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Posts Tagged ‘Ballito’

Success for Smith and Lightfoot in Tahiti and France

August 22nd, 2016 No comments
Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) in action on his way to 13th place in the Medoc Ocean Lacanau Pro in France on Sunday Photo: WSL Europe

Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) in action on his way to 13th place in the Medoc Ocean Lacanau Pro in France on Sunday Photo: WSL Europe

South Africans Jordy Smith and Dylan Lightfoot tasted success in separate events in Tahiti and France respectively on the weekend as the World Surf League’s (WSL) Samsung Championship Tour (CT) and Qualifying Series (QS) moved into the second half of the 2016 season.

Smith won his opening heat in the Billabong Pro Tahiti in uncharacteristically inconsistent and small 1.5 metre waves at the fabled surf break of Teahupo’o to advance directly to Round 3 at stop No. 7 of 11 on the CT.

The Durbanite overcame the disadvantage of having to contest the first encounter of the event by posting the heat’s highest single ride score on the first wave and then staying busy throughout the 35 minutes to relegate his rivals Ryan Callinan (AUS) and Dusty Payne (HAW) to cutthroat Round 2 match-ups.

Currently ranked No. 7 on the Jeep Rankings list, Smith will face Matt Banting (AUS) in Round 3 after the injury wildcard defeated Caio Ibelli (BRA) in his Round 2 duel. With the surf forecast for the event indicating that the waves will remain in the 1m to 2m range during the remainder of the event holding period, which runs until Tuesday 30 August, Smith will be keen to improve on his best result of 9th in the event (in 2009 and 2013).

The South African has earned 21 200 points from six events this year, the bulk of which came from his runner-up finish at Bells Beach in Australia at Easter and fifth place at the J-Bay Open last month.

After an injury ravaged 2015 season, Smith will be hoping to stay in touch with the rankings leaders Matt Wilkinson(AUS), John John Florence (HAW) and Gabriel Medina (BRA) in Tahiti before the CT swings through his more favoured events at Trestles in California, where he won in 2014; France (3rd in 2014 and 2011) and Portugal (runner-up in 2014 and 2010).

The 2016 Samsung WSL Championship Tour culminates at the Billabong Pipeline Masters in Hawaii in December where Smith has not placed in the top 12 since his fifth place in 2010, the year he achieved his career best runner-up finish to Kelly Slater (USA) in the chase for the World Surfing Champion title.

Meanwhile in France, Lightfoot bounced back from his early exits in the Ballito Pro and the trials for US Open of Surfing by advancing through two rounds to reach the last 16 of the QS1,500 Medoc Ocean Lacanau Pro, held in challenging 2m to 2.5m waves on the Bay of Biscay coast.

The 21 year-old from Jeffreys Bay incurred an interference penalty in his Round 5 heat on Sunday, leaving him fourth in his heat and 13th overall in the event. The 420 points he earned saw Lightfoot, the 2015 WSL Africa Junior champion, move up six places to 114th on the QS rankings, close to his aim of making the top 100 who qualify for the top rated QS10,000 events.

The event was won by Ballito Pro runner-up Joan Duru (FRA), who defeated reigning WSL Junior champion Lucas Silveira (BRA) in the final to maintain his No. 4 spot on the latest QS rankings. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA), Ethan Ewing (AUS) and Ballito Pro champion Connor O’Leary (AUS) are the top three ranked surfers.

The other South Africans at Lacanau included 2015 WSL Africa champion David van Zyl (Glenashley), who was sidelined in the Round of 64 with equal 33rd place overall. Rookie QS campaigner Michael Monk (East London) and Remi Peterson (Jeffreys Bay), who competes on a Netherlands passport, were eliminated in Round 1.

WSL Africa’s top ranked Qualifying Series competitors, Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga), Michael February (Kommetjie) and Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay), retained their respective QS rankings of 17th, 73rd and 77th despite not competing at Lacanau.

Lightfoot, van Zyl, Monk and Peterson will compete in the QS1,500 Pro Anglet Chambre d’Amour in the Biarritz area of France starting on Wednesday.

Lightfoot and van Zyl will then be joined by de Vries, February, McGillivray and Slade Prestwich (Durban, currently ranked No. 126) in the QS6,000 Pantin Classic Galicia Pro in Spain, which begins on 30 August, and the QS6,000 Azores Pro from 6 September.

All the action at WSL events can be watched LIVE on www.worldsurfleague.com

BILLABONG PRO TAHITI – UPCOMING ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Matt Banting (AUS)
Heat 4: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 5: Nat Young (USA) vs. Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 6: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Bruno Santos (BRA)
Heat 7: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
Heat 8: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 9: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 10: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 11: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Kanoa Igarashi (USA)
Heat 12: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)

WSL Qualifying Series (QS) Men’s Rankings (After Medoc Ocean Lacanau Pro)
1 Fioravanti, Leonardo ITA 17830 points
2 Ewing, Ethan AUS 16500
3 O’Leary, Connor AUS 14700
4 Duru, Joan FRA 14330
5 Silva, Deivid BRA 12680

WSL Africa Members (Top 350 places)
17 De Vries, Beyrick ZAF, uMhlanga 7680
47 Smith, Jordy ZAF, Durban 4800
73 February, Michael ZAF, Kommetjie 3610
79 McGillivray, Matthew ZAF, Jeffreys Bay 3395
114 Lightfoot, Dylan ZAF, Jeffreys Bay 2555
126 Prestwich, Slade ZAF, Durban 2185
166 Staples, Dale ZAF, St Francis Bay 1530
204 Van Zyl, David ZAF, Glenashley 1160
300 Benjamin, Brandon ZAF, Cape Town 695
304 Brand, Davey ZAF, Kommetjie 677
305 Maree, Jordan ZAF, Kalk Bay 675
305 Willis, Bevan ZAF, Umdloti 675
324 Monk, Michael ZAF, East London 628
330 Sykes, Shane ZAF, Salt Rock 610
348 Redman, Daniel ZAF, Umdloti 580
348 Sawyer, Steven ZAF, Jeffreys Bay 580

ENDS

About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

Issued on behalf of:

WSL Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 021 534 5738
Email: cfitch@worldsurfleague.com

Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

#labcomm

Australia’s Connor O’Leary wins Ballito Pro :: Moves to No. 2 on QS Rankings

July 3rd, 2016 No comments
Connor O’Leary (AUS) in winning form during the Ballito Pro where he defeated Joan Duru (FRA) in the final in pristine waves at Willard Beach on Sunday Photo: WSL / Cestari

Connor O’Leary (AUS) in winning form during the Ballito Pro where he defeated Joan Duru (FRA) in the final in pristine waves at Willard Beach on Sunday
Photo: WSL / Cestari

Connor O’Leary (AUS) won the Ballito Pro presented Billabong in epic 1m – 1.5 waves at Willard Beach in KwaDukuza today, defeating Joan Duru (FRA) in the final held in front of a packed beach basking in warm mid-winter sunshine and windless conditions.

In a high scoring final where the lead constantly changed hands, both surfers posted excellent rides on their backhand in the long right-handers before O’Leary etched his name on the winner’s trophy with an explosive ride punctuated by three vertical re-entries for a 9.20 and a 17.30 vs. 15.80 victory.

“It’s surreal. I feel like it hasn’t actually happened and it hasn’t hit me yet. I’m just over the moon,” said O’Leary. “It’s one of my best results so far. To make the final I was beyond stoked and to take the win just tops it off. Joan’s surfing has been amazing recently and he’s one of my favorite surfers on the QS, so to have a final with him was amazing.”

Victory in the first World Surf League (WSL) QS 10,000 rated event of the year earned O’Leary US $40 000 (about R600 000) and his haul of 10 000 points saw the 22 year-old move up 13 places to No. 2 in the rankings.

Duru, ranked No. 8 on the QS coming into the Ballito Pro, franked that form by racking up several of the highest single ride and heat scores during the event.

“That final was close and it was the guy that got the best wavs that was going to win. I got one good one and then I lost priority,’ said Duru. “It’s one of best results in my career so far. Every year I get good results but never as good as this one, so I’m really happy with second place. You surf against some of the best guys in the world, so if you lose one heat it’s okay.”

