Caption: Harley Ingleby winning his second WSL Longboard Title in China last year. Pic WSL/Will H-S[/caption] Hailing from NSW’s Coffs Coast, Harley Ingleby (AUS) began surfing aged four on a custom-built 5’6 single-fin longboard made by his Dad. He grew up experimenting with a variety of boards but his destiny was set; he joined the World Longboard Tour in 2005, came third in his second year, and went on to win the title in 2009 and 2014. Passionate about surfing in all its guises, he takes a keen interest in board design – a skill that will stand him in good stead for the development of the multi-discipline equipment used during the Champions Trophy. And having won his first WSL Longboard title in the Maldives, the country holds a special place in his heart – “I’m super excited to be going back there to surf this unique event,” he comments, “and to live it up at Four Seasons Kuda Huraa!” [caption id="attachment_15625" align="alignright" width="1600"] Caption: Neco Padaratz showing power and polish at Bells. Pic WSL/Robertson.[/caption] Third time lucky? No stranger to the Champions Trophy – and testament to the event’s allure – Tom Curren (USA) is returning for the third time: he came second in 2012 to Damien Hardman and was pipped to the post by Taylor Knox in the nail-biting last minute of the 2013 Grand Final. The three-time World Champion is one of the sport’s most revered icons, emulated the world over since the mid-‘80s and lauded as one of Kelly Slater’s only surf idols. With his name linked to some of surfing’s greatest ever heats (think Bells Beach in the ‘85-86 WSL season…) he brings style and soul as a matter of course. “I have such amazing memories of Kuda Huraa and the Champions Trophy is an awesome surfing occasion, I didn’t need any convincing to return,” he comments. “The camaraderie on and off the waves has to be experienced to be believed.” Meanwhile surfing enthusiasts and media commentators alike are eagerly awaiting the unprecedented showdown in style between Curren and Rasta. Never before has the sport of surfing had a platform to showcase these two icons head to head in a heat.
Brazil’s Neco Padaratz is a seasoned professional. Turning pro at the age of 18 the two-time World Qualifying Series Champion boasts an amazing record of thirteen ‘QS victories; the most of any Brazilian surfer. Now, 20 years later Padaratz remains inspired by his surfing successors of Adriano De Souza and Filipe Toledo who are number one and two in the world respectively. “I’m going to bring the ‘Brazilian Storm’ to the Maldives” he jokes. “Actually I’m just so stoked to be sharing the Four Seasons Maldives experience with my wife, we’re beside ourselves with excitement.” The Surfing Champions Trophy is organised in conjunction with luxury surf pioneers, Tropicsurf (the pros behind Four Seasons Resort Kuda Huraa’s surf courses and trips) and run from the Four Seasons Explorer catamaran.
For more information visit: www.surfingchampionstrophy.com]]>