THE BALLITO PRO PRESENTED BY O’NEILL
The Ballito Pro Presented by O’Neill is an international surf and lifestyle event hosted in Ballito, the jewel of KwaZulu-Natal’s North Coast.
This event is a strategic partnership between World Surf League (WSL) and the KwaDukuza Municipality, together with various public and private sector partners.
In 2019, core surf brand O’Neill will take the baton from Billabong, agreeing to carry on the proud legacy of the world’s longest running professional surfing event as it entered its 51st year.
The World Surf League’s top ranked performers will be joined by the cream of South Africa’s men, women and junior surfers for a 14 day festival of high performance action in the waves of Willard Beach in Ballito on the KwaDukuza coast from 1 to 7 July this year.
For the eleventh successive year the region will host the world’s best men in the Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill, a WSL Qualifying Series (QS) 10,000 rated event will offer 10,000 points to the winner, the highest points haul available for men on the QS leaderboard. The 112-man entry for the event traditionally includes at least a dozen of the world’s elite surfers who compete on the WSL Championship Tour (CT) along with the highest ranked QS surfers fighting for the right to qualify for the top tier.
The women will showcase their talent in the QS1,000 Ballito Women’s Pro pres. by O’Neill which will again feature a mix of international and local competitors with the South Africans bidding to become the 22nd champion and to join 2015 winner Nikita Robb (East London) as the only home grown women’s champions. The men’s and women’s events run in parallel from Monday to Sunday, 1-7 July.
The inaugural O’Neill SMTH Shapes Pro Junior kicks off the festival program from 27-29 June and is a collaboration between O’Neill and former World Junior Champion and two-time Ballito Pro winner Jordy Smith, who is always keen to support opportunities for the country’s junior surfers.
“KwaDukuza Municipality is pleased to come together yet again with our valued partners to host yet another spectacular internationally renowned sporting event, which continues to position our area as a leading events tourism destination,” says the Mayor of KwaDukuza, Cllr Ricardo Mthembu. “We look forward to the upcoming event as it enters its 11th year on KwaDukuza soil.
“The Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill is an important stop on the World Surf League tour and plays a critical role as a platform for local South Africans to develop within the sport. Needless to say, it is our fundamental aim to develop our people both economically and socially through events of this nature and we anticipate another successful year in 2019. We are calling on our community and business community to ensure that they provide our visitors with an experience they will remember. We wish all our participants a happy stay in our district and hope that they will enjoy a spectacular experience. We are also looking forward to renewing our partnership with the World Surfing League beyond 2019.”
The 51st edition of the world’s longest running professional surfing event will be bigger and better than ever as it welcomes the support of global surf brand O’Neill, who are partnering with the event for the first time in 2019.
Paul Canning, O’Neill South Africa Brand Director, said “O’Neill is very proud to be coming on board as the presenting sponsor for the Ballito Pro. The event has such an amazing history in South African surfing and has been an instrumental platform in getting our local professional surfers onto the world surfing stage for over five decades. We look forward to building a long relationship with the KwaDukuza Municipality and presenting another world class surfing festival.”
“It’s been such a fantastic 10 years with Ballito and the KDM Municipality, we have grown up together,” said WSL Africa Operations Manager, Colin Fitch. “And huge thanks to O’Neill for stepping up to perpetuate the legacy of this icon event that has brought the world’s best surfers to our shores for the past 50 years and continues to provide WSL Africa members, juniors, women and men, with a springboard onto the world tour.
“Ballito’s surroundings and great winter weather are so similar to Hawaii’s North Shore – the surfers love the event. The friendliness of the community, the way the great setup for the competitors and spectators blends into the landscape, the clean beaches and great waves combine to produce a truly a magical event.”
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.
THE BALLITO PRO PRESENTED BY O’NEILL