Mr Price Pro Ballito 2010

Winter in the gorgeous KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa means… well… sun, surf and the world’s top surfers battling it out at the Mr Price Pro Ballito from 1 – 11 July 2010.

The province of almost eternal summer is home to one of this week-long, 5-star rated surfing event, which forms part of the Association of Surfing Professionals’ (ASP) World Tour and the ASP Africa circuits is also widely regarded to be one of the longest running professional surfing events in the world.

But the top surfers are lured by more than just the historical significance of the event or the ASP ratings points that can be racked up. The R1 million prize money definitely holds an allure as well.

Among the local surfers who will be vying for that significant loot includes Durbanite and former ASP World Tour competitor Ricky Basnett, Greg Emslie from East London, Capetonian Royden Bryson, Durbanites Antonio Bortoletto, Brandon Jackson, Rudy Palmboom and Shane Thorne. Other Natallers competing in the event will include Frankie Obherholzer, Gary Van Wieringen and Gavin Roberts. One of the undisputed star attractions at this year’s event will be Jordy Smith, who is currently ranked number 3 in the world.

This year the Mr Price Pro Women’s event will be added, with the likes of Stacy Guy from Melkbosstrand, Sarah Baum from Athlone Park, Bianca Buitendag from George, and Tanika Hoffman from Kommetjie taking part. In the Pro Junior division, Beyrick De Vries from Umhlanga will battle it out against Davey Brand from Kommetjie, Matthew Bromley from Cape Town and Jaco Steyn from Melkbosstrand.

Apart from the sun and surf, some of South Africa’s greatest musical acts, like Prime Circle and Farryl Purkiss, will also be performing on the nights of the 9th and 10th of July. For more information, visit www.mrpricepro.com

Three Saffas Advance at Quiksilver Pro Durban

Only three local surfers have advanced to participate in the next round at the 2009 Quiksilver Pro at Durban’s New Pier.

Travis Logie, one of the favourites in the competition, advanced to the next round by winning his heat yesterday morning.

The only other South African surfer to win his heat was Cape Town’s Royden Bryson.

“There were actually some fun waves out there, and I really enjoyed surfing in my heat,” said Logie after leaving the water. “It was quite inconsistent out there and I was in two minds if I should sit and wait for the good ones or just get some scores under my belt. In the end, I decided to just take off on anything half decent and went for the big turn option, and it seemed to pay off.”

The last South African to qualify to the next round yesterday was Durban’s Chad du Toit.  He placed second behind Logie to move in to the next round.

By far the biggest unpleasant surprise of the day was the elimination of reigning champion David Weare of Durban, who lost out to Tahiti’s Alain Riou and Hawaiians Jesse Merle-Jones and Mason Ho.

“I’m really bummed to be out of the event,” a clearly disappointed Weare said. “I really wanted to defend my title and I blew two waves that could have put me one step closer to it. I think I just too the wrong option going for that aerial on the second wave and it cost me. I blew a wave and lost a heat.”

Weare’s bitter disappointment is understandable. This event, which pits 136 of the world’s best surfers against each other, carries the highest possible ASP WQS rating as well as a very generous US$145 000 in prize money, with the winner pocketing US$20 000 as well as wracking up 3 500 ASP WQS ratings points.

Day 3 of the event is underway with the following South Africans surfing their heats today: Greg Emslie, Rudy Palmboom, Brandon Jackson, Manfred Adrio, Haydn Mac Nicol, David Richards, Paul Canning, Ricky Basnett, Daniel Redman, Kyle Lane, Keegan Nel, Shane Thorne, Antonio Bortoletto, Kyle Beach, Beyrick de Vries and Casey Grant.

Good luck, guys!