Good afternoon world champions and everyone who is present here.

We are people of the sea and we all grow up with the elements around us and for us the sea is never very far away from us. From a very tender age we are taught to swim and we actually live half of our lives in the sea. If you map the life of a fisherman, you will very often find that the fisherman is more often at sea than on land. We have 44% of our workforce in fishing and therefore we have more people on the ocean than we have on land.

Now people who are in the oceans will, I’m sure appreciate the world champions very, very much. I have come here because since childhood, I have always appreciated, and now that I have actually seen your faces, we have always appreciated and we have always looked up at you.

There is a whole generation of Maldivians who I am sure worship you and they are honored that you are in this country and I would like to say that you are very, very welcome here and I would like to say please keep coming. I cannot stress more the dedication that you have to put into a sport such as this, very early mornings and continuously looking for it and striving for it and then finally becoming a champion. It’s never a very easy thing to do and I congratulate all those who have taken part and all those who have won. I will not go on and on, but I am sure that we can have a very good evening tonight and I hope that you will come again to the Maldives. As for how many people we want to bring to the Maldives to surf that we have to think about.
I am very often told that if you have more than 10, 15 people in a spot that’s a crowd and people get bored out of it; waiting for a way.

I suppose the secret is also necessary to be kept. The Maldives is a secret and especially the secret of the wave points; we are not exactly certain what to do about it. We have these resources and how we use it should be for the benefit of all humankind and for everyone to enjoy it.

Thank you very much.