Apr 22, 2009

March Central atoll report

March 03-13 : more lefts than rights !

For the 5th Maldivesurf season in the Central atolls, that was the earliest departure ever. Eventually, that 11-day trip on MTC Cruiser (Vaareydhuni refurbished) was completed without a drop of rain and a sight of any other surf safari boat. If the swell remained in the 2-4ft league with light NW winds on the first 8 days, it finally reached a peak of 4-6ft with unreal 20 second period. Between Mikado's left, Malik's and the newly discovered "Haimark" facing Hadigilla, that's the 1st time lefts get predominant on rights for any Central atolls cruise.

Domestic flight connections between Malé and Laamu being not as quick as before, the french dentists group had to spend 6 hours in Malé upon arrival. Some took advantage of that stop to get an uncrowded surf in Malé while others were walking around town. Thus, the trip started at YinYang because YinYang never gets flat even on a 0.7m SSW swell and 9 seconds. There we surfed for 4 days in the 2-3ft range with 2 glassy days. Much is happening around the Hithadoo Pass at the Olhuveli Resort (www.sixsenses.com/Six-Senses-Latitude-Laamu/index.php) is about to open next October. The good news is that SixSenses headquarters are planning to set-up some surf service with speedboat transfers but the bad news is that it will be 5 star, so expect rates to be upmarket. It brings some wealth to the neighborhood and Maamendhoo island now owns a deep water harbor were Fishing Dhonis can anchor. For those who remember the jammed channel between the 2 islets with zillions of ropes, noisy boat operations, especially from Horizon Fisheries canning ship, that's history ! No more flies too !

As expected, Mikado did not delivered the goods, the light / mid North wind blowing strong enough to bring cross-wash on the rare set waves. However, Finnimas lefts really act as swell magnet and on the best days, it produced long racing 3-4ft walls and at worst, 2ft offshore peaks, that you could ride like a good beachbreak wave. Things are changing here too since following Anni new president election in October 2008, both neighbooring islands with farm and fish factory have been closed. In Thimarafushi, you can navigate on internet through Wi-fi ! Wi-fi is spreading over in the Maldives ! As in April 2008, SE winds did show up so we could surf twice Malik's lefts on the western Pass. Waves breaking really close to shore, we decided to walk through the village and there we met Abdul Majeed. He's a 42 years old local "surfer" riding with a basic scooped wood plank and no fins for years.So we did a little trade for a bodyboard and Fabien left his to Ashraf so the bodyboard community is spreading in Maldives. By the way, the group was made of 3 longboarders, 3 surfers and 2 bodyboarders.

Once we spent some time celebrating TomTom's birthday so we could kill the only bottle of alcohol onboard (wondering what happened to the other bottles) and once Etienne and Cedric caught some decent fish ( 1 good-size batfish, 2 big jobfish, 1 Emperor...), it was high time to get ready for the miracle swell who was forecast since the trip departure. After tough negotiations regarding the location we were gonna milk that swell, we headed for Hadigilla (ex-Bibeacons) for 2 epic days. Not only the rights were cooking, but we had a go at the lefts opposite the pass : first time ever ! Believe me or not but we always overlooked that spot that is often plagued by onshore winds and wrap so much that you can't even see how it breaks. Each rider anchored to one spot (natural footers on the rights and goofies and bodyboarders on the lefts) until everyone had spaghetti arms ! Before we made it back to Malé after 12h cruise mostly at night, another premiere ! A few hours before embarking on 09h30 EK Emirates flight.

For more, click and watch 120 shots slideshow.

P.S : check the boyz as well in Malé shot with a GoPro (not bad for a small camera but it requires really good light and Lithium batteries) and Davidoo, Ocean Dancer Boss who caught on SUP !


Apr 14, 2009

World Stormrider 3 out : 2 maldivian zones

The 3rd volume of the World Stormrider Guide to be released next May 2009 will contain much promo about Maldives. Out of 80 zones worldwide, 2 will be in the Maldives : Central atolls and Southern atolls (Addu & Fuammullah).


Central atolls
double page spread

double page spread

double page ad

List of 80 zones throughout the world


161_Reykjanes peninsula, Iceland
162_Lahinch, County Clare, Ireland
163_Isle of Lewis, outer hebrides, Scotland
164_Lacanau, Gironde, France
165_Viana do Castelo, Minho Douro, Portugal
166_Terceira, Azores Islands
167_Roma, Lazio, Italy
168_Parga, Epirus, Greece
169_Sinop, Turkey, Black Sea
170_Alexandria, Al Diffa, Egypt
171_Bizerte area, Tunisia
172_Dakhla, Western Sahara, Morocco

173_Malta & Gozo


174_Robertsport, Cape Mount, Liberia
175_Cotonou, Benin & Togo
176_Porto Alegre, São Tomé & Principe
177_Pointe Noire, Kouilou, Congo
178_Skeleton Coast, Namibia
179_East London, Eastern Cape, ZAF
180_Scottsburgh, Kwazulu Natal South Coast, ZAF
181_Malindi, Swahili Coast, Kenya

