Be front-row for a dazzling showcase of elderly surf talent!
Coming this August is the Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy, a WSL-sanctioned speciality event it calls the “world’s most luxurious surfing contest.”
Better than, say, Fiji, where an inexhaustible fountain of booze flows and where the strongest men you’ve ever seen (husbands are advised to cover their wives’ eyes) will carry your suitcases and surfboards from boat to cabana, or bures as they call them in the Mamanucas, and where helicopters can be beckoned to take you golfing on flat days?
It’s a hard call although the Four Seasons’ 96 thatched huts, including some with “a sexy glass-walled pool” do sound like a stimulating pleasure.
The Four Seasons Maldives etc is an invite-only event, has been running for three years, features heats on singles, twins and thrusters, and was won by Rasta in 2014 and Shane Dorian last year.
This year’s invitees are: Shane Dorian (as last year’s winner), Jamie O’Brien, Travis Logie, Taj Burrow, Rob Machado, Bethany Hamilton and local surfer Abdullah ‘Iboo’ Areef.
There is a total of $US25,000 in prizemoney and, oddly, the older you are the longer your heat. Shane Dorian is almost forty-five, Machado is forty-three (in October), Taj Burrow just turned thirty-eight and therefore will be given, relatively, almost twice the game time of one-armed surfer Bethany Hamilton as there is no provision for surfers with a disability.
Want to go and watch it? Packages range from $US7695 (five nights, beach pavilion with pool) to $US10,93o (seven nights, beach bungalow with pool). Add a 23.2% service charge and you’re in business. From the press release.
“Indulge in the ultimate private group experience with daily eight-hour surfaris with expert Tropicsurf guides. Sail to the best breaks of the day in remote, awe-inspiring surroundings. Then return to luxurious oceanfront accommodations and unlimited full board dining in four world-class restaurants. To further heighten the experience, book to stay at Kuda Huraa during the Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions (August 8 to 14, 2016) and get right on top of the action with competition day passes aboard Four Seasons Explorer and rub shoulders with the competition’s World Champion contestants over sundowners on the beach.”
“Places are granted by invitation-only to six world champions…”
World champions? Travis? Taj? Shane? Bethany? Machado? Jamie? Abdullah?
Is this a profound overstatement? Will anyone notice?