The Frenchman used his lethal backhand to eliminate local favourite Beyrick de Vries (ZAF) in the quarters and his runner-up finish elevated him to No. 3 on the QS rankings.

Ezekiel Lau (HAW) finished equal third in the Ballito Pro after an outstanding run that saw him oust elite Championship Tour (CT) competitors Stu Kennedy and Jack Freestone, both from Australia, before losing to O’Leary in their semi-final clash.

“For sure it’s my best result on the road and the furthest I’ve been I a QS 10 000, so I’m happy with the result,” said Lau. “I’m disappointed because I wanted to make the final really badly but that’s just how it goes. Connor has been surfing well, with some of the highest scores of the event, and I decided to go for the airs, but I came unstuck.”

Jeremy Flores (FRA), in his tenth year at the highest echelons of competition surfing, narrowly lost out in a see-saw, high scoring semi-final duel with compatriot Duru. Flores delivered two excellent scores of 8.93 and 8.70, but ultimately could not match Duru’s 9.30 and near-perfect 9.90 (the highest single ride score of the event), and had to settle for equal third place.

“Before coming here, if someone had told me that I would be in the semi-finals I would have taken it. It’s definitely a good result and hopefully I keep building from now on,’ said Flores. “I haven’t had any of the results that I wanted in the CT and now I have to back it up with some QS, which is definitely not easy at all because the QS is so hard. This semi-final result is definitely a keeper for me and a good confidence boost.”

The 6 500 points Flores collected for third place in his first QS event of the year resulted in him leapfrogging straight into 14th place on the rankings, underlining the value the Ballito Pro provides on the world stage.

Beyrick de Vries (ZAF) produced the best performance by a South African and his fifth place finish saw his ranking jump from 98th to 12th, moving him into contention to qualify for the 2017 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour. The uMhlanga local also collected an additional R50 000 by winning both the Monster Energy ‘Wave of the Week’ video award and the Zigzag Expression Session to cap one of the best weeks of his career.

“It’s just been an awesome week, one of the best weeks in a long time, maybe in my life,” said de Vries. “It’s just a crazy transition of emotions and the beach support was amazing. I feel like my best work is done when I’m having fun and I wanted to take a break from professional surfing and focusing on being a surfer again. And now this happens.”

Highlights from the Ballito Pro presented by Billabong can be found at www.worldsurfleague.com

Ballito Pro presented by Billabong Final Results
1. Connor O’Leary (AUS) 17.30
2. Joan Duru (FRA) 15.80

Ballito Pro presented by Billabong Semi-Final Results
Semi1. Joan Duru (FRA) 19.20 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 17.63
Semi2. Connor O’Leary (AUS) 16.74 def. Ezekiel Lau (AUS) 14.60

Ballito Pro presented by Billabong Quarter-Final Results
Quarter1. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.24 def. Krystian Kymerson (BRA) 13.17
Quarter2. Joan Duru (FRA) 18.67 def. Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 16.34
Quarter3. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 15.83 def. Jack Freestone (AUS) 15.57
Quarter4. Connor O’Leary (AUS) 15.50 def. Ethan Ewing (AUS) 14.56

WSL Qualifying Series Rankings (After Ballito Pro)
1 Fioravanti,Leonardo ITA 17530
2 O’Leary,Connor AUS 14700
3 Duru,Joan FRA 13040
4 Silva,Deivid BRA 11530
5 Lau,Ezekiel HAW 10120

South Africans (Top 100)
12 De Vries,Beyrick ZAF 7130
48 Smith,Jordy ZAF 3700
53 February,Michael ZAF 3610
57 McGillivray,Matthew ZAF 3395
96 Lightfoot,Dylan ZAF 2345

While the surfers ride the waves, the Ballito Pro Festival is set to turn up the heat in KwaDukuza by offering the best in beach, music and sports entertainment. Locals and holiday-makers will be spoilt for choice with the week-long festival featuring the ‘Fire up your stoke: Night of food & wine’, an extreme sports programme and an exciting retail area, while the Five Star Ballito Pro Free Music Concerts powered by 5FM bring some of South Africa’s most talented music acts to the stage in Salt Rock.

See more information at www.theballitopro.co.za

The Ballito Pro presented by Billabong is proudly supported by the KwaDukuza Municipality, Billabong, 5FM, Monster Energy, Zigzag Surfing Magazine, World Surf League (WSL) and Surfing South Africa (SSA).

ENDS

NB: High resolution images are available on demand for media outlets

About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

Surfing South Africa
The Ballito Pro, Ballito Women’s Pro, SSA Trials and Billabong Junior Series are registered with Surfing South Africa, recognised by the Dept. of Sport and Recreation as the national controlling body for the sport and a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).

Issued on behalf of:

WSL Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 082 699 4493
Email: cfitch@worldsurfleague.com

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

KwaDukuza Municipality and Organiser of the Ballito Pro Festival
Contact: Collette Bundy
Mobile: 072 287 9839
Email: collettebundy0@gmail.com

For more information about the beach and food festivals plus the music concerts please contact:

Olivia Jones Communications
Cell: 083 653 1720
Work: 031 303 9341
Email: media@oliviajones.co.za

#labcomm

Top Contenders Tested as Swell Rises for Day 4 of Ballito Pro

June 30th, 2016 No comments
Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga) in full flight on his way to the last 24 in the Ballito Pro on Thursday Photo: WSL / Cestari

Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga) in full flight on his way to the last 24 in the Ballito Pro on Thursday Photo: WSL / Cestari

A rising swell that produced solid overhead waves, allied with variable winds, tested the ability of the top contenders in the Ballito Pro presented by Billabong as they progressed to the last 24 at Willard Beach on Thursday.

Pristine early morning offshore conditions enabled the world’s best pulling into the deep tubes that the KwaDukuza region is famous for and, as the onshore wind freshened, they used that to stick huge aerial manoeuvres when they boosted above the lip of the waves.

The remaining eight heats of the Round of 96 saw the likes of Jack Freestone and fellow Australians Davey Cathels and Connor O’Leary, South Africa’s Matthew McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) and Brazilian Luel Felipe rack up high scoring heat wins.

O’Leary was particularly impressive, posting rides of 9.47 and 9.0 for a heat total of 18.47, the highest of the day, and leaving all three of his opponents in a combination situation where they needed to improve on both their scores for the heat victory.

The Round of 48 brought additional pressure as the level of competition increased. The first three heats were dominated by Brazilians with Deivid Silva, Michael Rodrigues and Krystian Kymerson all using their air game to good effect.

South Africa’s Beyrick de Vries, who has grown up in the region, used his local knowledge to take flight. Landing a huge alley-oop and then an air-reverse that the judges rewarded with scores of 8.17 and 6.67, de Vries cruised into the last 24.

“It was a slow start for me but I found a good air section and I went for broke and got an 8.17. That put the Q20 on the wheels and it started flowing from there,” said de Vries. “I just focus on the now and try to get the waves and adapt to the different conditions. I’m pleased with what I’ve done now, but I just can’t wait to get out there tomorrow.”

After a really close heat where Ryan Callinan squeaked to victory after all four surfers were within 1.5 points of each other at the final siren, top seed Jordy Smith took to the surf and showed his class. The current WSL No. 10 ranked surfer toyed with the conditions, landing aerials and carving powerful turns on his way to the heat win

“I’m stoked that myself and Beyrick made it through, so that’s pretty cool for South Africa, hopefully we can keep it going,” said Smith. “The conditions are really tricky and you’ve got to take every heat as it comes. You go out there with an open mind and can’t sit for too long and wait for good waves as there’s a lot of opportunity.”

Hawaiian Ezekiel Lau was pleased to advance by scoring a massive 9.10 on his final wave after a slow start.

“I’m pretty stoked. Coming a long way from Hawaii, you just want to make as many heats as you can,” said Lau. “You have to select the right waves and I started off a little slow but I found my rhythm through the heat. It’s just me and mother nature and I just try to focus on my game plan and what the waves are doing.”

Jack Freestone (AUS) was another who posted a last minute, heat winning ride, jumping from third to first place in his encounter thanks to an impressive aerial that he landed in the flat water, but managed to ride out successfully.

