Knox Wins Thruster Round At Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy

10 Aug 2014 1

In Partnership With The Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy and Tropicsurf

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Kuda Huraa (small island)
By Billy Pilgrim

We awoke to find a sunrise with not a breath of wind and a very low tide, leaving large tidal pools mixed with exposed sections of coral on the surrounding reef. Within these pools large tropical fish swim through coral beds and smaller striped fish work their way around the piers of the wharf. As I look out on the reef from the daybed in our room, the fin of a small black tipped reef shark fin cuts its way through the still water below. It’s not often you can tell what the wind and tide are doing from you hotel bed, but room 419 delivers again. The competition will definitely be on today, conditions are perfect. It’s just a matter of where and when.

Today will be the second last day of competition and last day where surfers are restricted in their choice of craft. Today’s craft is a surf board of three fins. Three fins, which are all of similar size. No Rasta, you may not ride your twinny with a trailer stuck in the middle, we’re talking conventional, Simon Anderson inspired thrusters. You know you’re at a unique contest when the leading competitor is trying not to ride a conventional thruster set-up and rides them so infrequently that he has to ask around to borrow a set in the minutes leading up to his heat.

After the first two days of competition the event’s surfers have started to feel the Maldivian heat. Being veterans of the sport, there are also sore backs, knees and hips to contend with. Heading back to the fresh fruit and low hum of the air-conditioned Bungalows is often the highlight of the day. But once the surf report comes back that the surf is good, then all the aches disappear and everyone gets ready to go.

The waves are a perfect 4-to-6 feet but inconsistent. There are great waves on offer, but there’s also extended moments of idle time between the best sets. With no wind, the heat is oppressive. Sunny has particularly struggled with the heat all week, and today it’s hotter than normal and looks exhausted. He lays down with an ice cold towel wrapped around his shoulders, and only leaves the air conditioned Four Seasons Explorer for his heats. Once in the line-up Sunny tears apart every lip that has the audacity to rear its head anywhere near the nose of his board. Sunny convincingly wins the first heat, and then also his semi against an unlucky Fabio Gouveia, who has the misfortunate of being in exactly the wrong place for every set.

On the other side of the draw, Taylor Knox and Rasta meet in the semi. Rasta looks to have the semi won with a 9.01 in the last minute, until with 30 seconds remaining Taylor goes tropical bananas on the early part of a wild sized set which allows him to scrap by with a win of just 0.03 points.

This leaves Taylor and Sunny for the final and it’s a great show. Taylor has Sunny in a combo situation with 8 minutes to go. Sunny then summons the best wave of the day and scores a 9.77 with a big barrel and snap combination. Unfortunately for Sunny though time runs dry and he falls short as he finishes the heat needing a score.

To make the grand champions final Taylor had to win both the twin fin and thruster divisions after a 5th in the single fin event. This he does in a blaze of high performance surfing, and will now meet Rasta in tomorrow's grand final.

Tags: gallery , topnews , maldives , rasta , taylor knox , sunny garcia (create Alert from these tags)

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