This year marks the 50th edition of the elite surfing contest, The Ballito Pro, presented by Billabong, and KwaDukuza is gearing up for a programme of non-stop entertainment to celebrate this milestone event. Themed #LiveTheLegacy, the world’s longest running professional surfing competition will commemorate this historic occasion with fun beachside activities, festive cooking contests, quality retail offerings and some special proceedings to honour the event’s roots.
“The 2018 edition of The Ballito Pro is definitely centred on celebration and we want to use this platform to really thank everyone who has contributed to ‘Living the Legacy’,” said Collette Bundy, event organiser. “In addition to being the 50th edition, 2018 marks a decade of hosting the event in KwaDukuza, a space that has allowed The Ballito Pro to grow alongside the region, offering holidaymakers and locals an incredible two weeks of coastal entertainment. We are, once again, looking forward to welcoming the globe to a really stunning piece of South Africa.”
Positive Wave Tour
World Surfing Champion and six-time winner of The Ballito Pro (formerly Durban 500, Gunston 500 and Mr Price Pro) Shaun Tomson is embarking on his #positivewavetour to promote surfing and an environmental ethos. Tomson will be talking to pupils at 10 KwaDukuza schools about his book, The Code, as well as participating in several activations throughout The Ballito Pro including daily signings, prizegivings, a ‘Retro Expression Session’ and screening of his film ‘Bustin Down the Door’.
On Wednesday, 27 June, Tomson will be the guest speaker at his fundraising event, A Night with Shaun Tomson, taking place at Coco De Mer. The proceeds from the tickets sold will go towards Development Surf with the entire #positivewavetour culminating on Wednesay, 18 July with a Madiba Day 67-minute charity initiative. In keeping with the milestone celebrations, 2018 will be the Centenary Celebrations of Madiba, making this a particularly poignant activation.
This charitable movement will also flow into The Ballito Pro’s #savethewaves drive centred on environmental education and maritime conservation. This effective campaign aims to highlight the detrimental impact of plastic and microplastic on marine life through dedicated awareness programmes and competitions.
The Ballito Pro will also host the Ilembe Surf Riders Development Programme, a newly-established initiative aimed at developing new surf talent, particularly within the Dolphin Coast’s rural areas.
Retro Jubilee Food & Wine presented by Ballito Junction
The #LiveTheLegacy celebrations continue at on Monday, 25 and Tuesday, 26 June from 4pm to 11pm with the Ballito Pro Retro Jubilee Food & Wine presented by Ballito Junction Regional Mall. This two-night culinary extravaganza invites guests to walk through 50 years of surfing development in an old-school carnival-style event complete with food, fashion and fun.
Geraldine Jorgensen, CEO of Ballito Junction said: “We are delighted to be associated with the world’s longest running professional surfing event, particularly as it celebrates its 50th anniversary, and its tenth year in Ballito.”
– Cooking Competitions
On Monday, 25 June, budding young chefs, aged 10 to 16 years, will get the chance to compete in two-person teams for the culinary crown. Each team must create a captivating team name and will be required to dress according to the particular decade selected for them while crafting an impressive feast. The evening will also feature a fun Celebrity Cook-off with a well-known Ballito local teaming up with one surfing legend to compete against another suitably feisty team.
On Tuesday, 26 June, adults will get the chance to prove their kitchen prowess in a timed cook-off. Contestants will be paired with local chefs and restaurateurs to cook a classic dish relevant to a specific decade.
Themed ‘Fashion Through the Eras’, this year’s fashion show will run on Monday, 25 and Tuesday, 26 June, giving local designers the platform to showcase their incredible garments which will be an interpretation of a chosen era. Winners of this fashionable contest can look forward to some awesome prizes.
The Ballito Pro will play host to the vibrant Miss Ballito contest with visitors given the chance to meet and greet the beachside beauties. Local musicians and leading dance companies will also ensure there is top-class entertainment throughout this retro event.
– Food and Drinks
The Retro Cocktail Lounge and Bar will take guests on a nostalgic journey of classic cocktails across the decades with a happy hour highlight. Expect some delightful mixes such as Manhattans, Martini’s, Rob Roy’s, Harvey Wallbangers, and many more.
Food options will be in abundance as local restaurants and pop-up stalls offer an expansive feast that touch on the decadence of each decade.
Daily Beachside Activities
KwaDukuza’s Willard Beach will play host to non-stop daily entertainment and fun activities for festival-goers. Local artists will set the mood on the artists’ stage with visitors invited to browse the various stalls retailing food, clothes and crafts.
From 29 June to 1 July, there will be some extreme sports’ action at the Monster Skate Jam with the renowned daredevil stuntmen, Bruce and Brent Le Riche, showcasing some unmissable biking skills.
The Coke-a-Cola Football Arena will play host to daily beach recreational activities and a variety of engaging children’s games. Spectators can also enjoy daily beach soccer games in a friendly contest between regional high schools.
Music and Parties
– Ballito Pro Free Music Concerts Powered by 5FM
The best in South African musical entertainment will take over Salt Rock Beach on Thursday, 28 and Friday, 29 June. Musical genres will include rock, hip hop, jazz, kwaito, electro, dance and more…all at no cost! Get ready for this high-profile line which includes:
Thursday, 28 June
Ryan the DJ
Friday, 29 June
– After Dark Parties
Crush Nightclub will once again play host to some of the best DJ’s set to get festival-goers rocking into the night from Monday, 25 to Saturday, 30 June. The party list includes:
• Pro pre-party: Royal Love and Friends
• Living the Legacy: Featuring Tommy D
• Swell Sundays: Battle of the DJs
• Battle of the DJs Finals
• Swimwear Show hosted by Big Night Out
• Student Night: Featuring Chunda Munki
• Durban Takeover: Featuring Veranda Panda
• Ride the Tide: Featuring TiMO ODV
• Swell Sundays: Ballito Pro Closing Party
Don’t miss out on any of this #LiveTheLegacy fun as The Ballito Pro, presented by Billabong, celebrates its milestone 50th edition at KwaDukuza.