Iconic Californian surfer Taylor Knox (USA), 42, defeated three time world champion Tom Curren (USA), 49, to win the Grand Final of the 2013 Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy and the USD10000 first-place prize.
After an amazing week of competition from the six world surfing champions, it all came down to final thirty seconds, with Knox locking in a late 9.17 score to claim victory in the pristine 1.5 metre (4-5ft) reef break waves of Sultans Point. The hotly contested final, saw four excellent rides posted by the two Californians. Knox opened strongly for an early lead with a 9.27. Curren answered back at the half way mark with a heat high 9.43 to be looking down the barrel at victory.
But patients paid off for Knox, who required a 9-point ride and used his priority wisely to pick off a 9.17 in the final minute to claim the win. Knox finished with a heat total of 18.40 to Curren’s 18.33 (out of a possible 20).
“I got a couple at the start and was thinking I’m in a good position here, but as I’m paddling back out, there’s Tom sitting in the barrel,” said Knox. “I had to use my priority because I knew he had taken the lead. I held myself back and waited it out for that set wave right at the end.”
Knox, who retired as the oldest and one of the most respected surfers on the ASP world tour last year, at age 41, said he achieved today what he had failed to do at the elite level. “I could never do it on the world tour, I had to come to the Maldives and learn off these guys and as Kelly Slater said ‘I’m one of the best surfers but not a good competitor’ but that's changing now,” he added.
A super cool Curren remained unfazed under pressure, despite his opponent’s seem ably insurmountable early lead the mythical surfer/musician found the events only barrel in the final to bounce back. However it wasn’t enough to halt Knox in his inaugural Maldivian campaign and Curren finished runner-up for the second consecutive year.