South African surfing has received a massive boost with the announcement that the Mr Price Pro Ballito will be a Prime rated event on the 2011 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Tour.
The 12th edition of the event, which has continued the proud tradition of the long running Gunston 500, will be staged at the premium surf breaks in Ballito on the KwaDukuza coastline North of Durban from 4 to 10 July.
Offering a huge prize purse of R1.7 million), with an invaluable 6 500 points on the ASP World Tour Rankings going to the winner, the elite 96-man field for the Mr Price Pro Ballito is guaranteed to include the majority of the world’s best competitive surfers.
Current ASP World No. 2 and Durban local Jordy Smith, who last year became only the third South African to win the country’s longest running professional surfing event, will be back to defend his title.
“Winning a world title will always remain my main focus on the ASP World Tour, however, one always wants to revert back to their roots and that’s why the Mr Price Pro Ballito is so special to me. The Mr Price Pro was my first ever WQS event, at the age of 12, and my mom even has a pic of me standing proudly next to the pier with my contest vest on,” Smith explained.
The importance of the Mr Price Pro Ballito is enhanced by the fact that it will be the seventh of just 12 Prime rated events on the 2011 ASP World Tour. The points earned in Ballito count towards the mid-season rotation when the top 34 surfers on the ASP World Tour Rankings become the field for the remaining five ASP Dream Tour events of the year.