- 03 September 2012 | Surfing
Damien Hardman defeated Tom Curren to claim the Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy 2012, at Sultan's Point, Kuda Huraa.
The Australian surfing legend and two-time world champion narrowly beat Curren in the Grand Champions final. The decisive heat took place crisp three- to five-foot (1.5 metres) reef-break waves pulsing through all day.
The invitational event saw five world surfing champions, Hardman, Curren, Mark Occhilupo, Martin Potter and Rhil Rajzman compete across three divisions to qualify for the Grand Champions Trophy.
"I can't remember the last time I won sixteen grand," said Hardman. "It's been a great week, for our ages we are all surfing on top of our game and Curren was amazing today," said Hardman. "It was a serious contest out there, but at the same time I had a lot of fun".
It was a magical week in the Maldives for Hardman, winning both the Single and Twin Fin divisions to claim $6000 before adding another $10,000 to his total prize tally of $16000.
Hardman opened quickly in the final, locking in an 8.83, leaving Curren playing catch-up straight out of the gates. With two minutes remaining the door opened for Curren when Hardman lost priority, but the inconsistent conditions favored the ever-strategic Australian, who would eventually go on to claim the 2012 title.
Curren, requiring a 7.5, made one last ditch effort but only managed a 6.5 on his final ride to be forced to settle for second.
"Opening up against Curren in a final where the winner gets ten grand and the waves are quite slow was great," said Hardman. "You can't get a better start than that so I think that was the one wave in the final that made the difference."
Curren who finished with a heat total of 16:10 to Hardman's 16:56 was happy with his performance and the USD6000 win.
"It was a close final and could have gone either way," said Curren. "We had some great exchanges and I knew I had to go on that last wave, as it was inconsistent, but it didn't have the potential to get the score. Sometimes it just goes that way," added Curren.
Grand Final Trophy Results: Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy 2012
Damien Hardman (Aus) 16:56 Tom Curren (USA) 16:10
Final: Tom Curren 13:67 (USA): Phil Rajzman (Brz) 13:20
Twin Fin Results
Final Damien Hardman (Aus) 15.27, Mark Occhilupo (Aus) 12.77