-night stay. Additional nights include breakfast only.