“It was little bit nerve-wrecking. Everyone had really good scores up until the last five minutes and I didn’t have anything. I basically surfed a five minute heat,” said Freestone. “It’s always good to get through those first two rounds. So I’m really excited to get through that one and to be in the round of 24. I just want to keep the momentum flowing.”

Organisers will meet will meet at 7am local time on Friday and hope to make a call for a start at 7.15. When competition resumes, the first heat in the water will see Matt Banting (AUS), Connor O’Leary (AUS), Dusty Payne (HAW) and Mateia Hiquily face off in Heat 11 of the Round of 48.

Highlights from today’s action will be found at www.worldsurfleague.com

Ballito Pro presented by Billabong Round 3 Results
Heat1. Deivid Silva (BRA) 15.37, David do Carmo (BRA) 14.50, Charles Martin (GLP) 7.67, Jesse Mendes (BRA) 7.57
Heat2. Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 14.44, Messias Felix (BRA) 11.57, Ian Crane (USA) 11.53, Tim Reyes (USA) 8.30
Heat3. Krystian Kymerson (BRA) 17.77, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.73, Hiroto Ohhara (JPN) 12.30, Soli Bailey (AUS) 4.66
Heat4. Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 14.84, Kai Hing (AUS) 12.40, Michael Dunphy (USA) 12.00, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 10.90
Heat5. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 15.46, Cooper Chapman (AUS) 15.36, Thomas Woods (AUS) 14.73, Billy Stairmand (NZL) 13.17
Heat6. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.97, Joan Duru (FRA) 10.94, Tomas Hermes (BRA) 10.17, Noah Schweizer (USA) 7.00
Heat7. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 13.46, Nathan Hedge (AUS) 11.60, Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 10.27, Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 8.97
Heat8. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 16.10, Bino Lopes (BRA) 13.60, Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 9.80, Joshua Moniz (HAW) 8.26
Heat9. Jack Freestone (AUS) 15.17, Stu Kennedy (AUS) 12.87, Yadin Nicol (AUS) 12.17, Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 9.93
Heat10. Davey Cathels (AUS) 15.36, Ethan Ewing (AUS) 15.30, Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 15.00, Ricardo Christie (NZL) 10.60

Ballito Pro presented by Billabong Round 2 Results
Heat17. Jack Freestone (AUS) 12.34, Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 12.33, Marc Lacomare (FRA) 8.66, Rafael Teixeira (BRA) 6.20
Heat18. Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 14.83, Ricardo Christie (NZL) 11.94, Evan Geiselman (USA) 9.23, Michael February (ZAF) 4.00
Heat19. Ethan Ewing (AUS) 14.67, Stu Kennedy (AUS) 13.76, Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 11.57, Nomme Mignot (FRA) 10.30
Heat20. Davey Cathels (AUS) 16.77, Yadin Nicol (AUS) 10.87, Tomas Fernandes (PRT) 9.07, Noe Mar McGonagle (CRI) 8.40
Heat21. Matt Banting (AUS) 14.07, Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 13.97, Griffin Colapinto (USA) 12.70, Heitor Alves (BRA) 7.13
Heat22. Connor O’Leary (AUS) 18.47, Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 16.13, Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 9.83, Willian Cardoso (BRA) 8.84
Heat23. Luel Felipe (BRA) 16.33, Dusty Payne (HAW) 13.33, Granger Larsen (HAW) 12.30, Nathan Yeomans (USA) 8.50
Heat24. Frederico Morais(PRT) 11.93, Mateia Hiquily (PYF) 10.16, Marlon Lipke (PRT) 10.00, Jose Ferreira (PRT) 9.90

While the surfers ride the waves, the Ballito Pro Festival is set to turn up the heat in KwaDukuza by offering the best in beach, music and sports entertainment. Locals and holiday-makers will be spoilt for choice with the week-long festival featuring the ‘Fire up your stoke: Night of food & wine’, an extreme sports programme and an exciting retail area, while the Five Star Ballito Pro Free Music Concerts powered by 5FM bring some of South Africa’s most talented music acts to the stage in Salt Rock.

See more information at www.theballitopro.co.za

The Ballito Pro presented by Billabong is proudly supported by the KwaDukuza Municipality, Billabong, 5FM, Monster Energy, Zigzag Surfing Magazine, World Surf League (WSL) and Surfing South Africa (SSA).

ENDS

NB: High resolution images are available on demand for media outlets

About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

Surfing South Africa
The Ballito Pro, Ballito Women’s Pro, SSA Trials and Billabong Junior Series are registered with Surfing South Africa, recognised by the Dept. of Sport and Recreation as the national controlling body for the sport and a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).

Issued on behalf of:

WSL Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 082 699 4493
Email: cfitch@worldsurfleague.com

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

KwaDukuza Municipality and Organiser of the Ballito Pro Festival
Contact: Collette Bundy
Mobile: 072 287 9839
Email: collettebundy0@gmail.com

For more information about the beach and food festivals plus the music concerts please contact:

Olivia Jones Communications
Cell: 083 653 1720
Work: 031 303 9341
Email: media@oliviajones.co.za

Australia’s Skye Burgess Wins Ballito Women’s Pro

June 28th, 2016 No comments
Skye Burgess (AUS) on her way to victory in the 2016 Ballito Women’s Pro at Willard Beach on Tuesday  Photo: WSL / Cestari

Skye Burgess (AUS) on her way to victory in the 2016 Ballito Women’s Pro at Willard Beach on Tuesday  Photo: WSL / Cestari

Australian Skye Burgess today won the Ballito Women’s Pro presented by Billabong at Willard Beach in KwaDukuza, collecting her first World Surf League (WSL) event title in her first appearance in a Qualifying Series (QS) final.

Competing in tricky one metre, wind affected waves, Burgess was in control throughout the 30 minute final encounter and went on to comfortably outpoint close friend and travelling partner Sarah Baum.

“I was so excited just to make the final and I was in a really good mood,” said Burgess. “I thought Sarah would have had me for sure. We surf together all the time and I know she absolutely rips so I love just watching her surf. I just super excited, we just had fun.”

Selecting the waves that enabled her to utilize her full repertoire of manoeuvres to impress the judges, the winner posted scores of 7.17 and 6.33 in the opening half of the heat and went on to improve her total with a 6.57 to complete a 13.74 vs. 8.0 point victory.

Burgess earned R8 000 and 1,000 points which saw her jump 104 spots up the WSL Women’s QS rankings to No. 97.

Baum, who hails from Athlone Park in Durban but now lives with Burgess in Wollongong, was the form surfer throughout the event, winning every heat she contested up to the final.

“It was really tough out there, I guess whoever got the waves got the scores,’ said Baum. “I was a little too behind on most of them, but I’m super stoked for Skye. She and I travel together and I just came home for a holiday to see my family. We are making a movie while we’re here so an extra few points and money is always good.”

Former WSL Championship Tour (CT) surfer Nikita Robb of East London, the defending Ballito Women’s Pro champion, finished equal third this year after she lost to Baum in their semi-final match-up.

“What can you do? It was still a fight, which is always good, but Sarah is such an amazing surfer. When you free surf with her you get so inspired,” said Robb. “It’s been awesome having the girls down here and really pushing the level of women’s surfing. I’m upset, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t. But, I knew it was going to be a hard heat. I didn’t catch the best waves and that’s where I fell short.”

Local spectators were right behind uMhlanga’s Teal Hogg (18) who advanced to the semi-finals before being eliminated by Burgess.

“I was definitely aiming for a first overall but in that heat I started really slow and Skye got some really good waves,” said Hogg. “She’s been surfing well the whole event and she deserved to go through. I guess I’ve just got to push harder next time, but I’m stoked with my result..”

Faye Zoetmulder (Port Elizabeth) moved to the top of the WSL Africa Women’s ranking after finishing equal fifth in the Ballito Women’s Pro. Robb jumped one spot to No. 2, ahead of Tanika Hoffman (Hout Bay) with Hogg moving up three places to No. 4.

The QS10,000 rated Ballito Pro presented by Billabong was called off for the day and a officials will meet tomorrow morning (Wednesday) at 7am local time to make a decision on when competition will resume.

