Published on : Thursday, July 17, 2014
With only weeks to go, the Maldives’ ocean stage is set for an epic surfing showdown. Rochelle Ballard – the lone female challenger – is poised to carve her own powerful lines alongside the guys: Sunny Garcia (USA), Taylor Jensen (USA), David “Rasta” Rastovich (Australia),
Fabio Gouveia (Brazil) and defending champion Taylor “TK” Knox (USA) in the world’s most luxurious surfing contest.
A gusty, dynamic regular-footer, Rochelle paved the way for female surfers to master the tube with her pioneering performances on Hawaii’s hollow, hard-breaking waves in the 90s. From 1993 to 2001, she won eight circuit events and was a regular top 10 finisher in the world titles – most recently securing the 2012 Women’s Division ISA World Masters Surfing Championship. Since retiring from pro surfing, Rochelle has run her own highly successful Surf into Yoga wellness retreat on Hawaii’s North Shore.
Rochelle also featured in the movie Blue Crush and is the co-founder of International Women’s Surfing (IWS) – an organization dedicated to the progression of women’s competitive and recreational surfing. Whichever way one looks at it, she’s one of surfing’s elite and is sure to give any competitor – male or female – a run for their money.
“I am really excited to be taking a surfing trip to such a beautiful destination,” comments Rochelle of her trip to Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa. “It’s an honour to be a part of this specialty event in the Maldives.” Being a yogi herself, Rochelle is also looking forward to testing out the Resort’s wellbeing offering, which includes the Island Spa’s stand-up paddleboard yoga.
Four Seasons Maldives fourth annual Surfing Champions Trophy comprises six ex-world champions battling for USD 25,000 prize money across three epic events (single-fin, twin-fin and triple-fin thrusters) – all aboard the Maldives’ finest luxury surf vessel, Four Seasons Explorer. Event co-ordinator Mark Winson of Tropicsurf summarizes the excitement at securing the event’s final competitor:
“We’re stoked to have Rochelle on board. She adds another dimension to the competition – it’s both a battle of the sexes and a clash of the world champs now! And it’s really great to have a female surfing icon for all the local girls taking part in Four Seasons Maldives Domestic Champions Trophy to look up to.”