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Competitors Make The Most Of Tough Conditions At Ballito Pro

  • South African Women Saram Baum, Zoë Steyn Shinee
  • Next Call, Wednesday 6 July at 6:30 a.m. (GMT +2) (630pm Tuesday Eve in Hawaii)
  • Ballito is a holiday town located in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Ballito is about 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of Durban. Dolphins are common on this stretch of the North Coast shoreline, hence the nickname Dolphin Coast.
  • Check where on google maps HERE
Pictured: Liam O’Brien (AUS) making his comeback at the Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill Credit: © WSL/Tostee

BALLITO, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (Tuesday, 5 July 2022) – The Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill, the third stop of the 2022 World Surf League (WSL) Challenger Series (CS), completed the men’s Round of 96 and 10 heats of the women’s competition in three-to-four foot surf at Willard Beach in Ballito. Competitors were greeted with a pulsing swell and offshore winds to start the day, but a strong onshore made for trying conditions in the afternoon.

Making his comeback after sustaining a serious injury at Pipeline earlier this year, Liam O’Brien (AUS) dominated his heat from the start when he opened with a 7.83 to put Adur Amatriain (EUK), Matheus Navarro (BRA) and Margo Giorgi (URU) on the back foot. O’Brien backed it up with a 6.67 for a total of 14.50 (out of a possible 20), the highest heat total of the day.

“I thought it was going to be a slow heat, so I just sat by the rocks hoping for a sneaky set and I got lucky with those waves,” said O’Brien. “You have to be adaptable around here, especially when that wind comes up in the day. If you have that air game it’s great, but I was just going to stick to my guns and try and stay on the face.”

Pictured: Frederico Morais (POR) fighting to stay in the Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill. Credit: © WSL/Tostee
Portugal’s Frederico Morais (POR) fought tooth and nail to advance to the next round after getting an interference call, which meant his second counting wave score was halved, and he required an excellent score to get back in the heat. Morais scored the best wave of the heat with a 7.37 (out of a possible 10) to hang onto second behind Dylan Moffat (AUS).

“It was a mix of emotions,” said Morais. “I just tried to clear my head and do what I can. I knew if I get a big score I might be able to jump into second or first. It was a grinding heat, without interference I would’ve been first, so I’m stoked I got through.”

Two former Ballito Pro winners Adin Masencamp (RSA) and Peterson Crisanto (BRA), who won in 2021 and 2018 respectively, met up in Heat 23 against Willian Cardoso (BRA) and Tyler Gunter (USA) just as the north easterly onshore pulled in.

Masencamp looked unphased by the pressure to perform against the world’s best. With his snappy turns and smooth, wrapping carves, he locked in two solid scores for a total of 14.00 and walked through to the next round. Local wildcard Nate Colby (RSA) will join Masencamp after he pulled off last-minute heroics in the final heat of the men’s Round of 96.

South African Women and Former CT Stars Shine

Pictured: Sarah Baum (RSA) eliminated current world nr.2 Johanne Defay (FRA) at the Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill.
Credit: © WSL/Tostee
Local knowledge reigned supreme for Sarah Baum (RSA), a former winner in Ballito, who took out the current world nr.2 Johanne Defay (FRA). Defay was dealt a big blow when her surfboards and luggage didn’t arrive in South Africa. She struggled to find any decent scoring opportunity in her opening heat, while Baum made the most of what was on offer.

“I knew the tide was coming in and it was going to fill in pretty quickly, so I just wanted to make the most of what I got out there,” said Baum. “Johanne’s a really good surfer, but with these tricky conditions, you don’t know who’s going to take the win so I’m stoked I  got the win over her. I’m feeling really confident, hopefully I can get the ball rolling and get a few more good results and be right up there with Johanne.”

Joining Baum in the next round is South Africa’s top female surfer and the winner of the 2021 Ballito Pro when it was a Qualifying Series (QS) 1,000 Zoë Steyn, whose backhand attack couldn’t be matched.