Highlights from today’s action will be found at www.worldsurfleague.com

Ballito Women’s Pro presented by Billabong Final Results
1. Skye Burgess (AUS) 13.74
2. Sarah Baum (ZAF) 8.00

Ballito Women’s Pro presented by Billabong Semi-Final Results
Semi 1. Sarah Baum (ZAF) 13.67, Nikita Robb (ZAF) 10.34
Semi 2. Skye Burgess (AUS) 11.34, Teal Hogg (ZAF) 7.03

WSL Africa Women’s Rankings (after Ballito Women’s Pro)
1. Faye Zoetmulder 1,170pts
2. Nikita Robb 1,120 pts
3. Tanika Hoffman (Hout Bay) 1,000 pts
4. Teal Hogg (uMhlanga) 955 pts
5. Tarryn Chudleigh (Kommetjie) 860 pts

While the surfers ride the waves, the Ballito Pro Festival is set to turn up the heat in KwaDukuza by offering the best in beach, music and sports entertainment. Locals and holiday-makers will be spoilt for choice with the week-long festival featuring the ‘Fire up your stoke: Night of food & wine’, an extreme sports programme and an exciting retail area, while the Five Star Ballito Pro Free Music Concerts powered by 5FM bring some of South Africa’s most talented music acts to the stage in Salt Rock.

See more information at www.theballitopro.co.za

The Ballito Pro presented by Billabong is proudly supported by the KwaDukuza Municipality, Billabong, 5FM, Monster Energy, Zigzag Surfing Magazine, World Surf League (WSL) and Surfing South Africa (SSA).

ENDS

NB: High resolution images are available on demand for media outlets

About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

Surfing South Africa
The Ballito Pro, Ballito Women’s Pro, SSA Trials and Billabong Junior Series are registered with Surfing South Africa, recognised by the Dept. of Sport and Recreation as the national controlling body for the sport and a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).

Issued on behalf of:

WSL Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 082 699 4493
Email: cfitch@worldsurfleague.com

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

KwaDukuza Municipality and Organiser of the Ballito Pro Festival
Contact: Collette Bundy
Mobile: 072 287 9839
Email: collettebundy0@gmail.com

For more information about the beach and food festivals plus the music concerts please contact:

Olivia Jones Communications
Cell: 083 653 1720
Work: 031 303 9341
Email: media@oliviajones.co.za

#labcomm

Great Conditions for Men & Women on Opening Day of Ballito Pro

June 27th, 2016 No comments
Mihimana Braye (PYF) was one of the top performers among the elite international field in action at the 2016 Ballito Pro on Monday Photo: WSL / Cestari

Mihimana Braye (PYF) was one of the top performers among the elite international field in action at the 2016 Ballito Pro on Monday Photo: WSL / Cestari

Women’s Semi-Finalists Decided
South African Men Draw a Blank in Round One

The Ballito Pro and the Ballito Women’s Pro, both presented by Billabong, got underway in highly contestable one metre waves, light winds and warm sunshine at Willard Beach in Ballito today (Monday).

The women’s contest, a World Surf League (WSL) QS1,000 rated event with R20 000 in prize-money at stake, took to the early morning high tide conditions at Bathers Beach. With both right and left breaking waves available, organisers completed the second, third and fourth rounds, leaving just four surfers to contend the one-on-one semi-finals.

Sarah Baum (ZAF) was the standout performer, showcasing her crisp turns and strategic wave selection. Baum won all three of the heats she contested, delivering the highest single ride score, a near-perfect 9.67 out of 10, and the highest two-wave heat total – 16.27 out of 20.

“I waited a while and got that good first ride and then it was a bit tricky out there, but there were a couple good waves and I found my second one,” said Baum. “I’m happy to be back with my family and to see all my friends. It’s really good to be back in warm water and I’m hoping to do one or two events if I have enough points and money to get to them.”

Baum will be up against Nikita Robb from East London, the defending Ballito Women’s Pro champion, in the first of the semi-finals when the women’s contest resumes. The second semi features Skye Burgess (AUS,) whose dynamic style saw her progress through three rounds a duel with uMhlanga local Teal Hogg, where the winner advances to the final.

WSL Deputy Commissioner Travis Logie decided to move Round 1 of the men’s event to Surfer’s Beach as the tide dropped. With US $260 000 (about R4 million) at stake and the highest available rankings points on offer, competition was fierce from the outset and a number of results turned on the last ride.

The vastly experienced Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) found the best waves and delivered a heat total of 14.84, the highest of Round 1, to move through to the Round of 96 along with heat runner-up Jose Ferreira as the pair eliminated Takumi Nakamura (JAP) and Dale Lovelock (AUS) in the last heat of the day.

Other internationals to shine included Cory Arrambide (USA), Ian Crane (USA), Nic Von Rupp (PRT) and Victor Bernardo (BRA), all of whom are looking for a good result in Ballito to build momentum for the rest of the QS circuit in the second half of the year.

“I’m looking to get a good result here so I can maintain my spot and move forward for the second half of the year,” said Arrambide who hails from Ventura in California. “I got a few really good rides and got some decent scores, so I’m stoked. I’m playing it heat by heat and after growing up surfing amateur events and junior pros, I just trying to qualify.”

It was a disappointing day for the local men with Saturday’s Trials winner Casey Grant (Scottburgh), Dale Staples (St Francis Bay), David van Zyl (Glenashley) and Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) all eliminated in the first heats.

“It didn’t go as I planned – I thought I would be able to see a distinct peak but the waves are so tricky and it’s hard to find a runner,” said Lightfoot. “The standard is really high and the South Africans really need to up their game. Hopefully Mikey (February), Beyrick (de Vries) and Matt (McGillivray) can take it tomorrow.”

Organisers will meet at 7am local time for a possible 7.15 start. The Round of 96 sees the top seeds take to the surf, including Jordy Smith (ZAF), Caio Ibelli (BRA) and Jeremy Flores (FRA).

All the action from the Ballito Pro, including live webcast while the event is running, can be found at www.worldsurfleague.com

Ballito Pro presented by Billabong Round 1 Results
Heat1. Victor Bernardo (BRA) 13.50, Derek Peters (USA) 13.00, Andy Criere (FRA) 10.84, Casey Grant (ZAF) 6.80
Heat2. Ian Crane (USA) 14.47, Nic Von Rupp (PRT) 13.66, Mason Ho (HAW) 11.97, Brian Toth (PRI) 11.67
Heat3. Lucas Silveira (BRA) 13.30, Leandro Usuna (ARG) 12.97, David Van Zyl (ZAF) 12.90, Hiroto Arai (JPN) 9.74
Heat4. Noah Schweizer (USA) 11.07, Robson Santos (BRA) 10.43, Dale Staples (ZAF) 9.46, Jean Da Silva (BRA) 8.97
Heat5. Seth Muniz (HAW) 12.50, Mihimana Braye (PYF) 10.00, Kaito Ohashi (JPN) 9.10, Torrey Meister (HAW) 7.74
Heat6. Cory Arrambide (USA) 14.60, Rafael Teixeira (BRA) 12.70, Kiron Jabour (HAW) 9.27, Dylan Lightfoot (ZAF) 6.00
Heat7. Thomas Fernandez (PRT) 10.90, Griffin Colapinto (USA) 10.83, Kaito Kino (HAW) 9.17, Perth Standlick (AUS) 7.44
Heat8. Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 14.84, Jose Faulkner (PRT) 13.00, Takumi Nakamura (JPN) 12.73, Dale Lovelock (AUS) 11.73

Ballito Women’s Pro presented by Billabong Upcoming Semi-Final Heats
Semi1: Sarah Baum (ZAF) vs. Nikita Robb (ZAF)
Semi2: Skye Burgess (AUS) vs. Teal Hogg (ZAF)

Ballito Women’s Pro presented by Billabong Round of 8 Results
Heat1. Sarah Baum (ZAF) 16.27, Nikita Robb (ZAF) 12.27, Heather Clark (ZAF) 7.80, Olivia Brand (ZAF) 6.50
Heat2. Skye Burgess (AUS) 10.90, Teal Hogg (ZAF) 10.16, Faye Zoetmulder (ZAF) 8.50, Nicole Pallet (ZAF) 7.37

