Six Senses Water/wo/men
September 30th – October 4th, 2011
Six Senses, a recognized innovator in environmental sustainability, hosts the Maldives’ first gathering of watersports icons and the world’s leading water conservationists. We invite you to join them at this cutting edge of environmental protection and efforts to ensure clean drinking water for all, in one of the most stunning yet precarious aquatic eco-systems on earth.
Watermen, from legendary surfers, windsurfers and kite surfers to divers and free divers will offer clinics to Six Senses Laamu guests while renowned musicians jam on the sandbanks. Conservationists will lead riveting dialogues and debates on the most pressing marine and drinking water issues facing our planet today while chefs keep us sustained with ethically sourced gourmet food, best enjoyed with biodynamic wines from Australia’s Margaret River.
Maldivians have long ridden their now world famous waves on wooden planks. However it was only in 1973 when Australian surfers Tony Hussein-Hinde and Mark Scanlon were shipwrecked among the northern atolls en route between breaks in Sri Lanka and Réunion Island that modern surfing in the Maldives got its start. Now this postcard perfect holiday destination is also the frontline in the battle against rising sea levels. What happens to the Maldives and its 400,000 inhabitants may foretell the future of coastal regions around the globe. For fifteen years, Six Senses has led the effort to protect these precious 1,190 islands draped like a delicate necklace over the equator. Named a ‘Hero of the Environment’ by Time magazine, Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed has called for his country to become the world’s first carbon-neutral nation by 2020.
Together, we can keep the Maldives from slipping under the sea. “The future well-being of our planet rests in our convincing people that the environment is worth saving” – Fabien Cousteau (legendary oceanic explorer, Six Senses Waterman)
This timely gathering will take place at the new Six Senses Laamu, the only resort in remote Laamu Atoll, 150 kilometres north of the equator and famed for its ultrafine soft sand. The closest neighbours here on Olhuveli Island are frolicking dolphins and a full Technicolor spectrum of tropical fish living along Laamu’s pristine coral reef. From Male’ International Airport, Six Senses Laamu is a captivating forty-minute flight over the full spectrum of nautical hues and ringed shaped reefs known as faru, then a twenty minute speed boat ride away. Using local, sustainable materials allowed Six Senses to make only the lightest footprint on this otherwise untouched paradise.
Laamu’s ninety-seven responsibly luxurious villas sit back on the beach nestled among the lush indigenous vegetation or over the clear turquoise lagoon. Each offers complete privacy along with Six Senses signature creature comforts.
Just off their own blue lagoon, surf the majestic ‘Ying Yang’ wave, first ridden by legends Pat O’Connell and Satoshi Sekino in 1996. Kite and windsurfers take note: gusts reach 20 knots between July and November.
Underwater, divers and snorkelers swim in virtually un-swum waters among grey and white tipped reef sharks, speckled stingrays, kaleidoscopic Napoleon wrasse and turtles in Laamu’s thriving coral reef. Boat trips to dive, snorkel, swim and picnic on a sandbank launch daily. After dark, the water party moves to Chill Bar, built on several levels all over water, with a cocktail list more Manhattan than Maldives, prepared with local tropical ingredients so drinks taste as they were originally intended – there’s no essence of pomegranate here! Once the sun’s orange orb sinks beneath the inky sea, gentle jazz gives way to the original spins of visiting celebrity DJs. If you play, take a seat at their only-in-the-Maldives piano, made almost entirely of recycled driftwood.
Annually from this year, Six Senses will bring together on Laamu a highly select group of international athletes and pioneering conservationists, bound together by a deep love of water and an active commitment to making a difference in our world. This year’s Six Senses Watermen gather in support of:
Blue Marine Foundation (www.bluemarinefoundation.com), created by Chris Gorell Barnes, the producer of “The End of the Line”, the defining documentary about over-fishing. This recent initiative works to place 10 % of the world’s oceans into secure marine reserves by 2020, beginning with Chagos Islands, an area rich in marine biodiversity, south of the Maldives, where shark population is still being threatened. Watermen will help secure marine protected areas in the Maldives.
Plant A Fish (www.plantafish.org) is a hands-on marine education and restoration effort led by 3rd generation ocean explorer Fabien Cousteau to engage local communities around the globe through schools, businesses and government agencies to “re-plant” aquatic plants and animals in environmentally stressed areas.