Pictured: Molly Picklum (AUS) moving on to the next round at the Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill. Credit: © WSL/Tostee
Sitting at nr.4 on the Challenger Series rankings, former CT rookie Molly Picklum (AUS) found a few fun peaks and whacked it for a pair of 6’s to advance to the next round alongside Arena Rodriguez Vargas (PER).

“It’s exciting when it’s tricky, because everyone is in the same boat,” said Picklum. “It’s tough, so you got to be a little bit excited to take on that challenge. I’m not really thinking about the rankings, it’s so early in the year, anything can happen. I’m just going to try win every heat, win every final and take it as it comes.”

The experience gained competing against the elite on the CT was clear in the performances of Bronte Macaulay (AUS), Keely Andrew (AUS), Pauline Ado (FRA) and Paige Hareb (NZL) who all won their opening round heats.

Coming off a win at the Nias Pro in perfect barrels, to battling it out at a beach break, Hareb moved into the next round over current nr.3 on the Challenger Series, Teresa Bonvalot (POR), eliminating Minami Nonaka (JPN) and Aelan Vaast (PYF).

The WSL Tours and Competitions team will make the next call tomorrow at 6:30 a.m. for a potential 7:05 a.m. (GMT+2) start.

CLICK HERE FOR MEN’S ROUND OF 96 RESULTS
CLICK HERE FOR WOMEN’S ROUND OF 64 RESULTS

The 2022 Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill Challenger Series will run at Willard Beach July 3 – 10, 2022. For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com or check the free WSL App.

This event is proudly supported by O’Neill, KwaDukuza Municipality, Surfing South Africa, People’s Weather, SMG Rocks, Monster Energy, North Coast Courier, Coco de Mer and Fiamma Grill.

 

EARLIER UPDATE.

Day 2 Competition Called ON At Ballito Pro

Presented By O’Neill

  • Men’s Round of 96 To Start At 7:05 a.m. (GMT +2) (7pm Monday the 4th in Hawaii)
  • Women’s Opening Round of Competition To Follow
  • Watch LIVE at WorldSurfLeague.com
  • Ballito is a holiday town located in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Ballito is about 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of Durban. Dolphins are common on this stretch of the North Coast shoreline, hence the nickname Dolphin Coast.
  • Check google maps HERE
Pictured: Another perfect winter’s day for Day 2 at the Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill. Credit: © WSL/Van Gysen

BALLITO, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (Tuesday, 5 July 2022) – The Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill, the third stop of the 2022 World Surf League (WSL) Challenger Series (CS), has been called on in clean two-to-three foot surf at Willard Beach in Ballito. The men’s Round of 96, Heat 17 will start competition at 7:05 a.m. (GMT +2). After the completion of the men’s opening round, the women’s Round of 64 will follow and the WSL Tours and Competitions Team will look to complete the first 10 heats.

In the first heat of the day, Championship Tour (CT) star Ryan Callinan (AUS) will be up against Jett Schilling (USA), Cam Richards (USA) and Ryan Kainalo (BRA) who was crowned the O’Neill SMTH Shapes Ballito Pro Junior winner over the weekend.

Another former CT competitor in Lucca Mesinas (PER) will be in Heat 20 against Max Elkington (RSA), Mikey McDonagh (AUS) and Patrick Langdon-Dark (WAL).

After missing out on the second half of the CT with the new Mid-Season Cut, Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) will look to bounce back with a good result at Ballito. Fioravanti is in the last heat of the men’s opening round against Joshe Faulkner (RSA), Gaspard Larsonneur (FRA) and Nate Colby (RSA).

The first heat in the women’s competition will see former CT competitor Bronte Macaulay (AUS) take on junior surfer Laura Raupp (BRA), Leilani McGonagle (CRI) and Izzi Gomez (COL).

Currently ranked nr. 3 on the Challenger Series after her win at the GWM Sydney Surf Pro, Teresa Bonvalot (POR) is up in Heat 3 of the opening round against Paige Hareb (NZL), Minami Nonaka (JPN) and Aelan Vaast (PYF).

