Watch: Josh Kerr wins the 2019 Four Seasons Champions Trophy

Swellnet Dispatch

KUDA HURAA, MALDIVES (Sunday, August 11, 2019) - In pulsing, overhead conditions at Sultans today Australian Josh Kerr claimed Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy for the second year running. He and fellow Australian Joel Parkinson won the single-fin and twin-fin divisions respectively to book their spots in the Grand Final matchup, despite both earlier falling in the semi-finals of the thruster division. The pair’s third and deciding battle for the week lived up to the hype with the two Championship Tour veterans going blow-for-blow in a gripping encounter worthy of the occasion.

Parkinson kicked off proceedings with an 8.5 and a 7.27 to take an early lead, but things were just getting started. Kerr opened his account with a 7.17 and then a 9.33 to move into the lead, before it quickly swung back to 2012 World Champion Parkinson when he unleashed a series of trademark swoops and vertical stabs up into the lip for a 9.17. Kerr was on the wave behind, however, and pulled off the most incredible manoeuvre ever witnessed at the Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy: an explosive grab rail reverse (also known as a Club Sandwich) performed on an incredibly critical opening section of the wave. The dynamic display netted 2001 World Airshow Champion Kerr a near-perfect 9.93, and won him the event.

“I already had a couple of good scores,” said Kerr after his win, “so I decided to put everything I could into my next wave and see if I couldn’t put the final nail in the coffin. It was a steep, gnarly section, as I was bottom-turning I was thinking to myself, ‘what are you doing?’ but went for it anyway. Somehow I came out of it really clean and had the biggest smile on my face for the rest of the wave, it was really cool.”

Parko and Josh in the Final

“Kerrzy went to town on me!” said Parkinson at the presentation. “I thought I started really well, then next thing you know I was on the ropes! Kerrzy had a 9.33 and nearly a perfect 10, and even though I had a 9.17 of my own I was still chasing a combination and pretty much packed it in and headed back to the boat with four minutes to go. This week’s as much about the beauty of the Maldives as the surf contest though, and to get to share all of this with my family is really special. Riding different boards was incredible too! I’ve been asked a lot over my career and never been able to choose, but I’m pretty sure now that my twin-fin is the board I’d ride for the rest of my life if I had to pick one!”

“Obviously the prize money and the trophy are cool,” said Kerr, “but getting to come back here to Four Seasons Maldives is the real reward. Today is my 13th wedding anniversary, lucky number 13, so that’s a great anniversary present for my wife, as well as having the kids here. I didn’t win too many events during my career, so it’s extra cool to win this in front of them.”

In the final of the thruster division, 2019 Waterman Of The Year, Hawaiian Kai Lenny, took out three-time Championship Tour event winner, Matt Wilkinson, from Australia. After non-stop waves saw Lenny and Wilkinson knock out Kerr and Parkinson in the semi-finals, the ocean then went to sleep for the thruster division’s decider. Famed for his big wave surfing and multi-board heroics it was an ecstatic Kai Lenny who claimed the win with a 12.00 total after Wilkinson only caught one wave in the encounter, a 6.33.

Parko on top in the Twins

“When I saw the roster for this event I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to keep up,” said Lenny. “But, with each round I got more confident, and come the thruster division I was definitely feeling more comfortable. I was watching the rest of the guys closely, and felt like I was improving with every wave. I’ll definitely take some confidence from this win, especially in really good waves up against a Championship Tour field.

“I was blown away by how good the single and twin-fins were, they seemed magic! We were surfing some decent sized waves and I was doubtful, but the performance level was different, and there’s something really refreshing about the lines you have to draw. The Maldives are the ultimate playground, they offer every type of condition for every type of activity, and even when the surf is supposedly no good it’s still firing!”

Josh Kerr wins the Single Fin division

“I really wanted to make the final today,” said Wilkinson, “so was fired up for the semi-final with Joel. I’ve always loved surfing against him, so to beat him at a perfect right point is pretty nice! It was a pretty slow final and I didn’t get too many chances, but I’ve loved my week here in the Maldives and will go home with a lot of great memories.”

After Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) withdrew from the event, Kerr and Wilkinson received first round walk-throughs today. In the second of the three-man round one heats, Parkinson and Kai Lenny defeated local wildcard Mohamed Fayaz, who went down swinging and put on his best performance of the event. “I don’t know what to say,” said Fayaz, “This week has been so fun. I always used to watch these guys on tour and in all their movies, but this is the first time I’ve got to see them in real life and it’s just been so exciting.”

Grand Final

Josh Kerr 19.26 def Joel Parkinson 17.67

Thruster Division Results 

1. Kai Lenny (HAW)
2. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
3. Joel Parkinson (AUS) equal with Josh Kerr (AUS)
5. Mohamed Fayaz (MDV)

2019 FS Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy Leaderboard

Josh Kerr (AUS) 2700pts
Joel Parkinson (AUS) 2700pts
Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 2500pts
Kai Lenny (HAW) 2500pts
Mohamed Fayaz (MDV) 2300pts

Comments

Ted from the moon's picture
Ted from the moon's picture
Ted from the moon commented Monday, 12 Aug 2019 at 10:38am

Classic how there was only 400 points between Fayaz and Kerr at the end. Seems just a little weird..............

surfstarved's picture
surfstarved's picture
surfstarved commented Monday, 12 Aug 2019 at 12:37pm

Never really felt comfortable with this contest - all very idyllic if you can ignore the repressive authoritarian regime, widespread poverty and pending devastation wrought by rising sea levels. Amazing surf, but you'd be selling a little piece of your soul with each wave.

