Jan 11, 2010

Ayya and Ibu 1st in Malaysia

Billabong Occy Grom Comp at Cherating Beach in Malaysia during all three days of competition at the long, sandy-bottomed point break, getting cheers and wowing the crowd on the beach. Winning the Men’s Open in the Billabong Pro Am was Hussain Areef from the Maldives. Areef was also a standout from his very first heat, showing off his impressive dexterity in every type wave that that came his way. In the final he had to overcome the challenge of a super grom Jay-R Esquivel, Cherating grom Didaqt, and Satu Suku’s Tunku Khairil, but he was well up to the task and earned the top spot on the winners podium.

Just after paddling in from a quick expression session before the Men’s Open final, MC Tai Graham called Mark “Occy” Occhilupo up to the microphone to say a few words to the competitors and spectators on the beach. “I’m so stoked to be here in Malaysia,” Occy said. “Everybody makes you feel so welcome, you guys are such amazing hosts. And we scored some great waves over this weekend too. I never thought there would be waves this good here in Malaysia, it was unbelievable. It’s really been a great comp and a fun time, and I want to thank all the locals and the Billabong crew for making it such a big success. The groms here are absolutely ripping…to be out there in the water with them and to watch them going for it was the best thing ever,” he exclaimed.

Then Tai asked him when he would be back, to which Occy responded, “If that’s an invitation, and it sounded like it was, for sure I’m coming back!” which got a big round of cheers and claps from the crowd. Over the three day competition held at the seaside town of Cherating on the east coast of Malaysia, 115 contestants from 11 countries gathered to compete for fun, prestige, prizes and goodies including surfboards, Billabong boardies, shirts and backpacks, Nixon watches, Von Zipper eyewear, Kustom footwear and more, in the Occy Grom Comp and the Billabong Pro Am that run from the 8th to the 10th of January, which included Men’s Open, Women’s, Masters, Grommet and Bodyboarding division.

Check out the Billabong Asia website for webclips of the event at www.Billabong.com

Occy Grom Comp Results

1. Jay-R Esquivel (Philippines)

2. Nazrin “Yen” Nasruddin (Malaysia)

3. Didaqt Musaddiq (Malaysia)

4. Suhaimi “Semmy” Bin Hassan (Malaysia)

Men’s Open

1. Hussain Areef (Maldives)

2. Jay-R Esquivel (Philippines)

3. Didaqt Musaddiq (Malaysia)

4. Tunku Khairil (Malaysia)


1. Art (Malaysia)

2. Raymond Chong (Malaysia)

3. Aaron Wright (USA)

4. Tim Brent (Australia)

Women’s Open

1. Gemala (Indonesia)

2. Cheryl Tang (Singapore)

3. Brenda Lee (Malaysia)

4. Farisha Mazlan (Malaysia)


1. Ali Khushruwan Ahmad (Maldives)

2. Waqi (Malaysia)

3. Ahmad Rusyuddin (Malaysia)

4. Zarulaliff Bin Zulkifli (Malaysia)


Dec 22, 2009

WQS Pasta Point cancelled in 2010

After nine incredible years of running the 6 Star Prime Rated Maldives World Qualifying Series event ASP Australasia today announced that the event will be postponed for 2010.

ASP Australasia have been aggressively looking for a sponsor to take up the Maldives event, which has been highly regarded as one of the very best events on the World Qualifying Series, but for 2010 this is not a reality.

The event was created in year 2001 and run as the Deep Blue Open, an intrepid initiative by ASP Australasia at the time and over ten years delivered outstanding surf and an exceptional global promotion to the Maldives which now has a booming surf tourism industry.

Plans are already in place to re instate the event for 2011.

“With world class, super high performance waves and on the cusp of its 10th birthday, it is disappointing that the Maldives WQS event will not be featured on the 2010 ASP calendar“, said ASP Australasia Tour Manager Dane Jordan.

“On a promotion, brand awareness and media perspective the event has always offered an exceptional return on investment for sponsors and we are confident that the Maldives WQS will return for the 2011 season.

In the mean time, Sri Lankan Airlines is setting up a 6star at Arugam Bay from June 14-20 now that the new road to A-Bay will make things much easier.


