Ballito Pro 50th Jubilee celebrations end on a high note with Ilembe Surfriders and Surfski Race

Visitors to this year’s Ballito Pro, presented by Billabong were treated to a full-festival #LiveTheLegacy programme of quality music, fun contests, fabulous food and endless shopping opportunities. Hosted by KwaDukuza, the 50th edition of the world-famous Ballito Pro ran from 22 June to 1 July.

“This was a really momentous Ballito Pro as we celebrated 50 years of history that brought us to this point and I think the various retro events really captured what makes this such a successful festival,” said Collette Bundy, event organiser. “The sunny winter weather and warm, welcoming reception from KwaDukuza really emphasised why the event has been hosted here for the past decade. We look forward to another 50 years of sun, surf and celebrations with The Ballito Pro.”

Audiences were kept spellbound as the master of the waves, Shaun Tomson, continued his #positivewavetour speaking about his passion for surfing and healthy oceans. In addition to his film screening ‘Bustin Down the Door’ and meet-and-greet sessions, visitors could interact at the ‘Living the Legacy: 50 years of Pro Surfing Evening hosted by Shaun Tomson’ at Coco de Mer with all proceeds going to Development Surf.

Adrenaline, fun and beachside antics made for some seriously popular Monster activations, held at Willard Beach from 28 June to 1 July. Surfers put on some impressive moves to cash in at the Monster Cash-Up presented by Zigzag as well as The Monster Expression Session presented by Zigzag. On land, skateboarding legend, Khule Ngubane, showed his skill with the Le Riche Bro’s Trials Bike shows attracting major audiences to their death-defying tricks. Fun-seekers could also refuel at the Monster Energy Rig Riot.

The high-energy sports’ action continued at the first-ever Ballito Downwind Series on the 1 July where 56 of South Africa’s best paddlers competed in this doubles’ race from Blythedale Beach to Tiffany’s Reef. Taking first place in the men’s division were pre-race favourites Matthew Bouman and Ant Stott with Hayley Nixon and Sabina Lawrie winning the ladies’ race. Bouman and Stott came home in just over one hour and five minutes with Nixon and Lawrie placing 11th overall. Clinton Cook and Christie Mackenzie were the first mixed double across the line while Todd Borland came home as the first single ski. The top contenders were rewarded with a share of R10 000 prize money, as well as product prizes from Muscle Wellness, Gara Racing Paddles and Thule.

Retro tastes, sights and sounds overwhelmed at the Retro Jubilee Food & Wine presented by Ballito Junction from 25 to 26 June. Aspiring chefs, young and old, sizzled in the #LiveTheLegacy cook-off contests while guests relished in the fine food and drink options in a classy, carnival-style setting. There were also many flavours to be tried at the Retro Cocktail Lounge and Bar.

This coastal event has become synonymous for its unbelievable musical concerts and this year did not disappoint. Thousands of concert-goers enjoyed the sounds of December Streets, Okmalumkoolkat, MS Cosmo, The Kickstands, Sketchy Bongo and 5FM’s Nick Hamman, among others on 28 and 29 June at the Ballito Pro Free Music Concerts Powered by 5FM. Throughout the festival, DJs including Chunda Munki, TiMO ODV, Chris Taylor, Strange Loving kept the party going at the Crush Nightclub After Dark Parties

Festival-goers took to Willard Beach which was transformed into an outdoor market, boasting stalls retailing food, clothes and crafts with local musicians setting the vibe. There were also ongoing daily beachside activities to keep the children entertained at The Coke-a-Cola Football Arena.

The Ilembe Surf Riders Development Programme, a newly-established initiative aimed at developing new surf talent, was also hosted at the festival.