Dylan Lightfoot from Jeffrey’s Bay is one of the six wildcard for the Ballito Pro pres by O’Neill
Credit: WSL/Thurtell

BALLITO, KWADUKUZA, SOUTH AFRICA - Tuesday, June 25 – The world’s best surfers are making their way to the sunny east coast of South Africa for the first World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 10,000 rated event of the year, the Ballito Pro pres by O’Neill. The week-long surfing competition takes place at Willard Beach, Ballito, KwaDukuza from 1-7 July.

The elite 112-man field comprises the top 105 ranked surfers from the 151 who applied for entry, plus six wildcards and the winner of the trials. South African surfers Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay), Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay), Jake Elkington (Kommetjie) and Eli Beukes (both Kommetjie) will join the international competitors Caio Ibelli (BRA) and Mitch Crews (AUS) as the six wildcards in the prestigious main event.

Lightfoot is sitting at the top of the WSL Africa QS rankings after winning two events earlier this year at the Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic and the Vans Surf Pro Classic in Lambert’s Bay. A good performance at Ballito, the final QS event of the year in Africa, will ensure that Lightfoot clinches the WSL Africa Mens title and will make him the frontrunner for the local wildcard in the Corona J-Bay Open, the WSL Championship Tour (CT) event taking place at his home break later in July.

Kommetjie youngster Eli Beukes has been on an absolute tear in the junior events in South Africa. Beukes bagged two Junior QS wins, the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro and the Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres. by Hurley, both in Port Elizabeth. This will be the first time Beukes competes in the main event at Ballito.

Capetonians Jake Elkington and Jordy Maree both have international QS experience under their belts and they will be looking forward to mixing it up with the best in the business.

Caio Ibelli is one of the most dangerous Brazilians to have in a heat, with an arsenal of aerial manoeuvres to compliment his powerful, exciting surfing. Ibelli has been surfing as a replacement for the injured Adriano de Souza (BRA) on the CT this year. With De Souza returning to competition, Ibelli will bank on earning sufficient rankings points at the Ballito Pro to re-qualify for a spot on the Dream Tour in 2020.

Former World Tour surfer, Australian Mitch Crews is no stranger to Ballito. Currently in the top 100 on the QS rankings, a good result here would bump him up significantly and increase his chances to get back on the CT.

The Ballito Trials pres. by O’Neill will be staged on Sunday, 30 June, the day before the start of the main event, giving 32 surfers one last opportunity to earn a slot in the QS 10,000.

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 O’Neill is proudly supported by the KwaDukuza Municipality, O’Neill, Capitec, Casio G-Shock, SMTH Shapes, 5FM, Monster Energy, Zigzag Surfing Magazine, North Coast Courier, SMG MINI, World Surf League (WSL) and Surfing South Africa (SSA).