Everything is Blue!
A theme of Konke KuLuhlaza, isiZulu for ‘Everything Is Blue’ has been announced for the festival and event at Ballito this year, which will focus on sustainability, inclusivity, and growth.
Like the JBay Festival, the aim of the Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill, which is supported by KwaDukuza Municipality and Surfing South Africa, is to merge an important World Surf League event (Stop 3 of the WSL Challenger Series for men and women) with the best in entertainment, retail, and beachside fun. The Ballito festival programme runs from 27 June to 9 July, while the JBay Festival runs from 13 to 22 July, running in tandem with the JBay Open Presented by Corona.
At the end of the 2023 season, the Top 10 men and Top 5 women on the Challenger Series rankings will qualify for the 2024 Championship Tour (CT). Out of the six Challenger Series competitions, only the top four results will count toward their end-of-year rankings.
South Africa’s top contenders, former Ballito Pro winner Adin Masencamp and local favourite Luke Thompson will line up against the likes of Imaikalani DeVault (HAW), Samuel Pupo (BRA), Cole Houshmand (USA) and Jett Schilling (USA) who are currently leading the rankings after the first two events in Australia.
The women’s draw is stacked with the Top 10 Challenger Series contenders like India Robinson (AUS), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Isabella Nichols (AUS), Sawyer Lindblad (USA) and Alyssa Spencer (USA). South Africa’s Sarah Baum is right there in the mix, just two spots down from the CT qualification line and will be raring to go at her home break. Joining Baum is CS competitors Natasha van Greunen, Jessie van Niekerk.
“Locals, surf fans and competitors will witness incredible surfing from international and local surfers who will be battling it out for valuable WSL Challenger Series points,” said WSL Africa Regional Director Tasha Mentasti. “KwaDukuza Municipality and all its stakeholders can be very proud of the positive impact they have had within the area for local communities and businesses.”
Festival Organiser Collette Bundy said the campaign is about forging impactful collaborations and using this global event to promote sustainable initiatives while celebrating our oceans and culture.
The CS will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com. For more information visit www.WorldSurfLeague.com. The Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill is proudly supported by O’Neill, KwaDukuza Municipality and Surfing South Africa.
The World Surf League (WSL) is the global home of competitive surfing, crowning the undisputed World Champions since 1976 and showcasing the world’s best surfers on the world’s best waves. WSL is comprised of the Tours and Competition division, which oversees and operates more than 180 global competitions each year; WSL WaveCo, home of the world's largest high-performance, human-made wave; and WSL Studios, an independent producer of unscripted and scripted projects.