BALLITO, South Africa (Tuesday, May 21, 2013) – South Africa’s premier surfing event the ASP Prime Mr Price Pro Ballito has once again attracted the crème of international professional surfing, with eight of the Top 32 surfers in the world confirming their entries into the event that offers a R2,2 Million prize purse.
In its five years in KwaDukuza on the KwaZulu Natal North Coast, the Mr Price Pro Ballito (July 1 – 7, 2013) has witnessed some of the best surf ever seen on this pristine coastline. It’s no wonder then, that it attracts an elite calibre of surfer one expects to see competing at this year’s event.
South African surfing superstar and former Mr Price Pro Champion Jordy Smith (2010) heads the star studded line-up and is expected to draw record crowds as the firm local favourite in Ballito.
The current World No. 2 has enjoyed a stellar start to the 2013 season. Fresh off a victory at the Billabong Rio Pro in Brazil this week, Smith notably earned Gold at the X Games in Brazil in April and placed equal third at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, Australia over Easter.
Smith’s prowess in everything thing from thundering Ballito barrels to punchy, wind affected ramps makes him among the best in the world and he will relish the opportunity to turn it on for his home crowd.
“It is in my home city and I would love to win in front of a home crowd, to be doing a contest at home for once is great and gets me really excited!” Smith said.
Defending Mr Price Pro Champion and fellow ASP World Championship Tour campaigner World No. 23 Glenn Hall (IR) has confirmed he will be back to defend his Mr Price Pro Ballito title this year.
A former eight-year veteran of the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS), Hall’s victory at the Mr Price Pro Ballito 2012 was the catalyst that saw him leap to elite status as a fully-fledged campaigner on the ASP World Championship Tour in 2013.
“It’s a long way to travel but South Africa is truly one of the places that I look forward to going back to each year. My victory last year was the highlight of my career but I would be going back whether I was defending champ or not.”
World No. 19 and the only other South African surfer currently competing on the elite WCT, Travis Logie, will add might to the South African camp. A former runner up at the Mr Price Pro Ballito, Logie has gained an international reputation for taking down some of the toughest heats in pro surfing history.
With a number of stellar results over the past few seasons, the powerful goofy footer has shown signs it is time for a win.
“When Ballito is turning it on or even when it’s average, it’s still a world class wave and I’ve definitely had some of the best waves of my life out there,” Logie said. “The Mr Price Pro is an important event for both tours (WQS and WCT) because it counts towards your overall rating and it’s one event I’ve always wanted to win.”
South American surfers have enjoyed a history of success at the Mr Price Pro Ballito over the years with a total of four of the last 12 winners hailing from Brazil.
It is no surprise then that the event has attracted the likes of ASP World Tour rookie and aerial master World No. 7 Felipe Toledo (BRA), World No. 26 Alejo Muniz (BRA), World No. 29 Miguel Pupo (BRA) and former ASP World Junior Champion Caio Ibelli (2011).
2013 World Tour rookie Sebastian Zietz (HAW), currently rated World No. 12, will bring his extensive experience in the powerful waves of Hawaii to the South African surf. The 2012 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Champion proved his expertise in waves of consequence this Hawaiian winter and is expected to be a standout should Ballito turn it on with a big swell this year.
Current World No. 12 Kai Otton of Sydney, Australia, and World No. 26 Kolohe Andino of California are the remaining WCT surfers on the current entry list. While Otton brings with him a wealth of elite level experience, Andino represents the innovation and flair of the new school generation.
Former event champion Patrick Gudauskas will bring the confidence of a former champion to this year’s line-up and, as the first alternate on the WCT, this year will be placing significant emphasis on the Mr Price Pro Ballito in the hope of rejoining his fellow WCT campaigners in 2013.
The entry list is peppered with talent including the likes of ASP World Junior Champions Jack Freestone (AUS), 2012 and 2010, and Maxime Huscenot (FRA), 2009, while South African World Qualifying Series campaigners including Beyrick De Vries, Steven Sawyer, Dylan Lightfoot and David Van Zyl will be equally tough competitors.
The Mr Price Pro Ballito Beach Festival will once again boast an array of impressive entertainment including the popular Free Music Concerts taking place at Salt Rock, featuring twenty bands over three days from July 4-6, 2013.
With numerous beach sports, soccer leagues, fun days and extreme sports demonstrations including wakeskate, breakdance, parkour and BMX all on offer, this year’s festival offers something for the whole family.
And if that weren’t enough, this year’s extravaganza will see the addition of a three day Food and Wine festival running from July 2 to 4, enabling crowds to experience new tastes and ensure that absolutely all of their senses are satisfied.
For more information log on to www.mrpricepro.com.