10 lucky FCS competition winners lived every surfers dream, 7 days on-board a luxury 35 meter yacht, cruising the Maldives in search of perfect waves. Follow their journey here:
Day 1: (Sunday)
10:00 am airport arrival. One of the top French surfers from back in the day, Gilles Darque, former European Rip Curl team manager, has also come along on the trip as a coach to provide personalized advice. We made the short trip to Sultans for rough weather and small conditions—everyone is still just stoked to be here at this point so no one is too put off by the poor weather.
Day 2: (Monday)
Early morning surf session at Sultans. A 5 am session that actually worked well for the surfers and the crew (the crew had to wake up early during the Ramadan anyways.) The weather was a bit better, with a few lines coming through, but it really ended up being just a solid warm up. At midday, we moved the boat to the island of Thulusdhoo (further North) to surf Cokes and Chickens. Luckily no boats were there and we were able to fight the current and side shore winds by ourselves. The solid day of surfing ended with wine testing in the evening—especially for the French coach.
Day 3: (Tuesday)
Woke up to a sunny morning and slightly better surf conditions. Spent our morning session at Cokes—and it was certainly refreshing. The photographer named Affif, from Beach Brother Magazine, took a group picture of us holding all the country flags on the deck. It was a proud moment. With good offshore wind and growing swell, we had an epic midday session at Chickens. Around 2:00 pm we decided to go to South Male as the peak of the swell was supposed to hit the following day. Although South Male atoll is a bit less consistent than North Male atoll, very few surf charters venture down there so it was a bit of a risk. The risk paid off when we arrived at Quarters for a late afternoon session of clean conditions and perfect waves, even if still a bit small (1m).
Day 4: (Wednesday)
Woke up and surfed Quarters in the morning at low tide, where we realized the swell had finally hit. It was an epic session. In the afternoon, part of the group went surfing at Guru’s, the perfect lefthander just a few meters away from where the boat was anchored. The ideal conditions brought out the pros, and some of the boys could see Chippa Wilson, Asher Pacey and Liam Turner doing crazy aerials. At night, we tested regional dishes brought by all the winners. The Portugal winner served Bacalhau, the Swiss winner served typical chocolate, the French winner served cheese, and etc. Although a bit cliché, it was a really nice moment.
Day 5: (Thursday)
Hoping to explore even more of what the Maldives had to offer, we went further South, near the island of Guraidhoo. The waves at Guraidhoo are known as Natives (Kandooma Resort) and Last Stop, literally referring to the fact that after this point you are completely lost in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The Swiss winner got a little banged up at Natives, but received a few stitches on the nearby island. The rest of us enjoyed surfing Last Stop, which is pretty much a wave in the middle of the ocean.
Day 6: (Friday)
Surfed Last stop again in the morning, and shared the wave with another boat before it cleared out around 10:00 am and we had a really clean session just for us. In the afternoon, we decided to come back to the North and anchored next to the Himmafushi Island. This is where the winners saw what the Maldives is really all about. We surfed Honky’s for a few hours, and then some of us went surfing at Jailbreak, and others went to Sultans—all the spots were going off!! Having a hard time choosing between awesome waves was a really nice problem to face.
Day 7: (Saturday)
We spent the morning surfing at Sultans with the Dhoni before we moved the boat into position right in front of the break. This last session at Sultans was perfect. All alone in the water, there was great size and it turned out to be easily one of the best sessions of the trip. At 4PM, we had a few interviews with the photographer Affif on the boat deck, packed our boards, returned to the airport, and jumped in the plane. It was definitely a week of amazing waves and incredible memories . . .
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