Nov 24, 2009

Welcome to Kuda Ayya

Welcome to Kuda Ayya, the new Maldivesurf surfguide ! Now, a majority of the 30-40 surfguides in the Maldives are foreigners since there is probably less than 10 maldivian surfguides working whether on boats or resorts.

Since the beginning Maldivesurf guides have been hiring Maldivians ( Nahu, Fayani, Rifu) and here is Ali Khushruwan, much better known as Kuda Ayya, who will be starting in March,2010. Kuda Ayya, 23 years of age, has been surfing since he was 12, is undoubtedly Maldivian bodyboarder N°1. He got 1st place in several competitions including the national bodyboarding competition (varunulaa challenge)over last 2 years. Ayya is the only the bodyboader who gets sponsorship in surfing garments and products such as Hot Buttered, Reef ,Ocean & earth, Kutalines, Smith Opticals and FCS accessories.

He has studied up to grade 8 from Majeedhiyya School then has worked for the last 5 years in Malé main surfshop : Sea & Sports. He’s now pushing a new crew of bodyboarders in Malé to surf in town. And he might light the fire of some kids in the central atolls as well !

Nov 17, 2009

New Guesthouse in Cokes

The first surf camp now open in the Maldives, exclusive to The Perfect Wave Travel Co, Cola’s guest house is in the village of Thulusdhoo in North Male Atoll where the mighty COKES point offers the best right hand point break in the Maldives. Across the channel within easy view of the hotel, an equally good left, Chickens works its magic.

The camp is owned and operated by Aussie Brian James who has ten years experience working in the Maldives surf. With his Japanese partner Chiharu Kanno, they offer their surfing guests a wealth of local knowledge and a warm and friendly stay at a truly unique hotel/surf camp.

With an unsurpassed view of the surf at Cokes and Chickens, Colas has two large informal areas to relax in. The top floor has a common area and is equipped with home theatre system, library, and games for the tired surfer to enjoy. The ground floor and reception area offers a juice bar and cafe with more room to refine the art of chilling out before or after a hard session in the surf


8 double or twin share rooms with AC, mini fridge, ceiling fans, hot water ensuites and closet. All rooms open to communal areas for relaxation. Also all linen and room towels are provided

  • Colas offers all meals from a well appointed kitchen.
  • Foods are a combination of Australian
    and Japanese style with a little local Maldivian cuisine to balance things out.
  • Colas Juice Bar offers smoothies and fresh fruit
  • Shiatsu massage is available by appointment.
  • Extra charge : US$40 one hour; US$20 half hour
  • Babysitting is available by appointment.
  • Extra charge : US$10
    one hour
  • Home theatre in the communal area on the upper level
  • Chess, backgammon, cards, various games and a library on the upper level.
  • Wireless internet facility available 24 hours a day
  • Mobile phone access at all times
  • Local supermarket, Big Shop for any extra needs


Due to the local religion, the consumption of alcohol

is forbidden in all Maldives villages

therefore is not available at Colas.

Photography - Surf photo and video service

by experienced photographer by appointment.

Extra charge : US$25 per hour per individual surfer


Oct 29, 2009

Kai Sallas wins Pasta, Ingleby wins 2009 Tour

The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Oxbow World Longboard Tour Maldives event today crowned two champions – Harley Ingelby (Australia) as the ASP 2009 World Longboard Champion and Kai Sallas (Hawaii) as the Oxbow Maldives event champion.

Sallas won the event, surfing clean 3 feet (1 meter) surf at Pasta Point defeating Australasia’s Harley Ingelby in a high scoring final that saw Sallas take the win with a combined two wave tally of 15.65 to Ingelby on 14.00. Ingelby’s second placing in today’s final event on the two event ASP 2009 World Longboard Tour secured him the World Title.

“I’m so stoked to win this event, the waves have been super fun all week and to beat Harley in the final capped off a perfect week for me” said Sallas.“ I started well with 7.65 on my first ride and felt confident that I could back that ride up and take the win, Ingelby came at me hard in the final few minutes but my best ride was my final one and it’s great to win and actually beat the current world champion as well!”

The ASP World Longboard Champion is decided across the ratings from two events and Ingelby’s 1st placing in the season’s opening event in Japan along with his 2nd place here in the Maldives see’s him take the first ASP World Title for the 2009 season. “It’s the best day of my life” said 26 year old Ingelby after the final.