Don't let the bastards grind you down

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster commented Monday, 12 Aug 2019 at 1:21pm

Thanks for brightening everyone's day up mate!

Cheers.

surfstarved's picture
surfstarved's picture
surfstarved commented Monday, 12 Aug 2019 at 8:04pm

Just recognising that we occupy positions of extraordinary privilege in this world and that to just blithely wander about the globe catching waves, riding foils behind hobie cats and flying to surf breaks in flying boats while just down the road people's very existence is threatened by the results of our pursuit of happiness isn't, perhaps, the most responsible attitude to adopt.

But hey, the waves were pretty good ay?

Don't let the bastards grind you down

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Tuesday, 13 Aug 2019 at 10:30am

Didn’t watch the clip, not interested..

But surfstartved are you saying you’ve never flown to Indonesia or any other 3rd world country for surf trip?

surfstarved's picture
surfstarved's picture
surfstarved commented Tuesday, 13 Aug 2019 at 6:33pm

I haven't, as it happens, unless you count NZ or Spain. I prefer road trips to cold water reefs west of Adelaide or up the east coast. When I travel, I like to actually go into the communities that I'm passing through. Those opulent five-star resorts are so far from what I understand as reality and they aren't benefiting anyone except the already filthy-rich, privileged elite.

It's all relative, of course, and for millions of people around the world my income and lifestyle would seem to fall into the category of rich, privileged, elite. But those Maldives resorts are on a different scale entirely and not one that I could ever see myself being comfortable with, given the condition that the have-nots of that nation have to contend with.

I wouldn't be able to just turn away and enjoy myself with that going on just down the road (figuratively speaking, of course).

Don't let the bastards grind you down

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Tuesday, 13 Aug 2019 at 3:23pm

Fair enough. Practicing what you preach. I like it

hamishbro's picture
hamishbro's picture
hamishbro commented Friday, 16 Aug 2019 at 8:02am

Great points, surfstarved. It’s all a bit Kim K.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Monday, 12 Aug 2019 at 2:22pm

I really want to like it, but the thruster surfing looks like thruster surfing, the twin fin surfing looks like thruster surfing and the single fin surfing looks like thruster surfing.

It just seems .......pointless.

and somehow, those edits were so painful to watch with the music that the whole thing was a bit of a punish.

am I being too harsh?

sneakerset's picture
sneakerset's picture
sneakerset commented Monday, 12 Aug 2019 at 2:43pm

I have to agree Freeride. What's the point of the format if the contestants just ride their regular thrusters and take out a fin or two?!?? Surely if you're going to run that format have them ride an appropriate shaped single and twin fin.

sneakerset's picture
sneakerset's picture
sneakerset commented Monday, 12 Aug 2019 at 2:47pm

I would like to nominate myself for next years event and I'll bring along a genuine single fin and a twinny :)

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Monday, 12 Aug 2019 at 3:20pm

Lovely waves and all, but I found it hard to look past that level of ostentatious luxury, it's pretty mindless.

And the music for that twin fin video made it unlistenable

mr mick's picture
mr mick's picture
mr mick commented Monday, 12 Aug 2019 at 4:57pm

That music straight out of a half naked blogger prancing & dancing around on insta accompanied by her over steroid, impossibly good looking, action man,Euro cardboard cut out boyfriend filming themselves on gropro, travelling the world!!!........ Wish i was that man.............sniff.

Mr mick

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 13 Aug 2019 at 4:04pm
mr mick's picture
mr mick's picture
mr mick commented Tuesday, 13 Aug 2019 at 6:51pm

Haha, now that's a little weird .......or maybe just a bit kinky...........grrrrrrrrrrrr!

Mr mick

CMC's picture
CMC's picture
CMC commented Monday, 12 Aug 2019 at 3:31pm

Not too harsh, came across as a bit of an infomercial.....c'mon folks get on a seaplane and land next to the break and have a surf!! (like we can all afford that right?)
Glad I went there a few times in the mid 90's.....

isaacday's picture
isaacday's picture
isaacday commented Tuesday, 13 Aug 2019 at 6:58pm

What about the average punters who save up for a few years to do a boat trip over there. You're waiting at a spot for the tide and wind to come good and as soon as it does a plane load of pros land on it. Happened to a friend, Gabby and Brazilian entourage.

ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko commented Monday, 12 Aug 2019 at 5:40pm

have to agree with all the criticism above (re thruster surfing, music, and politics). but gotta say that wave looks soooo fun

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude commented Monday, 12 Aug 2019 at 9:21pm

You guys beat me too it. Formula one / CT style outlines all seemed to perform pretty similarly. If the edit's didn't have the 'single' / 'twin' caption or the obligatory underwater 'I'm on on a twin fin shot' you'd hardly notice the difference.

Opulence flaunted. Poor blokes, probably all needed a holiday.

WendyM's picture
WendyM's picture
WendyM commented Tuesday, 13 Aug 2019 at 7:32pm

Joel is my love child

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 13 Aug 2019 at 8:40pm

Who’s the father ?

Greenfrog's picture
Greenfrog's picture
Greenfrog commented Friday, 16 Aug 2019 at 7:44pm

As if the North Male area isnt crowded enough but to have one of the better breaks taken out of action for a week so the privileged few can have fun and promote a resort sucks. If it has to continue just run it on one day on board of choice.

theblacksheep's picture
theblacksheep's picture
theblacksheep commented Friday, 16 Aug 2019 at 10:50pm

These guys must be laughing pulling off this comp. Full mates only invites, lock down a local break, luxury gigs. Better than a WSL event and no circus. Seriously good on them I guess. If sponsors are happy and they had the balls to put it together. I’m just jealous I’m not an ex legend with a pass.