Indian Islands

182_Anjouan, Comoros
183_Lavanono to Anakao, Madagascar
184_NE Yemen, Hadhramaut & Mahrah
185_Chabahar, Baluchestan, Iran
186_Kovallam, Kerala, SW India
187_Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India
188_Hithadhoo, Laamu&Thaa, Maldives
189_Gan, Addu & Fuamullah, Maldives
190_Arugam Bay, SE Sri Lanka

East Asia

191_Ngapali, Rakhine & Ayeyarwaddy, Myanmar
192_Phuket, Thailand
193_Cherating, Pahang & Terengganu, Malaysia
194_Lhok Nga, Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
195_Hu’u, Central Sumbawa, Indonesia
196_Pantai Marosi, Sumba, Indonesia
197_Sopi, North Maluku, Indonesia
198_Tandag, Surigao del Sur, Mindanao, Philippines
199_Baler, Aurora, Luzon E, Philippines
200_Hong Kong & Guangdong Province, China
201_Hainan, China
202_Chialeshui, Kenting, Taiwan
203_Tanegashima, Ryu-Kyu Islands, Japan
204_Japan Sea, West Coast, Japan
205_Jungmun, Cheju Do, South Korea


206_Gnaraloo, North West WA, Australia
207_Ulladulla, South Coast NSW, Australia
208_The Entrance, Central Coast NSW, Australia
209_Lord Howe Island, NSW, Australia

Pacific Islands

210_Dunedin, SE Coast SI, New Zealand
211_Ahipara, Northland NI, New Zealand
212_Santa Isabel, Malaita & Makira, Solomon
213_Majuro, Ralik Chain, Marshall Islands
214_Pohnpei, Micronesia
215_Kiritimati & Tabuaeran, Line Islands, Kiribati
216_Waikiki, Oahu South & West shores, Hawaii

North America

217_Sitka, Gulf of Alaska, USA
218_Tofino, Vancouver Island, Canada
219_Humboldt, California, USA
220_Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA
221_Great Lakes, USA

Central America & Carribean

222_San Miguel, Northern Baja, Mexico
223_Salina Cruz, East Oaxaca, Mexico
224_Punta Mango, Oriente Salvaje, El Salvador
225_Dominical, South Coast, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
226_Yumuri, Guantanamo, Cuba
227_Yallah’s, Jamaica
228_Cap Haitien, Haiti
229_Antigua & Barbuda, Leeward
230_Mount Irvine, Trinidad & Tobago

South America

231_Caracas, Vargas Coast, Venezuela
232_Pradomar, Caribbean Colombia
233_Nuqui, Pacific Colombia
234_Bermejo, Ancash, Peru
235_Ilo, Moquega, Peru
236_Totorallilo, Atacama_Region 3&4, Chile
237_Buchupureo, BioBio_Region 7&8, Chile
238_La Paloma, Rocha & Maldonado, Uruguay
239_Torres, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
240_Arari, Maranhão, Pororoca, Brazil

Apr 10, 2009

SriLankan Airlines Pro

Dhiraagu signs on as official partner premier WQS event

ASP 6-Star Prime Mens WQS event

Chaaya Island Dhonveli, Maldive Islands
8 - 14 June 2009

The Association of Surfing Professionals Australasia (ASP) and SriLankan Airlines are proud to announce that Dhiraagu, the number one telecom service provider in Maldives, has signed on as an official partner for the 2009 SriLankan Airlines Pro – Maldives.

“We are excited to once again partner with the premier telecom provider in the Maldives and the support provided by Dhiraagu is vital to the success of the SriLankan Airlines Pro – Maldives and ensures that people all around the world will be able to access up-to-date information and watch the event live,” said ASP Australasia Tour Manager Dane Jordan.

Dhiraagu will provide all International roaming capabilities for the event along with vital internet connections to allow daily press and the live video webcast to be broadcast to the world. “We are proud to be associated with such a magnificent sporting event and the live webcast showcases Dhiraagu’s advanced telecommunication networks” said Mr John Murray, Head of Marketing for Dhiraagu.

“Not only does this high quality live webcast highlight the great surf in the Maldives it also presents the magnificent tropical location to hundreds of thousands of people around the world and promotes our island paradise to the world.”

The SriLankan Airlines Pro is a 6 Star PRIME World Qualifying Series event and will run from 8th – 14th June, on Chaaya Island Dhonveli home to the world famous wave of Pasta Point.

The event will attract over 100 of the worlds best surfers including numerous former World Champions and current ASP World Junior Champion Kai Barger (HAW). Competitors will come from 5 different continents and over 15 different countries.

The 2009 SriLankan Airlines Pro is proudly sponsored by SriLankan Airlines, Maldives Tourism and Promotions, Atoll Travel, Dhiraagu, Atoll Adventures and ASP Australasia.