The 51st Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill ends in style

KwaDukuza played host to another hugely successful Ballito Pro – presented by O’Neill – which brought both an international surfing contest and ongoing festival entertainment to holidaymakers from 27 June to 7 July.

“The stunning North Coast winter weather put on another spectacular performance, providing the ideal backdrop to all The Ballito Pro action,” said Event Co-ordinator, Collette Bundy. “This was an exceptionally well-supported event with the likes of Ballito Pro ambassador, Sal Masekela, and the high-calibre of retail and entertainment attracting visitors from far and wide. There were also a number of innovative environmental and community development initiatives that always form a prominent part of The Ballito Pro programme, ensuring we have a healthy ocean and new crew of upcoming, talented surfers!”

One such community development initiative was the Development Surf Day hosted on the final day of The Ballito Pro. Young surfers from KZN’s iLembe Surf Riders, Ubuntu Learn to Surf and Swim Club, Sisonke Surf Club and Surfers Not Street Children (SNSC) joined top South African surfers in an expression session. This Development Surf Day – hosted by Sea Harvest together with Surfing South Africa and the KwaDukuza Municipality – also welcomed event ambassador, surfer and international sports’ presenter, Sal Masakela.

Running alongside the international surfing contest was the fun festival programme, which included:

• The Ballito Pro Family Food Festival, presented by Ballito Junction Regional Mall, on 1 and 2 July. The event attracted visitors with its delicious programme of Cook-off Competitions, quality markets, non-stop entertainment. This year’s Cook-off was won by ‘The Cuzzies’ from Ballito, aka Abigail van der Linde (18) and Thailen von Allemann (14), with the Celebrity Cook-off winners announced as Team Booyakasha aka Bok van Blerk and Natasha ‘Bash with Tash’ Munien.

• Sal Masekela African Surf Adventure Driven by SMG Rocks and Hosted by Coco de Mer.

• The Ballito Pro 2019 FREE Music Concerts Powered by 5FM on 4 and 5 July welcomed big-name stars Distruction Boyz, Lady Zamar, The Parlotones and Desmond & The Tutus – among others – to Salt Rock Main Beach.

• After Dark Parties – hosted by Crush Ballito – saw 25 of the region’s hottest DJs take to the dancefloor for 10 consecutive days, culminating in the Sunday Swell on the final night.

• Extreme Sports including Mini Ramp Skate Jams featuring Monster Energy’s Khule Ngubane and MX Trials biking with Monster Energy’s The Le Riche Brothers from 4 to 7 July. This year’s Mini Skate Jam winners were:

1. Kalvyn MacMillan
2. Siba Booi
3. Jean-Marc Johannes

1. Noah Whittle
2. Guy McCarthy
3. Tre O’Sullivan

• Fans got the chance to meet Simon Keys and Siouxsie Gillett, the hosts of popular Nat Geo WildTV show ‘Snake City’.

• The KwaDukuza Municipality, in partnership with Ballito Footy U13-15, Football Activations on 4 and 5 July where local U13 and U15 teams went head-to-head in this quadrangular beach soccer tournament. The teams consisted of players from KP Projects – NPO partner of Footy – as well as members from SAFA KwaDukuza. The KP Projects squad included the top 15 players per age group, selected from 10 local under-privileged primary schools in the Ilembe district.

• The Mike’s Kitchen Kiddies’ Activation area on the beach saw the little ones enjoying face painting, sandcastle building, colouring in, jumping castle and much more. Each child also received a lucky packet and Mike’s Kitchen voucher.

• Beach Action – daily fun activities consisting of beach soccer, beach volleyball, fashion shows, competitions and dance displays.

• From 9am to 5pm daily, visitors could browse quality crafts, clothing and other retail options as well as indulge in they many food and drink options found in the Food Court and Cider Garden.
• Surfers mingled with legendary South African surfboard shapers showcasing the intricate craft of surfboard shaping.

• Save the Waves Campaign – this year’s plastic and recycling awareness campaign will include the Litter4Tokens Recycling Programme (partnering with O’Neill). The ‘Mermaid Tear Catcher’ contest was launched with prizes given to those who collected the most ‘mermaid tears’ or harmful plastic nurdles.

The 2019 #feelslikefreedom Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill is over, but for more information on next year’s event, keep an eye on:

Snapchat: Username – TheBallitoPro