Sun, surf and great waves

2013-06-11 00:00

THIS year’s Mr Price Pro from July 1 to 7 in Ballito, has attracted a record entry, including 18 of the world’s top 32 waveriders.

With entries officially closed, a total of 89 surfers, an increase of almost a third from last year, have been confirmed from around the globe. KwaZulu-Natal’s reputation for sun, surf and great waves has reverberated around the surfing world, with surfers arriving from as far afield as the U.S., Portugal, France, Japan, Australia, Brazil and Tahiti, not forgetting our own homegrown riders.

Heading South Africa and Durban’s challenge is current ASP world No 1 Jordy Smith, winner of the 2010 event. He has a huge following on home soil and will thrive on the support as fans spur him on to bring the title home.

He is joined in the field by world No 19 and fellow Durbanite Travis Logie, a hard-working surfer who, with the bit between his teeth, is capable of upsetting the form book on the day. Surfing in his backyard is also a huge advantage and should bring out the best from him.

Top seed for the event is 2011 Mr Price Pro semi-finalist and ASP world No 12, Australian Julian Wilson. He was Rookie of the Year in 2011 and won his inaugural victory in Portugal last year. He is an exciting talent and should relish the waves Balllito offers.

This year’s ASP Rookie, Brazilian Filipe Toledo, is another to watch. He comes from solid surfing stock as son of former pro Richard Toledo and is recognised as a forerunner of a new wave of Brazilian surfing talent.

Australian Kai Otton, a seven-year tour veteran, could produce the goods if the waves are right. Renowned as an astute barrel rider, Ballito’s hollow waves could provide him with the ideal platform to launch his assault on the title.

Hawaii sends Dusty Payne and Sebastian Zietz to our shores, with the latter enjoying a strong year to date. He is the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing champion and has jumped up the world rankings. Payne bagged his first victory earlier this year and is gaining in confidence as he mixes it with the world’s best.

Defending Mr Price Pro champion Glen Hall (Australia) returns to defend and besides Smith and Logie, South Africa also has Umhlanga’s Beyrick de Vries, Mossel Bay’s Shaun Joubert and St Francis’s Dale Staples in the draw.

Michael February (CT), David van Zyl (CT) and Chad du Toit (DBN) have been given ASP wildcard entries based on their ASP star rankings at the end of 2012, while Greg Emslie (EL), Steven Sawyer (J-Bay) and Matt Bromley (CT) compete as Mr Price wildcards.

Another two South African spots will go to the top-placed finishers at the Mr Price Pro Ballito trials, in conjunction with the SSA South African Champs on June 28. These trials feature 12 invited regional surfers who cannot get into the event based on their 2012 ASP star ranking.

Besides surfing, the event offers the Mr Price Pro Ballito Beach Festival and free music concerts, featuring 20 bands, from July 4 to 6. An addition this year is the three-day food and wine festival from July 2 to 4.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.