Hardman Triumphs at World's Most Luxurious Surfing Event at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa as National Surf Champion Areef Wins the Domestic Event. Four Seasons Resorts Maldives take competition surfing five-star.

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Australian surfing legend and two-time world champion Damien "Dooma" Hardman (Narrabeen, NSW, Australia) has won the second annual Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy – organized in conjunction with luxury surf pioneers Tropicsurf – after a sensational week of surfing from five former world champions.
The goofy-footer, age 46, narrowly defeated three-time world champion Tom Curren (USA), 48, in the Champions Trophy Final, following three days of intense competition at the world-class break of Sultan’s Point, located just off Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa.

Contested from August 27 to September 2, 2012, the event saw five world champions – Damien Hardman (Australia), Tom Curren (Australia), Mark Occhilupo (Australia), Martin Potter (Great Britain) and Phil Rajzman (Brazil) – compete across three divisions for the Grand Champions Trophy. Chelsea Hedges, 2005 ASP Women’s World Champion was forced to withdraw after suffering a collapsed lung while training for the event.

Hardman triumphed having returned to the competition for the second consecutive year. During a magical display of surfing excellence, he won both the Single and Twin-Fin divisions to scoop USD 6,000.00 in prize money, before adding another USD 10,000.00 to his total prize tally of USD 16,000.00 following victory in the final. He was denied a clean sweep by Curren’s victory in the Thruster Division.

Buzzing at the end of the contest, Hardman commented: “What a week, I’m stoked. To win two divisions and the Grand Final was a real buzz. I haven’t had a feeling like that since I finished competing.” He also paid tribute to his fellow competitors: “For our ages we are all surfing on top of our game and Curren was amazing today. It was a serious contest out there, but at the same time I had a lot of fun.”

This year’s event also saw eight local surfers battle it out at Sultan’s Point for the inaugural Four Seasons Maldives Domestic Champions Trophy – a thrilling showcase of local talent that was won by Hussain Areef, the country’s reigning national champion.

The trophies were presented by Maldivian Minister of Defense and National Security Mohamed Nazim, who watched the Champions Trophy Final from the three-deck, 39-metre luxury catamaran Four Seasons Explorer, the Maldives' ultimate surf vessel.

The event spilled onto the land with Kuda Huraa’s guests rubbing shoulders with the contest’s participants in the Resort’s vibrant village surround – home to competitors, judges and supporters alike for the duration of the contest. Guests booking Kuda Huraa’s all-inclusive four- or seven-night Champions Trophy package got right on top of the action with competition day passes aboard Four Seasons Explorer and three half-day surfing passes with Tropicsurf.

Following the enormous success of the second annual Surfing Champions Trophy and inaugural Domestic Champions Trophy, Four Seasons and Tropicsurf have vowed to make the events even bigger and better next year.

Four Seasons Resorts Maldives wish to thank its kind co-sponsors of the 2012 Surfing Champions Trophy: Surfboard Traders, Coastalwatch Plus, Wataniya, Dhiraagu, Coca-Cola and SAFCO; as well as its five contestants: two-time world champion and current Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champion Damien Hardman (Narrabeen, NSW, Australia); three-time world champion and true soul surfer, Tom Curren (USA); 1999 World Champion and last year’s Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champion, Mark Occhilupo (Tweeds Head, NSW, Australia); 1998 world champion and aerial-pioneer, Martin "Pottz" Potter (Great Britain); and Brazilian longboard master and 2007 World Champion, Phil Rajzman (Brazil).

Banyan Tree relaunches Maldives resort as all-pool villa property

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Located just twenty minutes by speedboat from Malé International Airport, award-winning Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru reopens on 1 September 2012 after a full renovation which now features private dipping pools adjacent to jet pools in each of the resort’s 48 villas. A long-time favoured resort that attracts substantial repeat guests, Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru has consistently achieved top ratings in TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice® Awards since 2008.  Following the refurbishment, guests may enjoy the luxury of their own pool and jet pool set within their villa’s private garden area.

Marine Conservation
Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru is home to a Marine Biology Lab, the first of its kind to be funded and built by a private resort. Guests may join the Marine Lab team to participate in activities such  as reef species inventory checks and reef clean ups. The laboratory is equipped with instruments for research into coral spawning, settlement and transplantation along with green sea turtle and reef shark conservation. The house reef is ideal for snorkeling straight off the beach; rays and fish are fed daily off the pier. Guests need only to walk along the shore to see trumpet fish, small sharks and the occasional turtle swimming by in the translucent lagoon.

Culinary Journeys
Guests may choose from local Maldivian or international cuisine at the beachfront Ilaafathi restaurant or star gaze with cocktails at the alfresco Naiboli bar. A plethora of destination dining options, complemented by the natural beauty of the Maldives, are also available.

With the Sandbank Dining experience, guests are whisked away in a speed boat to a private sandbank with options for breakfast, a picnic lunch or dinner amidst panoramic views of the Indian Ocean. A private butler ensures dedicated service while guests dine on local specialties amidst the most exclusive of settings. The Sunset Jetty experience is designed for the romantic at heart as it takes place on a rustic jetty overlooking the horizon.  Guests experience the dazzling Maldivian sunset Bedouin style while savouring chilled Champagne, canapés and a delightful shisha, or Arabic water pipe.  

Located on the beachfront, Shark Point Dining is complemented by gentle lapping waves and lagoon breezes. The menu features bounty from the Indian Ocean including sea scallops and fresh Maldivian lobster. Couples can dine with their bare feet in the powdery white sand at the Tuesday BBQ Dinner, also on the beach, in which a four-course meal offers tuna and beef fillet or Maldivian seafood.

For guests to relax and rejuvenate against the expansive backdrop of the Indian Ocean, Banyan Tree Spa Vabbinfaru features five spacious outdoor spa pavilions with lush tranquil settings, two massage beds and open-air showers. Three of the pavilions feature exotic copper bathtubs handcrafted in Sri Lanka and private Rain Mist Rooms especially equipped with rain shower and steam mist facilities.

Introductory Offer

To celebrate the reopening of Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, guests who book for a minimum of two nights from now through 25 October 2012 for stays from now through 31 October 2012 are entitled to complimentary inclusions such as: complimentary daily breakfast, lunch and dinner for two persons, and a one-time Intimate Moments setup during their stay which features scented oils, candles around the pool and a complimentary bottle of red or sparkling wine. 

Guests are also entitled to a daily complimentary 60-minute spa massage (with an additional 30-minute refreshments and relaxation time) for two persons at Banyan Tree Spa Vabbinfaru.

For reservations, please call the Maldives reservation office: +960 676 7115. Alternatively, please email Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru:  reservations-vabbinfaru@banyantree.com.