Caption: A happy Richard Kidd after winning the SSA Ballito Trials pres. by Billabong and earning a spot in the R3,3 million Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong which starts on Monday • Photo: WSL / Cestari

Ballito Local Earns Wildcard into Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong

Richie Kidd secured the most prestigious win of his career when he defeated three of South Africa’s top surfers in the final of the SSA Ballito Trials pres. by Billabong at his home break of Willard Beach on Friday.

The victory earned the 20-year-old Ballito local a coveted wildcard into the World Surf League (WSL) QS10,000 Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong where he will take his place among 112 of the world’s best surfers when the week-long, US $260,000 (about R3.3 million) event gets underway on Monday 3 July.

“I was lucky with that one wave where I got an 8, it linked up right through to the inside,” said an elated Kidd after being carried up the beach on his friend’s shoulders. “The boys were ripping, it was a long day and the whole event I've been trying to push aside the pressure.”

Starting in Round 2, Kidd finished runner-up in three consecutive heats before going for broke in the final, taking to the air at every opportunity and attempting some outrageous manoeuvres in his quest for victory.

“I’m a local here so I surf this spot pretty much every day. My girlfriend told me just to go out there and free surf like I usually do, and that kind of worked. I'm definitely going into the main event with the same strategy! I'm stoked on my boards, stoked on the vibe, just stoked in general!”

Slade Prestwich (Durban), Shane Sykes (Salt Rock) and Jordy Maree (Cape Town) ended second to fourth respectively and were rewarded with a spot in the Monster Energy Expression Session on the final day of the Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong where the surfer completing the most radical manoeuvre earns R30,000.

The 13-day Ballito Pro Surf Festival started on Tuesday with the Billabong Junior Series pres. by All Aboard Travel for surfers aged 18-and-under. The QS1,000 Ballito Women’s Pro runs on Saturday and Sunday with 14 international competitors among the 32 entries.

The field for the Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong, the first of just five QS10,000 rated events in 2017, is headed by South Africa’s Jordy Smith, the 2010 Ballito champion and currently ranked No. 3 on the Jeep leaderboard. He faces 17 of the world’s elite Top 34 ranked surfers on the Championship Tour (CT) and 29 of the top 32 on the current QS rankings

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, Capitec Bank, Casio, North Coast Courier, Monster Energy, Zigzag Surfing Magazine, World Surf League (WSL) and Surfing South Africa (SSA).

 

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
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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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