Ballito Pro presented by O'Neill Announces ‘Everything Is Blue’ Theme To Celebrate Oceans and Sustainability

The Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill announced the theme of Konke KuLuhlaza, isiZulu for ‘Everything Is Blue’ at a media and partners breakfast this morning. Bringing the best in entertainment, retail, and beachside fun, this year’s festival programme from 27 June to 9 July will be centered on sustainability, inclusivity, and growth.

Now in its 54th edition, the Ballito Pro is the world’s longest running professional surfing event and Stop No.3 on the World Surf League (WSL) Challenger Series (CS) for men and women.

At the end of the 2023 season, the Top 10 men and Top 5 women on the Challenger Series rankings will qualify for the 2024 Championship Tour (CT). Out of the six Challenger Series competitions, only the top four results will count toward their end-of-year rankings.

South Africa’s top contenders, former Ballito Pro winner Adin Masencampand local favourite Luke Thompson will line up against the likes of Imaikalani DeVault (HAW), Samuel Pupo (BRA), Cole Houshmand (USA) and Jett Schilling (USA) who are currently leading the rankings after the first two events in Australia.

The women’s draw is stacked with the Top 10 Challenger Series contenders like India Robinson (AUS), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Isabella Nichols (AUS), Sawyer Lindblad (USA) and Alyssa Spencer (USA). South Africa’s Sarah Baum is right there in the mix, just two spots down from the CT qualification line and will be raring to go at her home break. Joining Baum is CS competitors Natasha van Greunen, Jessie van Niekerk.

“Locals, surf fans and competitors will witness incredible surfing from international and local surfers who will be battling it out for valuable WSL Challenger Series points,” said WSL Africa Regional Director Tasha Mentasti. “KwaDukuza Municipality and all its stakeholders can be very proud of the positive impact they have had within the area for local communities and businesses, as well as for the sport of surfing within South Africa and for the international athletes that compete in the event.”

The Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill Festival Organiser Collette Bundy said the campaign is about forging impactful collaborations and using this global event to promote sustainable initiatives while celebrating our oceans and culture. “Taking inspiration from the local Zulu word ‘luhlaza’ which means blue, we’re celebrating the ocean, KwaDukuza’s ongoing Blue Flag Beach programme, and our sponsor, O’Neill’s Blue global product collection. It is fortuitous that ‘luhlaza’ also translates to ‘green’ because we’ll be weaving stories of sustainability into our ocean narrative with a great festival line-up planned for visitors,” said Bundy.

Ocean health is a priority for event hosts, KwaDukuza Municipality.
“We are proud to be hosting the Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill Festival at Willard Beach, one of three Blue Flag beaches in the area,” said KwaDukuza Municipal Mayor Lindile Nhaca. “Through the event, we will bring awareness about protecting our coastline’s environmental richness which is a key tourism asset and economic driver for the region.”