CLICK HERE FOR MEN’S ROUND OF 96 MATCHUPS
CLICK HERE FOR WOMEN’S ROUND OF 64 MATCHUPS

The 2022 Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill Challenger Series will run at Willard Beach July 3 – 10, 2022. For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com or check the free WSL App.

This event is proudly supported by O’Neill, KwaDukuza Municipality, Surfing South Africa, People’s Weather, SMG Rocks, Monster Energy, North Coast Courier, Coco de Mer and Fiamma Grill.

Watch LIVE
All Challenger Series events will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, WSL’s YouTube channel, and the free WSL App. For fans watching in South Africa, the Ballito Pro will be live on People’sWeather (DStv Channel 180 and Openview Channel 115) from 7-10 July at 11:00 a.m.

For more information, visit WorldSurfLeague.com

COVID-19 Updates

The health and safety of our athletes, staff, and the local community are of the utmost importance and we have a robust set of procedures in place at every event to keep everyone safe. The WSL continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and work closely with government partners and local health authorities to make the best decisions for our athletes and the sport.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

About the WSL
Established in 1976, the World Surf League (WSL) is the home of the world’s best surfing. A global sports, media and entertainment company, the WSL oversees international tours and competitions, a studios division creating over 500+ hours of live and on-demand content, and via affiliate WaveCo, the home of the world’s largest high performance, human-made wave. Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, the WSL has regional offices in North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and EMEA.

The WSL annually crowns the men’s and women’s surfing World Champions. The global Tours and Competition division oversees and operates more than 180 global contests each year across the Championship Tour, the development tiers, including the Challenger, Qualifying and Junior Series, as well as longboard and big wave properties.

Launched in 2019, WSL Studios is an independent producer of unscripted television projects, including documentaries and series, which provide unprecedented access to athletes, events, and locations around the world. WSL events and content are distributed on linear television in over 743M+ homes worldwide and across digital and social media platforms around the world, including WorldSurfLeague.com.

WaveCo includes the Surf Ranch Lemoore facility and the utilizing and licensing of the Kelly Slater Wave System.

The WSL is dedicated to changing the world through the inspirational power of surfing by creating authentic events, experiences, and storytelling to inspire a growing, global community to live with purpose, originality, and stoke.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

About Surfing South Africa
Surfing South Africa is the official National Federation for surfing in South Africa. SSA is a member of the South African Confederation of Sport and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and is recognised as the governing body by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture.
Surfing South Africa is responsible for the development of the sport, the hosting of National tournaments, the sanctioning of International events and the selection of National teams in all the disciplines that are part of SSA.
SSA is one of the 109 members of the International Surfing Association (ISA), the World governing body for the sport.

PRIOR UPDATE

Cut-Throat Opening Day At Ballito Pro Presented By O’Neill

  • Experience Pays Off For Seasoned Competitors
  • Local Wildcard Luke Thompson Eliminates Jordy Smith
  • Next Call, Tuesday 5 July at 6:30 a.m. (GMT+2) (12 hours ahead of Hawaii)
  • The forecast isn’t great but some fun SW swell on the way this week…
  • Ballito is a holiday town located in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Ballito is about 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of Durban. It forms part of the KwaDukuza Local Municipality, and iLembe District Municipality. Dolphins are common on this stretch of the North Coast shoreline, hence the nickname Dolphin Coast.
  • check google maps HERE
Pictured: Deivid Silva (BRA), former Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill winner, won his opening round heat. Credit: © WSL/Tostee

BALLITO, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (Monday, 4 July 2022) – The Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill, the third stop of the 2022 World Surf League (WSL) Challenger Series (CS), got underway today and completed 16 heats of the men’s opening Round of 96 in two-to-three foot surf at Willard Beach in Ballito.

Experience paid dividends as former Championship Tour competitors and Qualifying Series household names took most advancing positions in the first round of competition. The likes of Hawaiians Ezekiel Lau (HAW), Keanu Asing (HAW) and Imaikalani Devault (HAW), or Brazil’s Deivid Silva (BRA) and
Alejo Muniz (BRA) were some of the top performers of the early morning heats.