“I’ve been close to winning in the past and always felt I could win the title but I’ve also seen many great surfers not win world titles and I was wary that the opportunity could slip – It’s a huge weight off my shoulders and right now the feeling is unbelievable.” Ingelby secured the world title early in the day when he defeated Brazilian Phil Ratzman in a very close see-sawing quarter final.

“It would have been great to take the event win as well as the world title but full marks to Sallas, he surfed a great final and he deserved the win as he’s been a standout all week.” “I really left my run in the final late, I don’t think I had one decent score in the first 20 minutes, when I did get that 8 point ride late in the final I was a real chance but simply could not find a wave to deliver a decent second score” added Ingelby.

Today’s Semi Finals were both tightly fought out with Sallas defeating fellow Hawaiian Ned Snow while Ingelby survived a late challenge in his semi final from French surfer Antoine Delpero winning on a score-line of 14.80 to Delpero on 14.35. With excellent surf throughout the event all surfers enjoyed a great week and it was a fitting finale to the ASP Oxbow Longboard World Tour for 2009.

Heat 1: Kai Sallas (HAW)12.00 V Eduardo Bagé (BRA)11.85
Heat 2: Ned Snow (HAW) 15.75D Ben Skinner (GBR)11.75
Heat 3: Harley Ingleby (AUS)14.00 D Phil Rajzman (BRA) 13.55
Heat 4: Antoine Delpero (FRA) 13.50 D Remi Arauzo (FRA) 12.00

Heat 1: Kai Sallas (HAW) 14.50 D Ned Snow (HAW) 13.45
Heat 2: Harley Ingelby (AUS) 14.80 D Antoine Delpero (FRA) 14.35

Kai Sallas (HAW) 15.65 d Harley Ingelby (AUS) 14.00

1 Ingleby,Harley AUS
2 Sallas,Kai HAW
3 Delpero,Antoine FRA
4 Rajzman,Phil BRA
5 Perkins,Bonga HAW
6 Snow,Ned HAW
7 Bage,Eduardo BRA
8 De Soto,Duane HAW
9 McPhillips,Colin USA
10 Skinner,Ben GBR
11 Jensen,Taylor USA
12 Matos,Amaro BRA
13 Edwards,Keegan HAW
14 Arauzo,Remi FRA
15 Moir,Matthew ZAF
16 Young,Bryce AUS
17 Neal,Jared AUS
18 Bahia,Carlos BRA
19 Constable,Josh AUS
20 Bleakley,Sam GBR
20 Deniel,Alexis FRA
22 Salazar,Alex(Picuruta) BRA
23 Silva,Jeremias BRA
24 Silvagni,Tony USA
25 Mori,Taiki JPN
25 Ogashira ,Nobuhiro JPN
25 Macleod,Dylan ZAF
28 Mothershead,Troy USA
29 Viudes,Jaime BRA
29 Maurin,Romain FRA
31 Robbins,Cole USA
31 Teal,Eugene JPN
33 Kinoshita,David JPN
34 Shimabukuro,Noah HAW
35 Surman,Mitch AUS
35 Bing,Justin ZAF
35 Pioli,Dane AUS

Oct 26, 2009

Oxbow World Longboard Tour starts at Pasta

25 October, 2009 : An idyllic setting and perfect waves at Pasta Point set the scene for the final event of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Oxbow World Longboard Tour for 2009.As the second and final event, this will decide the 2009 World Champion. All 32 surfers competing in the event have arrived and are warming up in excellent three-to-four foot (1 – 1.5 metre) surf at Pasta Point.

Australia’s Harley Ingelby, the current leader on the 2009 ASP World Longboard season ratings, has been here for three days and has already spent many hours in the water familiarizing himself with the wave in hopes of giving himself the best chance to win this year’s ASP World Longboard Title.

“Awesome waves here and I’m really enjoying surfing,” Ingelby said. “As far as the world title goes, I’m only thinking about surfing heat-by-heat and simply treating this as another important ASP event. The ratings will take care of themselves, I just have to surf my best and try and win.”

Defending ASP World Longboard Champion, Bonga Perkins (Hawaii), is currently in third position on the ratings, and on a two-event series, has every chance of adding another title to his already impressive two ASP World Longboard Titles (1996, 2008).

