In the Grand Final, Burrow came up against an in form Rob Machado.
Machado had been looking dangerous all event finishing first in the Single Fin
and second on the Twin Fin. It was Burrow's fast and critical surfing however
that saw him take the overall win with a heat total of 16.73 (out of a possible
"I'm so extremely excited, I'm just having the best time," Burrow said. "This is
such an amazing event, I would have retired earlier if I knew this is what life
would be like, it's too good. I'm so stoked I got to come back here after a win
last year, we get so spoiled at the Four Seasons Kuda Huraa and then to
come just around the corner and have waves that are this good is such a
treat, it's an incredible place. Winning again is really special to me."
Burrow hasn't lost much of his competitive tenacity since retiring from the elite
WSL Championship Tour (CT) a year ago. He consistently posted huge scores
through all three divisions and into the grand final. In the final of the Thruster
event he even posted the only perfect 10-point ride of the event for a super
deep tube ride.
"The waves were cooking for this whole event," Burrow continued. "The
forecast wasn't looking great so to score the waves we did was sick, even
getting that barreled today was a nice surprise. Everyone in this event surfs so
amazingly I really had to surf out of my skin to win this thing. If I do get to
come back next year I'll be over the moon. It's definitely one of the sickest
events on the planet."
Machado was returning to the Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions
Trophy for the second time. After failing to make the Grand Final in 2016,
Machado returned with something to prove and it showed in his smooth yet
aggressive attack. In the final, Machado posted a heat total of 14.93 and as
the waves slowed he was unable to find the score he needed to take the
"I have no complaints about finishing second," Machado said. "Today was
actually super tight with who would make it into the Grand Final so it was cool
to watch it all play out. It was just great to come back here and have the
Four Seasons Kuda Huraa experience again. The waves were so sick for the
event as well but it was always going to be hard to beat Taj, the guy is just so
Finishing runner-up in the Thruster Division against Burrow was 2001 WSL
Champion C.J. Hobgood. The Floridian goofy foot was a standout all event
but came up against a rampaging Burrow in the final. Hobgood was unable
to get in a rhythm but was thankful to be apart of the Champions Trophy.
"I can't believe I got to have this experience it's definitely once in a lifetime,"
Hobgood said. "It was a shame I had such a bad heat in the final but I'm not
too disappointed. It's been great to see all of these old friends and hang out.
Waking up in Kuda Huraa, the most perfect island and then cruising on a
boat for 2 minutes and you have waves like this, is like a dream."
Brazilian big wave inspiration Maya Gabeira put on her best performance of
the event during the Thruster Division. The goofy foot came just short of a
Semifinal berth but was over the moon to have been part of such a special
event. She stated this week at the Four Seasons Maldives as a definite life
"This has been such an amazing time for us here in the Maldives," Gabeira
said. "The Four Seasons Kuda Huraa experience has been like no other, just so
luxurious. I don't usually go on trips looking for fun size waves but I'm glad I
came here as the waves are so fun and playful. Surfing with all of the guys
was so incredible. They are such amazing surfers and my heroes so it was cool
to compete against them. I've had the most amazing time at this event."
Local wildcard Ismail Miglal had his best performance in thruster division
posting a heat total of 12.50. He wasn't able to overcome Hobgood in his
Semifinal but was stoked to have had the opportunity to surf with and against
his surfing idols.
"This was the most amazing experience of my life," Miglal said. "Staying in
luxury and having my home breaks with no one else out was so cool. It was
an honor to surf with my heroes. Watching them surf taught me a lot about
my surfing and how I can improve. I loved the experience and will never
Unique in many ways, the Surfing Champions Trophy
(#SurfingChampionsTrophy) determines a surfer's heat time based on their
age and tests skill across three different divisions: single-fin, twin-fin, and triplefin
thruster. Places are granted by invitation-only to just six world champions
in a battle for inner-circle kudos and the US$25,000 prize winnings.
The Surfing Champions Trophy is hosted 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 shoulderrubbing
events back at Four Seasons Resort Kuda Huraa, which plays host to
the contest’s competitors, judges and Tropicsurf partners (the pros behind the
Resort’s surf operation.)