Shaun Joubert of Mossel Bay, South Africa is one of the top South African surfers who have gained entry into this year’s Mr Price Pro Ballito based on his 2013 ASP Star Rating.
South Africa’s premier surfing event, the ASP Prime Mr Price Pro Ballito, has once again attracted the crème of international professional surfing with 18 of the Top 32 surfers in the world entered into this year’s R2.5 Million event.
Entries closed this week and organisers are ecstatic with this year’s numbers having increased by almost a third. A total of 89 surfers from as far afield as the United States of America, Japan, Portugal, France, Brazil, Tahiti and Australia have confirmed their entry into what is promising to be a cutting edge showcase of world-class surfing at its best.
South Africa’s very own Jordy Smith is the highest ranked surfer in this year’s event. The current ASP World No. 1 on the elite ASP World Championship Tour clinched his inaugural title here in 2010, becoming the second South African to win the event after Ricky Basnett clinched the title in 2008.
By far the most celebrated surfer to emerge from South African shores, Smith will be a firm favourite in Ballito with plenty of hometown support urging him to bring home the crown over a hot bed of international talent.
Top seed for this year’s event is 2011 Mr Price Pro semi-finalist and ASP World No. 12 Julian Wilson (AUS). Awarded 2011 ASP Rookie of the year, Wilson captured his inaugural WCT victory in Portugal in 2012 and continues to be one of the most consistent and exciting performers on tour in 2013.
2013 ASP Rookie, Filipe Toledo, will be one to watch in Ballito. Son of ex pro surfer Richard Toledo, Filipe is one of the new wave of Brazilian talent whose inverted maneuvers have gained him international acclaim.
Seven-year tour veteran, Kai Otton (AUS), brings with him a wealth of competitive experience. An astute barrel rider, the goofy-footer is well suited to the hollow waves of Ballito and will be a dangerous opponent should the waves turn on.
Hawaiian talents Dusty Payne and Sebastian Zietz will bring their expertise in powerful barreling waves of Hawaii to South African shores. Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Champion, Zietz, has enjoyed a stellar start to the 2013 season and placing fifth in Brazil has jumped to World No. 12. Payne meanwhile has gained increasing confidence posting his first ever victory at the Prime in Margaret River earlier this year.
World No. 19, Travis Logie, is the only other South African surfer on the WCT. This tenacious competitor seems only to improve with each passing year and is chomping at the bit to take out this event on home soil.
Joining them are World No. 29 Miguel Pupo (BRA), World No. 26 Kolohe Andino (USA), World No. 21 Matt Wilkinson (AUS), World No. 19 Brett Simpson (AUS), World No. 23 Brett Simpson (USA), World No. 34 Fred Patacchia (USA), defending Mr Price Pro Champion and World No. 23 Glen Hall (AUS), injury replacement Yadin Nicol (AUS), World No. 29 Patrick Gudauskas (AUS) and World No. 22 William Cardoso (BRA).
The South African contingent looks filled with potential with 11 names on the draw.
Beyrick De Vries (Uml), Shaun Joubert (Mos) and Dale Staples (St Fr) have earned their spots in the event based on their year-end ASP Star Rankings at the end of 2012.
Michael February (CT), David Van Zyl (CT) and Cha Du Toit (Dbn) will enter the event as ASP wildcards while Greg Emslie (EL), Steven Sawyer (JBay) and Matt Bromley (CT) will compete as Mr Price Pro wildcards.
The final two remaining spots will go to the top placed surfers in the Mr Price Pro Ballito trials, running in conjunction with the SSA South African Championships on 28th June, 2013. The trials will feature 12 invited regional surfers who, based on their 2012 ASP Star ranking, cannot get into the main event. The two advancing trialists are guaranteed to earn themselves a minimum of $750 as well as valuable ratings points.
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 years 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.
Photo: © Mr Price/ Cestari