Ballito Women’s Pro presented by Billabong Round of 16 Results
Heat1. Sarah Baum (ZAF) 14.33, Heather Clark (ZAF) 12.80, Emma Smith (ZAF) 10.00, Crystal Hulett (ZAF) 6.34
Heat2. Nikita Robb (ZAF) 9.66, Olivia Brand (ZAF) 7.60, Tarryn Chudleigh (ZAF) 6.90, Sam Cele (ZAF) 2.97
Heat3. Skye Burgess (AUS) 14.84, Teal Hogg (ZAF) 9.56, Danielle Johnson (ZAF) 6.10, Monik Santos (BRA) 5.63
Heat4. Faye Zoetmulder (ZAF) 10.50, Nicole Pallet (ZAF) 8.24, Tammy-Lee Smith (ZAF) 7.97, Sophie Bell (ZAF) 6.53

Ballito Women’s Pro presented by Billabong Round of 24 Results
Heat1. Sarah Baum (ZAF) 14.33, Nikita Robb (ZAF) 13.77, Zoe McDougal (HAW) 6.93, Olivia Izzard (ZAF) 5.20
Heat2. Tarryn Chudleigh (ZAF) 11.20, Crystal Hulett (ZAF) 9.00, Chanelle Botha (ZAF) 6.94, Monique Gresse (ZAF) 3.00
Heat3. Skye Burgess (AUS) 14.33, Tammy-Lee Smith (ZAF) 7.83, Kirsty McGillivray (ZAF) 5.67, Gina Smith (ZAF) 2.83
Heat4. Faye Zoetmulder (ZAF) 12.83, Monik Santos (BRA) 11.00, Kayla Nogueira (ZAF) 9.00, Natasha Van Greunen (ZAF) 4.64

See more information at www.theballitopro.co.za

The Ballito Pro presented by Billabong is proudly supported by the KwaDukuza Municipality, Billabong, 5FM, Monster Energy, Zigzag Surfing Magazine, World Surf League (WSL) and Surfing South Africa (SSA).

ENDS

NB: High resolution images are available on demand for media outlets

About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

Surfing South Africa
The Ballito Pro, Ballito Women’s Pro, SSA Trials and Billabong Junior Series are registered with Surfing South Africa, recognised by the Dept. of Sport and Recreation as the national controlling body for the sport and a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).

Issued on behalf of:

WSL Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 082 699 4493
Email: cfitch@worldsurfleague.com

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

KwaDukuza Municipality and Organiser of the Ballito Pro Festival
Contact: Collette Bundy
Mobile: 072 287 9839
Email: collettebundy0@gmail.com

For more information about the beach and food festivals plus the music concerts please contact:

Olivia Jones Communications
Cell: 083 653 1720
Work: 031 303 9341
Email: media@oliviajones.co.za

Casey Grant Dominates SSA Ballito Trials : Earns Spot in Ballito Pro

June 26th, 2016 No comments
Casey Grant completed this spectacular air reverse to snatch victory in the SSA Ballito Trials and earn a spot in the 2016 Ballito Pro that runs from 27 June to 3 July at Willard Beach in KwaDukuza  Photo: WSL / Cestari

Casey Grant completed this spectacular air reverse to snatch victory in the SSA Ballito Trials and earn a spot in the 2016 Ballito Pro that runs from 27 June to 3 July at Willard Beach in KwaDukuza  Photo: WSL / Cestari

Casey Grant (Scottburgh) dominated the SSA Ballito Pro Trials presented by Billabong at Willard Beach in Ballito on Sunday to earn a the final berth 112 man field for the R4 million WSL QS10,000 rated Ballito Pro presented by Billabong which starts at the same venue on Monday.

Grant, the runner-up to Jordy Smith in the 2010 edition of the Ballito event, posted five of the top 10 scores during the one-day Trials event and came storming back from an uncharacteristically slow start in the final to snatch victory with an excellent ride in the last minute.

“I fell on my first wave so I was a little bit nervous, but I got a good one and was in third place and knew that the judges reward you if you go for broke,” said Grant. “I was lucky enough to get a wave with a lip and I pulled off a little air-reverse and the judges rewarded me for that. It’s an awesome feeling to make it into the main event again as I haven’t been competing for a while now.”

Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay), the runner up the Billabong Junior Series QS1,000 event yesterday, looked like he was on his way to victory when he seamlessly stitched together three vertical backhand manoeuvres that earned him a near-perfect 9.50 with just four minutes remaining.

Needing an excellent 8.44 for to take the lead, Grant earned an 8.67 for his last ride, relegating Maree, the WSL Africa Junior rankings leader, to the runner-up spot for the second time in as many days. Chad du Toit (Durban) and Slade Prestwich finished third and fourth respectively.

Grant will get his Ballito Pro campaign underway in the first heat of the event where he faces Victor Bernardo (BRA), Derek Peters (USA) and Andy Criere (FRA). The top two in each heat advance to the next round while the surfers finishing third and fourth are eliminated with earnings of US $500 (about R7 500).

The two heats in the first round of the QS 1,000 Ballito Women’s Pro presented by Billabong were run between the semi-finals and the final of the Trials event. Zoe McDougall, the 16 year-old Hawaiian who won the U18 Girl’s Junior final yesterday, was again the standout performer.

McDougall and Tarryn Chudleigh (Kommetjie) advanced from the first heat with Ballito local Tammy-Lee Smith and Faye Zoetmulder (Port Elizabeth) progressing to the Round of 24 from Heat 2.

The Ballito Pro and the Ballito Women’s Pro run from Monday 27 June to Sunday 3 July.

SSA Ballito Pro Trials presented by Billabong Final Results
1. Casey Grant 16.34pts
2. Jordy Maree 16.00pts
3. Chad Du Toit 13.33pts
4. Slade Prestwich 10.90pts

SSA Ballito Pro Trials presented by Billabong Semi-Final Results

Semi1. Slade Prestwich, Jordy Maree, Michael Monk, Calvin Goor
Semi2. Chad Du Toit, Casey Grant, David Van Zyl, Brandon Benjamin

SSA Ballito Pro Trials presented by Billabong Quarter-Final Results
Quarter1. Michael Monk, Jordy Maree, Davey Brand, Jake Elkington
Quarter2. Slade Prestwich, Calvin Goor, Simo Mkize, Ntando Msibi
Quarter3. Chad Du Toit, David Van Zyl, Jason Harris, Adin Masencamp
Quarter4. Casey Grant, Brandon Benjamin, Richard Kidd, Shane Sykes

SSA Ballito Pro Trials presented by Billabong Round 1 Results
Heat1. Jordan Maree, Ntando Msibi, Gavin Roberts, Dillon Fernandez
Heat2. Davey Brand, Simo Mkhize, Joshe Faulkner, Ethan Fletcher
Heat3. Calvin Goor, Michael Monk, Max Elkington, Dan Redman
Heat4. Slade Prestwich, Jake Elkington, Craig Johnson, Liam De Villiers
Heat5. David Van Zyl, Richard Kidd, Sebastian Williams, Papi Makanyane
Heat6. Chad Du Toit, Shane Sykes, Eli Beukes, Donovan Wichmann
Heat7. Brandon Benjamin, Jason Harris, Chris Frolich, Avuyile Ndamase
Heat8. Casey Grant, Adin Masencamp, Bevan Willis, Luke Slijpen

Ballito Women’s Pro presented by Billabong Round 1 Results
Heat1. Zoe McDougall, Tarryn Chudleigh, S’Nenhlanhla Makubu
Heat2. Tammy-Lee Smith, Faye Zoetmulder, Heidi Palmboom, Gabriella Lailvaux

While the surfers ride the waves, the Ballito Pro Festival is set to turn up the heat in KwaDukuza by offering the best in beach, music and sports entertainment. Locals and holiday-makers will be spoilt for choice with the week-long festival featuring the ‘Fire up your stoke: Night of food & wine’, an extreme sports programme and an exciting retail area, while the Five Star Ballito Pro Free Music Concerts powered by 5FM bring some of South Africa’s most talented music acts to the stage in Salt Rock.

