Shane Dorian (HAW) has continued his love affair with twin fins taking out the division for a second year in a row as competition continues at the 2016 Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy.
Dorian looked in good form all day finding a number of long Sultans tubes and unleashing his furious rail game on the clean four-foot walls on offer all day. The big-wave charger was able to post an excellent heat total of 16.24 (out of a possible 20) to overcome fellow Hawaiian Jamie O’Brien in the Final.
“I’m so stoked to be back here in the beautiful place,” Dorian said. “Surfing with all these guys is so sick, I’m just having a blast. That board had not felt good in any surf’s until my first heat and then it all just started to click, which was lucky. Hopefully I can make the final in the thruster division and have a shot at getting back here.”
After a shaky start to the contest during the single fin round, O’Brien was keen to impress on the twin fin which he did, posting impressive scores on his way to the final.
“I’m just stoked to be in the final,” O’Brien said. “It’s been really fun surfing all these guys, my first heat today was almost like a Championship Tour (CT) line-up. It’s been really cool to surf with Bethany; she is such an inspiration. I’m just loving it here.”
BethaNy Hamilton was a standout performer on the twin fin. Having only just had a couple of days practice on the unique craft the Hawaiian goofy foot looked like she was on a thruster going vertical turn after turn. It was not enough to progress to the semifinals so Hamilton will look to reset and focus on the thruster division (three fin conventional board).
“This was my first time surfing a twin fin,” Hamilton said. “It’s really fun, I like how you really have to draw out your turns. Surfing with all of these guys is so amazing it’s just fun to be in the water with them, it gets me excited to surf and pushes me. I’m not in it to take them down but it would be cool to make a heat against them.”
After taking out the single fin division, Australian Taj Burrow was hoping to set himself up for an overall final appearance with a solid result in the twin fin. This wouldn’t be the case as Burrow was unable to find a solid scoring wave while O’Brien and Dorian went blow for blow pulling into long draining barrels in the dying minutes of the heat.
“I didn’t know waves that good would come through at this place,” Burrow said. “Those waves at the end were amazing, I was so jealous I wasn’t on them. I didn’t surf this morning so it took me a while to get used to the twin fin. I never really got into a rhythm. It’s all good though I still had a hell time.”
Also being out done by the Hawaiian duos tube time was local trials winner Hussain ‘Iboo’ Areef, who’s stylish backhand was unable to get him the nod from the judges on this day. “It was fun out there but quite hard,” Areef said.
“I was really hoping to get a bomb set wave but it didn’t really happen. I’m just looking forward to getting on the thruster.”
Travis Logie may swap his thruster for a twin fin after the goofy foot South African put on an absolute clinic at Sultans. Logie posted a solid heat total of 14.97 but was unable to overcome O’Brien who was given an excellent score for his tube riding.
“I felt really good on the board,” Logie said “It’s really tough to compete against a natural footer in waves like that especially when they’re getting barrels, it forces you to go really hard on your backhand turns. I’m really happy with how I surfed out there.”
Rob Machado was unable to make it back-to-back finals appearances as he came up against a rampaging Shane Dorian. In a heat filled with non-stop waves, the two friends went wave for wave each posting a number of scores in the excellent range. Machado’s amazing heat total of 18.00 wasn’t enough and Dorian took the heat win by just 0.77 of a point.
“Surfing against Shane again was so fun,” Machado said. It’s been so long since we have and in conditions like that, it was just perfect. It was a really good heat, the waves kind of didn’t stop and we were both posting high scores which is always a good indicator of the fun we’re having.”
Check back at WorldSurfLeague.com for more images and information on the 2016 Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy or on the WSL App as competitors ready themnselves for the thruster division.
Twin Fin Division Results
Heat 1: Travis Logie (ZAF) 16.10, Rob Machado (USA) 11.43, Bethany Hamilton (HAW) 9.80
Heat 2: Shane Dorian (HAW) 18.48, Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.16, Iboo Areef (MDV) 9.10, Jamie O’Brien (HAW) 18.23
Heat 1: Jamie O’Brien (HAW) 16.43, Travis Logie (ZAF) 14.97
Heat 2: Rob Machado (USA) 18.00, Shane Dorian (HAW) 18.84
Final: Shane Dorian (HAW) 16.24, Jamie O’Brien (HAW) 14.00
About The Event: Unique in many ways, the Surfing Champions Trophy determines heat times based on age and tests skill across three divisions: single-fin, twin-fin, and thruster. Places are granted by invitation-only to six world champions in a battle for inner-circle kudos and a US$25,000 prize pot.