Water Charity (www.watercharity.org), a top ranked non-profit that provides safe drinking water, effective sanitation and health education to those in need. Since 2008, Six Senses contributions and cooperation by banning the importation of plastic water bottles from our properties has given over 350,000 people access to safe drinking water.
Six Senses Water/wo/men is all about loving and enjoying the earth’s aquatic wonders among those as passionate as you:
- Keith Teboul (USA) Pro windsurfer, top board shaper and founding partner of +H2O
- Levi Siver (USA) Pro windsurfer, Red Bull rider and founding partner of +H2O
- Pascal Bronnimann (USA) Pro windsurfer, Diamond Head Pro-Am winner and
founding partner of +H2O
- Jake Miller (USA) Pro windsurfer, freestyle rider and founding partner of +H2O
- Kai Lenny (USA) 17-year-old stand-up-paddle champion
- Duncan Zuur (NED) Wakeboard and kite surf world champion
- Anna von Boetticher (GER) Free dive world champion
- Alex Caizergues (FRA) Kite surf world champion
- Buzzy Kerbox (USA) Surfing World Cup champion and co-inventor of tow-in surfing
- Layne Beachley (AUS) 7 times surfing world champion
- Mark Shinn (GBR) Kite surf world champion
- Terry Simms (USA) 25 years surf pro and one of the finest surf coach in the world
- Herbie Fletcher (USA) Longboard surfing legend and artist
- Tripoli Patterson (USA) Surf champion and New York gallery owner
- Takuji Masuda (JAP) Former national Japanese surfing champion and documentarian
- Jose Garcia (FRA) French actor and kite surfer
- Michaela Merten (GER) German actress
- Denis Simachev (RUS) Russian designer and surfer
- Prahlad & Mitali Kakkar (IND) Indian filmmaker, diver and Reef Watch Marine conservationist co-founder
- Shekkar Kapur (IND) Golden Globe winning Indian filmmaker of the forthcoming Paani exploring Mimbai’s shrinking water supply
- Suhil Seth (IND) Indian TV anchor
- Jane Seymour (GBR) Actress, environmentalist who narrated “Running Dry”
- Jim Thebaut (USA) Filmmaker of “Running Dry”
- Fabien Cousteau (FRA) Third generation French ocean explorer, aquatic filmmaker and founder of Plant-A-Fish
- Dr. Jacqueline Chan (USA) Co-founder of Water Charity
- Dr. Sylvia Earle (USA) Oceanographer, Time magazine’s first “Hero of the Planet”
- Carl Gustaf Lundin (SUI) Director, Global Marine Programme, International Union for the Conservation of Nature
- Dr. Callum Roberts (GRB) Marine conservation biologist and Oceanographer
- Averill Strasser (USA) Founder of Water Charity
Additional events and activities
When you are not in the water, Six Senses and the Watermen encourage your participation in any and all of these diverse and stimulating events and activities:
- Marine restoration in the Maldives workshop with Fabien Cousteau.
- Global clean water distribution dialogue led by Water Charity experts.
- Chagos Islands marine conservation update by Blue Marine Foundation.
- Debates among the marine biologists and watersports legends on our most pressing water issues and the challenges of raise global awareness and funds.
- Beach clean ups.
- Coral reef restoration with Fabien Cousteau.
- Reef monitoring.
- Recycled flip flop art with Unique Eco.
- Mural painting with the local community and legendary watermen.
- Cinema under the stars, including iconic watersports movies and groundbreaking documentaries such as Running Dry and The End of the Line and more…
Six Senses and The Watermen request the pleasure of your company…
Proceeds from your stay will be donated to Blue Marine Foundation, Plant A Fish and Water Charity. Six Senses Laamu contributes a carbon levy for all guests, hosts and supplies flights which is invested in clean energy projects through The SLOW LIFE Trust. Not only do the projects mitigate carbon through clean energy, but also create social benefits as well as revenue that will be reinvested in more carbon mitigating projects. A 1.5 MW wind turbine in India has been fully funded so far. Please note the Maldives’ 16 % tax to room, food and beverages charges is applicable.