World’s Top Surfers Confirmed for Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill
More than a dozen of the world’s best surfers are heading to the Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill at Willard Beach from 1-7 July. No less than 16 of the elite World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) surfers have thrown their names into the bag for the first Qualifying Series (QS) 10,000 rated event of the year, including world No. 2, Kolohe Andino (USA).
Andino put on a stellar performance at the recent Margaret River Pro in West Australia to finish runner-up to Hawaiian John John Florence.
The Ballito Pro defending event winner, Peterson Crisanto (BRA), will return to KwaDukuza for the world’s longest running professional surfing event. Crisanto will join fellow Brazilian competitors including 2015 World Champion, Adriano de Souza and 2017 Ballito Pro runner-up Willian Cardoso..
De Souza has been out of the water for the past nine months due to injury and the Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill will be his first event of the year.
Australia’s Wade Carmichael, the 2018 CT Rookie of the Year, will be a credible threat in any heat at Willard Beach. Carmichael let his powerful surfing do the talking in 2018, earning an equal 3rd place in Ballito after losing out to eventual runner-up Jack Freestone (AUS).
Other big international names include Hawaiians Ezekiel Lau and Seth Moniz, Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Griffin Colapinto (USA) and Frederico Morais (PRT).
South African favourite and former two-time event winner, Jordy Smith, will come into the event with a string of great results behind his name and sitting at No. 5 on the CT leaderboard. The Durbanite enjoys competing in front of his hometown crowds, who rock up in their numbers to support the local stars.
The South African contingent includes 2018 CT competitor Michael February (Kommetjie) and top QS surfers Matthew McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay), hometown hero Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga), David van Zyl (Glenashley), Adin Masencamp (Strand), Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) and Slade Prestwich (Durban).
On Sunday, 30 June, the Ballito Trial pres. by O’Neill will give 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.