EVENT: Ballito Pro
STATUS: QS10,000 rated event for Men
VENUE: Willard Beach, Ballito, KwaDukuza, South Africa
DATES: July 3-9, 2017

Stellar Entry for Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong in July

First QS10,000 Rated Event of Year Attracts Scores of the World’s Best Surfers

The Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong, the world’s longest running professional surfing event, has attracted a stellar field of the world’s top surfers for its 49th anniversary at Willard Beach in Ballito from 3 to 9 July.

Entries for the first World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series QS10,000 rated event of the year closed last week with exactly half of the world’s elite Top 34 ranked surfers on the Championship Tour (CT) booking their places. The 112 man field also features 29 of the top 32 on the QS rankings including current runaway rankings leader Jesse Mendes (BRA) and all of the top 12. 

The CT contingent is led by Durban’s Jordy Smith, who won in Ballito in 2010 and is challenging strongly for the world title following his victory at Bells Beach at Easter. Other CT stars include Frenchmen Jeremy Flores and Joan Duru, Brazilians Italo Ferreira, Wiggolly Dantas and Miguel Pupo, Ezekiel Lau (HAW), Kanoa Igarashi (USA) and Italian Leonardo Fioravanti.

The form surfer is Connor O’Leary (AUS) who franked the form that saw him win last year’s Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong by finishing runner-up at Cloudbreak in Fiji earlier today to break into the top10 on the Jeep leaderboard for the first time and take the lead in the coveted 2017 CT rookie of the year race.

Former Ballito champions in the 49th edition also include the Gudauskas brothers, Pat & Tanner, from California and Alejo Muniz (BRA).

Michael February (Kommetjie) and Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga) are the only two South Africans to qualify for the main event via their rankings. Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) and David van Zyl (Glenashley) will receive the WSL Africa wildcards as the highest ranked South Africans in the current QS standings not to qualify among the top 112.

“This is the strongest field for the Ballito Pro presented by Billabong that I’ve seen since it moved to Ballito in 2009,” said WSL Africa Operations Manager Colin Fitch. “There has been huge anticipation for this year’s event and a really positive build up with other WSL events being held all over the coastline.”

The Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong runs from Monday to Sunday, July 3-9 and offer a prize-purse of US $260,000 (about R3.35 million) of which R500,000 and a massive 10,000 priceless ranking points go to the winner.

The Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong is the highlight event in the Ballito Pro Surf Festival, a 14-day celebration of beach culture that includes Billabong Junior Series pres. by All Aboard Travel from June 27-29 followed by the Surfing South Africa Trials pres. by Billabong on June 30 and the Ballito Women’s Pro pres. by Billabong on 1 and 2 July.

Alongside the surfing, visitors will be spoiled for choice with non-stop activities providing even more entertainment throughout the Ballito festival site. South Africa's hottest musical acts appealing to all tastes - rock, pop, hip hop, kwaito, electro and dance - will be performing live on Salt Rock Beach over the last weekend. Beach and extreme sports, culinary contests as well as quality retail and food stalls will captivate visitors to this coastal holiday highlight. 

For more information, visit:
Website: www.theballitopro.com
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/theballitopro/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/TheBallitoPro
Instagram: www.instagram.com/TheBallitoPro
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/theballitopro
Snapchat: Username – TheBallitoPro

The Ballito Pro pres. 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).

 

Caption: Jack Freestone (AUS) takes to the air in the pristine final day conditions for the 2016 Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong • Photo: WSL / Cestari

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 in excess of 180 global events across the 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, and in doing so crowns the undisputed world champions in Men’s, Women’s across all divisions within the tour.

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, Tyler Wright, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Grant Baker, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

About Surfing South Africa
The Ballito Pro, Ballito Women’s Pro, SSA Trials and Billabong Junior Series are sanctioned by Surfing South Africa which is recognised by the Department of Sport and Recreation as the national governing body for the sport. Surfing South Africa is a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).

Issued on behalf of:
WSL Africa
Contact:            Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel:                   082 699 4493
Email:               This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Compiled & Distributed by:
Life's a Beach Communications
Tel:              +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile:         +27 (0) 82 423 1964
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KwaDukuza Municipality and Organizers of the Ballito Pro Festival  
Contact:            Collette Bundy
Mobile:              072 287 9839
Email:               This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information about the beach festival, music concerts and culinary contests please contact:

Olivia Jones Communications
Cell:                  083 653 1720
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