“The world title is there to be won and that’s what I’m here for,” Perkins said. “There’s all sorts of equations as to how to win and I’m here to defend my title and if that means making the Final and winning the event then that’s what I’ll try and do. The waves are super fun, incredibly warm water and I’ve enjoyed surfing the last two days. I’m ready to go.”

Among the world’s elite of longboarding visiting the Maldives, the title contenders from the Oxbow team include Antoine Delpero (FRA), Duane de Soto (HAW), Ben Skinner (GBR), Eduardo Bagé (BRA), Matthew Moir (RSA) and Bryce Young (AUS).

Being a two-event series for 2009, there is a strong possibility that the No. 1 position on the ratings could be tied after this event and if that is the case, a surf-off will occur at this event.

ASP Tour Manager Al Hunt outlined the plans for this situation today.

“With two events of identically-rated events to decide the ASP World Longboard Title for 2009, there’s a big possibility of a first place tie and if that happens we’ll run a special Final here to determine the World Title,” Al Hunt, ASP World Longboard Tour Manager, said. “It’s a situation that will only be applied for 1st place on the ratings and we’ll determine how that final would be run if and when it’s required at the end of this event.”

The event will be live web via www.aspworldtour.com and with excellent swell running today it looks very much like round one action will commence early tomorrow morning.

For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com

Heat 1:
Colin McPhillips (USA) vs. Dylan Macleod (ZAF)
Heat 2: Bryce Young (AUS) vs. Kai Sallas (HAW)
Heat 3: Carlos Bahia (BRA) vs. Sam Bleakley (GBR)
Heat 4: Eduardo Bage (BRA) vs. Nobuhiro Ogashira (JPN)
Heat 5: Duane De Soto (HAW) vs. Troy Mothershead (USA)
Heat 6: Ned Snow (HAW) vs. Tony Silvagni (USA)
Heat 7: Ben Skinner (GBR) vs. Alexis Deniel (FRA)
Heat 8: Bonga Perkins (HAW) vs. Mitch Surman (AUS)
Heat 9: Harley Ingleby (AUS) vs. Justin Bing (ZAF)
Heat 10: Keegan Edwards (HAW) vs. Jared Neal (AUS)
Heat 11: Phil Rajzman (BRA) vs. Cole Robbins (USA)
Heat 12: Taylor Jensen (USA) vs. Jaime Viudes (BRA)
Heat 13: Antoine Delpero (FRA) vs. Taiki Mori (JPN)
Heat 14: Alex (Picuruta) Salazar (BRA) vs. Josh Constable (AUS)
Heat 15: Matthew Moir (ZAF) vs. Remi Arauzo (FRA)

Sep 8, 2009

Plans for a $3 /day Green Tax on visitors

Famed mostly for high-end luxury resorts and white-sand atolls, the Maldives has made a name for itself as an advocate for mitigating climate change because rising sea levels are forecast to submerge most of its islands by 2100. The Maldives' $850 million economy gets more than a quarter of its gross domestic product from tourists, but has not yet taxed them to help it fight climate change.

President Mohammed Nasheed, who in March outlined plans to make the Maldives the world's first carbon-neutral nation within a decade, said an environment tax was soon to be levied on all tourists. "We have introduced a green tax. It's in the pipeline. It's a matter of parliament approving it and I hope parliament will approve it -- $3 per each tourist a day," Nasheed told reporters in Male, the capital of the Indian Ocean archipelago.

Based on an annual average of 700,000 tourists who spend an average of three days on the islands, that translates to about $6.3 million annually. In March, Nasheed launched a $1.1 billion initiative to convert the islands solely to renewable energy from fossil fuels, and buy and destroy EU carbon credits to offset emissions from tourists flying to visit its resorts.

The government has acknowledged it needs outside investment to fund those plans, and Nasheed's trip to U.N. climate talks in Copenhagen in December. Last month, his office said he would not attend the talks because of a budget crisis that forced the country to seek a $60 million International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan.

Nasheed said he still had no plans to attend "unless someone very generously helps us. I hope someone will assist us." He said the Maldives had little leverage in the outcome of the Copenhagen talks, which are to create a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, but a huge stake. "There is no point in Maldives entering the agreement. It is a small country. It is India, China, Brazil, the United States that have to join in," he said. "No one is going to come out as a winner without an agreement."