With the swell still on the small side, there was no action down at the Ballito Pro presented by Billabong today (Friday, 3 July). The forecast is predicting good things for the weekend though, and the crowd is expected to swell too with work over for the week, so much is expected this weekend down at Willards Beach with just 24 more surfers left in the event.
Brent Dorrington (AUS) has been blowing-up in Ballito and is still in contention.
There’s also the Monster Energy Expression Session – featuring ten Saffa rippers who will be going all out to win the R20 000 cash on offer – to look forward to on Sunday.
In the meantime check out our Ballito Pro photo blog from today, which has some rad action from this morning’s freesurf. Otherwise you can read the official press release below for more details about the upcoming action this weekend.
The free surf action was red hot despite conditions. Frederico Morais (POR) hits the lip.
BALLITO PRO ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Alejo Muniz (BRA), Kanoa Igarashi (USA), Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 2: Medi Veminardi (REU), Billy Stairmand (NZL), Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 3: Brent Dorrington (AUS), Ezekiel Lau (HAW), Maxime Huscenot (FRA)
Heat 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA), David do Carmo (BRA), Caio Ibelli (BRA)
Heat 5: Marc Lacomare (FRA), Mitch Coleborn (AUS), Stu Kennedy (AUS)
Heat 6: Santiago Muniz (ARG), Gony Zubizarreta (ESP), Mitch Crews (AUS)
Heat 7: Michael Rodrigues (BRA), Davey Cathels (AUS), Connor O’Leary (AUS)
Heat 8: Heitor Alves (BRA), Soli Bailey (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA)
BUMPER WEEKEND OF ACTION PREDICTED FOR BALLITO PRO FOLLOWING SUCCESSIVE LAY DAYS
Last 24 Set to Explode in Predicted Overhead Surf and Glassy Conditions
Joan Duru (FRA), a former WSL Championship Tour campaigner, is up against Medi Veminardi (REU) and Billy Stairmand (NZL) in the Heat 2 of Round 3 of the Ballito Pro at Willard Beach when competition resumes.
A second successive lay day on Friday has set up an explosive weekend of action at the Ballito Pro presented by Billabong as the last 24 in the event fight it out for the prestigious title and coveted rankings points.
The third of nine QS 10,000 rated events on the 2015 World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series, the Ballito Pro offers the highest level of rankings points available to surfers seeking to qualify for the elite Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour (CT) which decides the annual World Champion.
After a lay day due to small waves on Thursday, organisers met at 8:00am on Friday and put the event on hold several times to monitor conditions before deciding to call it off at 1pm. With an increase in swell size and windless conditions predicted for the next two days, WSL QS Commissioner Travis Logie opted to return at 7:00am on Saturday and is hoping to restart competition at 7.15am.
“There were actually some really fun waves this morning, but I knew that if we started running we’d put some later heats in jeopardy,” Logie said. “We probably would have one or two good heats and then the third or fourth heat would have struggled.”
“This afternoon we were hoping for a tide push but unfortunately the onshore came through pretty strong. The forecast is so good for tomorrow and the next day that it’s not worth just running heats for the sake of it.”
When competition resumes in Heat 1 of Round 3, current QS No. 3, Alejo Muniz (BRA) takes on Kanoa Igarashi (USA), the last mainland American in contention, and CT No. 24 Keanu Asing (HAW) in a three-man clash where the top two advance to man-on-man encounters in the Round of 16.
Medi Veminardi from Reunion Island faces Billy Stairmand and former CT campaigner Joan Duru (FRA) in Heat 2 while top seed and current World No. 8, Italo Ferreira, meets compatriots David do Carmo and Caio Ibelli in an all Brazilian match-up in Heat 4.
Event standout Michael Rodrigues (BRA), who has posted the only perfect 10-point ride and the two highest heat tallies to date, will be up against Australians Davey Cathels and Connor O’Leary in Heat 7.
The heat formats change to man-on-man competition from the Round of 16 with the winner advancing and the loser eliminated, until the last two remaining surfers contest the Final on Sunday. The winner takes home R500 000 and adds 10 000 rankings points to his season’s tally.
The competitors in the Ballito Pro are also competing for valuable specialty prizes in the Monster Energy Expression Session presented by Zigzag and the Monster Energy Wave of the Week presented by Zigzag which will reward the respective winners with R20 000 and R25 000 each. See more details at http://theballitopro.com/expression-session/
While the surfers ride the waves, the Ballito Pro Festival is set to turn up the heat in KwaDukuza by offering the best in beach, music and extreme sports entertainment. Locals and holiday-makers will be spoilt for choice with the week-long festival featuring an extreme sports programme, the Coastal Living Bru Food & Wine Festival and an exciting retail area while the Tropika Ballito Pro Music Concerts Powered by 5FM bring some of South Africa’s most talented music acts to the stage in Salt Rock.
The Ballito Pro presented by Billabong is proudly supported by the KwaDukuza Municipality, Billabong, 5FM, Monster Energy, Zigzag Surfing Magazine, World Surf League (WSL) and Surfing South Africa (SSA).