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.
Source: Four Seasons