See more information at www.theballitopro.co.za
The Ballito Pro presented by Billabong is proudly supported by the KwaDukuza Municipality, Billabong, 5FM, Monster Energy, Zigzag Surfing Magazine, World Surf League (WSL) and Surfing South Africa (SSA).

ENDS

NB: High resolution images are available on demand for media outlets

About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

Surfing South Africa
The Ballito Pro, Ballito Women’s Pro, SSA Trials and Billabong Junior Series are registered with Surfing South Africa, recognised by the Dept. of Sport and Recreation as the national controlling body for the sport and a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).

Issued on behalf of:

WSL Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 082 699 4493
Email: cfitch@worldsurfleague.com

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

KwaDukuza Municipality and Organiser of the Ballito Pro Festival
Contact: Collette Bundy
Mobile: 072 287 9839
Email: collettebundy0@gmail.com

For more information about the beach and food festivals plus the music concerts please contact:

Olivia Jones Communications
Cell: 083 653 1720
Work: 031 303 9341
Email: media@oliviajones.co.za

#labcomm

Jordy Smith Headlines World-Class Field for Ballito Pro Starting on Monday

June 26th, 2016 No comments
Jordy Smith is the top seed for the 2016 Ballito Pro that runs from 27 June to 3 July at Willard Beach in KwaDukuza Photo: WSL / Sloane 

Jordy Smith is the top seed for the 2016 Ballito Pro that runs from 27 June to 3 July at Willard Beach in KwaDukuza Photo: WSL / Sloane

South Africa’s own Jordy Smith headlines a world-class field for Ballito Pro presented by Billabong which runs from Monday 27 June to Sunday 3 July at Willard Beach in Ballito.

The first World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series QS10,000 rated event to be staged in 2016, the Ballito Pro has attracted entries from a dozen of the elite top 34 ranked surfers on the WSL Championship Tour (CT), along with another 100 international and local competitors who will be vying for a share of the R4 million prize-purse and the maximum rankings points for a QS event.

Smith, the current world No. 10, the 2010 Ballito champion and 2013 runner-up, is determined to give his South African fans plenty to cheer about this year after an injury affected first round exit from his only QS appearance in home surf last year.

“The Ballito Pro is a great event and my win in 2010 is a really special memory,’ said Smith who has been competing in the world’s longest running professional surfing event since 2003. “I always want to win so badly in front of everyone at home and the support is always so crazy that I try extra hard.”

The top 10 seeds for the 48th edition of the event that started out as the Durban 500 in 1969 include Brazilians Caio Ibelli, Miguel Pupo, Jadson Andre and defending event winner Alejo Muniz; Australians Davey Cathels, Jack Freestone and Matt Banting; Californian Kanoa Igarashi and Jeremy Flores of Reunion Island.

Other internationals to watch out for include former event winners Tim Reyes (USA), American brothers Pat and Tanner Gudauskas, current QS rankings leader Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) and world No. 6 Sebastian Zietz (HAW).

Alongside Smith, the South African challenge for the title will come from Beyrick de Vries from nearby uMhlanga, who is the 53rd seed; Michael February (Kommetjie), the highest QS ranked local, who is nursing an ankle injury; and Dale Staples (St Francis Bay). Jeffreys Bay residents Dylan Lightfoot and Matt McGillivray have been awarded the wildcards that go to the country’s two highest ranked QS surfers who do not automatically qualify for the event.

The final slot in the main event goes to the winner of the all South African, 32-man SSA Ballito Pro Trials presented by Billabong, which is being run today (Sunday) at Willard Beach.

The QS1,000 rated Ballito Women’s Pro presented by Billabong starts today and will run in conjunction with the men’s event.

While the surfers ride the waves, the Ballito Pro Festival is set to turn up the heat in KwaDukuza by offering the best in beach, music and sports entertainment. Locals and holiday-makers will be spoilt for choice with the week-long festival featuring the ‘Fire up your stoke: Night of food & wine’, an extreme sports programme and an exciting retail area, while the Five Star Ballito Pro Free Music Concerts powered by 5FM bring some of South Africa’s most talented music acts to the stage in Salt Rock.

See more information at www.theballitopro.co.za
The Ballito Pro presented by Billabong is proudly supported by the KwaDukuza Municipality, Billabong, 5FM, Monster Energy, Zigzag Surfing Magazine, World Surf League (WSL) and Surfing South Africa (SSA).

ENDS

NB: High resolution images are available on demand for media outlets

About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

Surfing South Africa
The Ballito Pro, Ballito Women’s Pro, SSA Trials and Billabong Junior Series are registered with Surfing South Africa, recognised by the Dept. of Sport and Recreation as the national controlling body for the sport and a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).

Issued on behalf of:

WSL Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 082 699 4493
Email: cfitch@worldsurfleague.com

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

KwaDukuza Municipality and Organiser of the Ballito Pro Festival
Contact: Collette Bundy
Mobile: 072 287 9839
Email: collettebundy0@gmail.com

For more information about the beach and food festivals plus the music concerts please contact:

Olivia Jones Communications
Cell: 083 653 1720
Work: 031 303 9341
Email: media@oliviajones.co.za

 

Masencamp and McDougall Clinch Titles at Billabong Junior Series Event in Ballito

June 25th, 2016 No comments
Adin Masencamp (Strand) throws an arc of spray on his way to victory in the premier U18 Boys’ division of the Billabong Junior Series at Willard Beach in Ballito on Saturday  Photo: Kelly Cestari

Adin Masencamp (Strand) throws an arc of spray on his way to victory in the premier U18 Boys’ division of the Billabong Junior Series at Willard Beach in Ballito on Saturday  Photo: Kelly Cestari

Adin Masencamp (Strand) and Zoe McDougall (HAW) clinched the premier U18 Boys’ and Girls’ titles at the Billabong Junior Series event which ended in tricky one metre onshore waves at Willard Beach in Ballito on Saturday.

The latest edition of the world’s longest running series of surfing events for junior surfers aged 18-and-under featured World Surf League (WSL) JQS 1,000 rated events for U18 boys and girls alongside Surfing South Africa (SSA) Pro Surf Tour (PST) events for U12 boys and U14 and U16 boys and girls.

Masencamp had to play catch up early in the U18 Boys’ final when current WSL Africa Junior rankings leader Jordan Maree (Kalk Bay) opened the 30 minute encounter with a solid ride of 7.17 out of 10 and then added a 5.33.

But full of confidence after his stellar performance in posting the highest heat total of the event in yesterday’s semi-finals, Masencamp answered back with scores of 6.17 and an excellent 8.67, the highest of the heat, to take the lead. Needing 7.43 for the win with seven minutes remaining, Maree had priority and waited patiently for a wave with scoring potential while his opponent stayed busy patrolling the lineup and found a corner to blast a couple of explosive turns for a 7.17 that clinched the title.

“He started off with a 9 and I was like “Aw no!” And then when I got a couple of waves I knew that if I could get a good wave I could get the score,” said Masencamp.”I’m feeling pretty great, and super pumped to be in the trials and surf against the big guys. Thank you to Billabong for putting on a great event, for the housing and for supporting me. And of course a big thanks to G-Force surfboards for the best boards.”

The victory earned Masencamp R8 000 and 1 000 points which saw him overtake Jake Elkington into second place behind Maree on the WSL Africa Junior rankings He also took the early lead in the chase for the prestigious Billabong Junior Series U18 boys’ crown that will be decided at the second and final event at Seal Point in September.

The U18 Girls’ final was a closer affair where Hawaiian Zoe McDougall led from start to finish over Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay), but only established a comfortable lead in the last minute when she added a 5.93 to her opening 6.67. McDougall (16), who is staying with the McGillivray family while in South Africa, was elated to collect an event win in just her fourth day in the country.

“It was an interesting final with Kirsty, my good friend whom I’m staying with. Just fun, no hassling, just trading waves,” said McDougall. “I’m pretty stoked, and I’m happy with the results, but mostly I’m using this event as practice for the QS so I hate to mess up the ratings, but I’m glad Kirsty’s in first.”
.
The Under 16 Boys’ final was a see-saw battle with Kommetjie’s Max Elkington snatching victory in the closing minutes with a 6.60 and an excellent 8.33 to overtake good friends Eli Beukes and Luke Slijpen. The pair tied on 13.0 points each but Beukes finished second thanks to having the highest single wave score, while Karl Steen finished fourth.

Elkington and Beukes join Masencamp and Maree in the SSA Ballito Pro Trials presented by Billabong which will be run at Willard Beach on Sunday. The Trials winner is awarded the final spot in the112 man field for the R4 million QS10,000 rated Ballito Pro presented by Billabong which runs from Monday June 27 to Sunday 3 July at the same venue.

Salt Rock local Sophie Bell had the partisan crowd cheering when she claimed the U16 Girls’ title ahead of Kai Woolf, Kayla Nogueira and S’Nenhlanhla Makhubu. Makhubu, competing in her first nationally rated event, made it two finals in succession when she also placed third in the U14 Girls behind winner Gail Lailvaux and runner-up Nogueira, with Zoe Steyn taking fourth.

The U14 Boys title went to Tide Lee Ireland in a narrow win over York van Jaarsveldt, Mitch du Preez and Nate Spalding while Dan Emslie showed he has the talent to follow in the footsteps of his famous father Greg when he selected the best waves and convincingly won the U12 Boys’ division. Luke Thomson grabbed second spot with Alex Townsend third and James Ribbink fourth

RESULTS
(All South African unless indicated)

Billabong Junior Series U18 Boys Final Results
1. Adin Masencamp (Strand) 15.84pts
2. Jordan Maree (Kalk Bay) 12.50pts

Billabong Junior Series U18 Girls Final Results
1. Zoe McDougall (Hawaii) 12.60pts
2. Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) 8.00pts

Billabong Junior Series U16 Boys Final Results
1. Max Elkington 14.93pts
2. Eli Beukes 13.00pts
3. Luke Slijpen 13.00pts
4. Karl Steen 9.54pts

Billabong Junior Series U16 Girls Final Results
1. Sophie Bell 12.17pts
2. Kai Woolf 11.10pts
3. Kayla Nogueira 6.50pts
4. S’Nenhlanhla Makhubu 6.10pts

Billabong Junior Series U14 Boys Final Results
1. Tide Lee Ireland 11.00pts
2. York Van Jaarsveldt 10.47pts
3. Mitch Du Preez 10.20pts
4. Nate Spalding 7.87

Billabong Junior Series U14 Girls Final Results
1. Gabi Lailvaux 10.00pts
2. Kayla Nogueira 9.27pts
3. S’Nenhlanhla Makhubu 9.00pts
4. Zoe Steyn 2.17pts

Billabong Junior Series U12 Boys Final Results
1. Dan Emslie 14.00pts
2. Luke Thompson 11.76pts
3. Alex Townsend 11.33pts
4. James Ribbink 10.70pts

The lucrative specialty awards went to:

VonZipper Airshow – R2 000
Calvin Goor
Zigzag Blowing Up Award – R2 000
Bevan Willis
BOS Best Carve of the Contest – surfboard
Luke Thomson
Neff – Forever Fun – R2 000
Sebastian Williams
Skull Candy – #StayLoud Award – R2 500
Ford Van Jaarsveldt

WSL Africa Junior Rankings (After Billabong Junior Series Ballito)
Boys
1. Jordy Maree 1750 points
2. Adin Masencamp 1560 pts
3. Jake Elkington 1310 pts
4. Bevan Willis 860 pts
5. Max Elkington 825 pts

Girls
1. Kirsty McGillivray 750 points
2. Sophie Bell 560 pts
3. Natasha van Greunen 420 pts
3. Olivia Izzard 420 pts
4. Taghiti Gericke 395 pts
4. Kayla Nogueira 395 pts

The Billabong Junior Series was supported by KwaDukuza Municipality, VonZipper, Zigzag, BOS, Neff, Skull Candy, Surfing South Africa and the World Surf League.

Hashtag: #BillabongJNR

ENDS

NB: High resolution images are available on demand for media outlets

About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

Surfing South Africa
The Ballito Pro, Ballito Women’s Pro, SSA Trials and Billabong Junior Series are registered with Surfing South Africa, recognised by the Dept. of Sport and Recreation as the national controlling body for the sport and a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).

Issued on behalf of:

WSL Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 082 699 4493
Email: cfitch@worldsurfleague.com

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

KwaDukuza Municipality and Organiser of the Ballito Pro Festival
Contact: Collette Bundy
Mobile: 072 287 9839
Email: collettebundy0@gmail.com

#labcomm

Adin Masencamp Wins Super Heat to Reach U18 Boys’ Final at Billabong Junior Series in Ballito

June 24th, 2016 No comments
Adin Masencamp (Strand) carving his way to the highest heat total of the event and a berth in Saturday’s U18 boys’ Final of the Billabong Junior Series at Willard Beach in Ballito Photo: Kelly Cestari

Adin Masencamp (Strand) carving his way to the highest heat total of the event and a berth in Saturday’s U18 boys’ Final of the Billabong Junior Series at Willard Beach in Ballito Photo: Kelly Cestari

Adin Masencamp (Strand) earned a spot in the final of the premier U18 Boys’ division of the Billabong Junior Series at Willard Beach in Ballito by posting the highest heat total of the contest in a ‘Super Heat’ semi-final victory over KwaDukuza local Bevan Willis today.

After a low-scoring first semi-final, where top seed Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay) defeated Jake Elkington with heat scores of 9.64 to 6.83 in the wind-affected head-high waves, Willis shot out of the blocks in the second semi by producing a near-perfect ride of 9.0 out of 10.

Masencamp stayed busy, locking in an excellent 8.83 and minutes later adding an 8.57 to take the lead, with Willis requiring 8.40 to win the heat. The Umdloti resident took his challenge to the air, landing a massive air-reverse but came up just short when the judges awarded him 8.07.

Both surfers continued to hunt for more waves as the clock wound down. Masencamp closed out the victory by using his priority to block Willis on his final ride, claiming a 17.40 vs. 17.07 win before they rode in together on the same wave in great display of sportsmanship.

The final, a top of the rankings showdown between undefeated current WSL Africa Junior No. 1 Maree and No. 3 ranked Masencamp, promises to deliver fireworks on Saturday. Both have already qualified for the two spots in the SSA Ballito Pro Trials presented by Billabong which takes place on Sunday.

The winner of the 32-man all-South African trials event earns a spot in the R4 million Ballito Pro presented by Billabong which runs from 27 June to 3 July at Willard Beach

The final of the U18 Girls’ division will see the only international competitor in the event, Zoe McDougall (Hawaii), take on Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) after both came through hard fought semi-final duels.

The Hawaiian was made to battle all the way to the last seconds before overcoming Kai Woolf, who spends half the year in Jeffreys Bay and the other half in New Zealand. McGillivray saw off the challenge of Sophie Bell from nearby Salt Rock in a tense, low-scoring encounter.

Bell will be satisfied with the fact that she advanced to the final of the U16 Girls’ where she will take on Woolf, Kayla Nogueira and up and coming talent S’Nenhlanhla Makhubu, while the U16 Boys’ final features Karl Steen, Luke Slijpen, Max Elkington and Eli Beukes.

Nogueira and Makhubu are also in the U14 Girls’ final, along with Gabi Lailvaux and Zoe Steyn. The U14 Boy’s final will pit semi-final winners Tide-lee Ireland and Mitch du Preez against their respective runners-up York van Jaarsveldt and Nate Spalding.

The U12 Boys’ final, which gets proceedings underway on Saturday, is made up of James Ribbink, Alex Townsend, Luke Thomson and Dan Emslie

There are a number of specialty awards that will be determined on Saturday, including:

• VonZipper Airshow – surfer landing the best aerial manoeuvre – R2,000
• Zigzag Blowing Up Award –standout performance, most impressive surfing over the week – R2,000
• BOS Award – Best Carve of the Contest – wins a surfboard
• Neff – Forever Fun – “The surfer that spits out something new, exciting and has the most fun doing it” – R2,000
• Skull Candy – #StayLoud Award – “Takes risks, steps away from the herd, expresses themselves in their surfing style and lives life to full volume” – R2,500

The U12, U14 and U16 divisions are Surfing South Africa 3A Pro Surf Tour events with prize-money of R2,600 for the U12’s and while the other divisions each share R4,600.

The premier U18 Boys’ and Girls’ events are World Surf League (WSL) Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) 1,000 rated events offering prize-purses of R20,000 and R10,000 respectively.

The U18 boys have an added incentive as the top two placed surfers will be awarded wildcards into the SSA Ballito Pro Trials presented by Billabong on Sunday 26 June. The winner of this 32-man, all-South African trials event will earn the last spot in the R4 million Ballito Pro presented by Billabong that runs from 27 June to 3 July at Willard Beach.

Scheduled for Wednesday to Saturday, 22-25 June, the Billabong Junior Series is supported by KwaDukuza Municipality, VonZipper, Zigzag, BOS, Neff, Skull Candy, Surfing South Africa and the World Surf League.

Hashtag: #BillabongJNR

RESULTS
(Names in order 1st to 4th ; All South African unless indicated)

Billabong Junior Series U18 Girls Semi-Final Results
S1: Zoe McDougall (HAW) 11 .67 def. Kai Woolf (Jeffreys Bay) 9.44
S2: Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) 6.16 def. Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) 3.73

Billabong Junior Series U18 Boys Semi-Final Results
S1: Jordan Maree (Kalk Bay) 9.64 def. Jake Elkington (Kommetjie) 6.83
S2: Adin Masencamp (Strand) 17.40 def. Bevan Willis (Umdloti) 17.07

Billabong Junior Series U18 Girls Round of 8 Results
Heat 1: Kai Woolf, Zoe McDougall (HAW), Olivia Izzard, Taghiti Gericke
Heat 2: Sophie Bell, Kirsty McGillivray, Natasha Van Greunen, Kayla Nogueira

Billabong Junior Series U18 Boys Round of 8 Results
Heat 1: Jordan Maree, Jake Elkington, Alexander Van Rijswijk, Ford Van Jaarsveldt
Heat 2: Adin Masencamp, Bevan Willis, Koby Oberholzer, Liam de Villiers

Billabong Junior Series U16 Boys Semi-Final Results
S1: Karl Steen, Luke Slijpen, Calvin Goor, Ryan Lightfoot
S2: Max Elkington, Eli Beukes, Sebastian Williams, Koby Oberholzer

Billabong Junior Series U16 Girls Semi-Final Results
S1: Kai Woolf, S’Nenhlanhla Makhubu, Zoe Steyn
S2: Sophie Bell, Kayla Nogueira, Zoe Smith

Billabong Junior Series U14 Boys Semi-Final Results
S1: Tide Lee Ireland, York Van Jaarsveldt, Alex Townsend
S2: Mitch Du Preez, Nate Spalding, James Ribbink

Billabong Junior Series U12 Boys Semi-Final Results
S1: James Ribbink, Alex Townsend, Matt O’Brien
S2: Luke Thomson, Dan Emslie, Christian Venter

ENDS

NB: High resolution images are available on demand for media outlets

About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

Surfing South Africa
The Ballito Pro, Ballito Women’s Pro, SSA Trials and Billabong Junior Series are registered with Surfing South Africa, recognised by the Dept. of Sport and Recreation as the national controlling body for the sport and a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).

Issued on behalf of:

WSL Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 082 699 4493
Email: cfitch@worldsurfleague.com

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

KwaDukuza Municipality and Organiser of the Ballito Pro Festival
Contact: Collette Bundy
Mobile: 072 287 9839
Email: collettebundy0@gmail.com

For more information about the beach and food festivals plus the music concerts please contact:

Olivia Jones Communications
Cell: 083 653 1720
Work: 031 303 9341
Email: media@oliviajones.co.za

 

#labcomm

World Champion Adriano de Souza Heads Elite Field of Surfers for Ballito Pro

June 3rd, 2016 No comments
Jordy Smith will be ‘trying extra hard’ to post a good performance in the 2016 Ballito Pro at Willard Beach at the end of June  Photo: WSL / Sloane

Jordy Smith will be ‘trying extra hard’ to post a good performance in the 2016 Ballito Pro at Willard Beach at the end of June  Photo: WSL / Sloane

Reigning world champion Adriano de Souza (BRA) heads a potent line-up of elite surfers for the 2016 Ballito Pro presented by Billabong that runs from June 27 – 3 July at Willard Beach in KwaDukuza.

Entries for the first World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series QS10,000 rated event to be staged in 2016 closed on Thursday with more than 150 local and international surfers applying for a start in the 112 man-field who will contest the 48th edition of the world’s longest running professional surfing event.

De Souza, who clinched the 2015 WSL title when he became the first Brazilian to win the iconic Pipeline Masters in Hawaii in December, will be joined by three more of the world’s top 10 ranked surfers, namely Sebastian Zietz (HAW), winner of the recent Margaret River pro; Caio Ibelli (BRA), who leads the 2016 Rookie of the Year standings; and South Africa’s own Jordy Smith, currently ranked No. 7 and the 2010 Ballito champion and 2013 runner-up.

“I feel a bit of extra pressure at Ballito but I always want to win so badly in front of everyone at home,” Smith said. “Now that I live abroad people don’t get to see me surf as much, and the support is always so crazy, so I’ll be trying extra hard.”

A total of 15 of the elite top 34 ranked competitors on the WSL Championship Tour (CT) will be in the mix at Ballito with exciting talents like Jack Freestone (AUS), the runner-up in the last CT event at Rio de Janeiro; perennial standout Jeremy Flores (FRA), who was forced to withdraw from last year’s event due to injury; and defending Ballito Pro champion Alejo Muniz (BRA) all lighting up the waves.

With a total prize-purse of US $260 000 (about R4 million) is on offer, of which US $40 000 and a massive 10,000 points on the QS leaderboard goes to the winner, the event has also attracted entries from all of the top 10 QS ranked surfers, including Italian prodigy Leonardo Fioravanti, Dion Atkinson (AUS) and American brothers Tanner and Patrick Gudauskas who won at Ballito in 2011 and 2013 respectively.

In addition to Smith, the South African challenge for the title will come from Beyrick de Vries from nearby uMhlanga and Michael February (Kommetjie), who at No. 36 is the highest ranked local. Jeffreys Bay residents Dylan Lightfoot and Matt McGillivray have been awarded the wildcards that go to the country’s two highest ranked QS surfers who do not automatically qualify for the event.

The two wildcards awarded by the WSL and two from sponsors Billabong have not yet been named. They will be joined in the main event by the winner of the all South African, 32-man Ballito Pro Trials, which will be run on Sunday June 26 at Willard Beach.

The QS1,000 rated Ballito Women’s Pro will start on Sunday and run in conjunction with the men’s event. The Billabong Junior Series, featuring JQS1,000 events for under-18 boys and girls, will be run from June 22-25.

While the surfers ride the waves, the Ballito Pro Festival is set to turn up the heat in KwaDukuza by offering the best in beach, music and sports entertainment. Locals and holiday-makers will be spoilt for choice with the week-long festival featuring the ‘Fire up your stoke…a nite of food & wine’, an extreme sports programme and an exciting retail area, while the Ballito Pro Music Concerts powered by 5FM bring some of South Africa’s most talented music acts to the stage in Salt Rock.

The Ballito Pro presented by Billabong is proudly supported by the KwaDukuza Municipality, Billabong, 5FM, Monster Energy, Zigzag Surfing Magazine, World Surf League (WSL) and Surfing South Africa (SSA).

ENDS

About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

Surfing South Africa
The Ballito Pro, Ballito Women’s Pro, SSA Trials and Billabong Junior Series are registered with Surfing South Africa, recognised by the Dept. of Sport and Recreation as the national controlling body for the sport and a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).

Issued on behalf of:

WSL Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 082 699 4493
Email: cfitch@worldsurfleague.com

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

KwaDukuza Municipality and Organiser of the Ballito Pro Festival
Contact: Collette Bundy
Mobile: 072 287 9839
Email: collettebundy0@gmail.com

For more information about the beach and food festivals plus the music concerts please contact:

Olivia Jones Communications
Cell: 083 653 1720
Work: 031 303 9341
Email: media@oliviajones.co.za

#labcomm