Silva remains the defending event winner in Ballito for the QS10,000 now Challenger Series event, last held in 2019. The Brazilian who qualified for the CT that same year has just been dropped off tour following the inaugural Mid-season Cut and will look to go big on the Challenger Series in hopes of re-joining the elite next year. He posted one of the highest two-wave heat totals of today’s 16 heats disputed at Willard Beach.

“Conditions were tough but I’m happy with my two waves,” Silva said. “I’m stoked to make it through, the other guys started strong and it wasn’t an easy heat.”

Pictured: Rio Waida (IDN ) narrowly won his opening round heat at the Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill. Credit: © WSL/Tostee
The current Challenger Series rankings No.2 and most recent winner at the GWM Sydney Surf Pro, Rio Waida (IDN) came out on top of a stacked heat to advance alongside former World Junior Champion Mateus Herdy (BRA). The pair engaged in an all-out dynamic surfing showdown, Herdy going above the lip repeatedly while Waida capitalized on his lightning-fast turns and combos.

“I’m really happy to make my heat, it’s pretty hard conditions, but there were opportunities in my heat so it was good, I could catch a lot of waves and build my score,” Waida said. “Coming into the event ranked nr.2 on the Challenger Series is really cool. Normally I would be the underdog or the lowest seed, but this time I’m seeded higher and it’s something new. The win in Manly was really amazing, I feel more confident going into this event. I’m just going to keep believing in myself, keep surfing like I always do. My goal is to qualify, so I’m focussing on getting good results.”

Pictured: Local wildcard Luke Thompson (RSA) won his opening round heat at the Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill. Credit: © WSL/Tostee
The first major upset came in Heat 12 with South African superstar Jordy Smith (RSA) eliminated in his first heat in Ballito. Smith’s demise was partly the responsibility of fellow South African and junior surfer Luke Thompson (RSA) who dominated a superheat featuring Jordan Lawler (AUS) and another former World Junior Champion, Vasco Ribeiro (PRT). Thompson came hot off a runner-up finish in the Ballito Pro Trials that earned him a spot in the main event and he kept his momentum going into round one.

“I’m super stoked, I was just happy to have a heat with Jordy (Smith). He’s so gnarly, especially in Ballito,” said Thompson. “To have a heat with him, and Jordan Lawler and Vasco Ribeiro, who are surf idols of mine, was an honor. We had three events prior to this and I used it as a warm-up, my boards are feeling great and I’m feeling confident. I’m just going to take it one heat at a time.”

Joining Thompson in the list of South Africans advancing through the first round are Slade Prestwich (RSA) and Shane Sykes (RSA) who both won their Round of 96 opening matchup in familiar waters.

“I did feel a little bit of pressure coming here as we’ve had the SA champs last year and I did well,” Sykes said. “So it felt good to start with a good score right away and I’m super stoked to be competing here at home, it’s going to be a fun week!”

The next call will be on Tuesday at 6:30 a.m. for a potential start at 7:05 a.m (GMT+2).

CLICK HERE FOR MEN’S ROUND OF 96 RESULTS
CLICK HERE FOR WOMEN’S ROUND OF 64 MATCHUPS

The 2022 Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill Challenger Series will run at Willard Beach July 3 – 10, 2022. For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com or check the free WSL App.

This event is proudly supported by O’Neill, KwaDukuza Municipality, Surfing South Africa, People’s Weather, SMG Rocks, Monster Energy, North Coast Courier, Coco de Mer and Fiamma Grill.

Watch LIVE
All Challenger Series events will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, WSL’s YouTube channel, and the free WSL app. For fans watching in South Africa, the Ballito Pro will be live on People’sWeather (DStv Channel 180 and Openview Channel 115) from 7-10 July at 11:00 a.m.

For more information, visit WorldSurfLeague.com

COVID-19 Updates

The health and safety of our athletes, staff, and the local community are of the utmost importance and we have a robust set of procedures in place at every event to keep everyone safe. The WSL continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and work closely with government partners and local health authorities to make the best decisions for our athletes and the sport.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

 

PRIOR UPDATE

CHALLENGER SERIES #3 FOR BALLITO SOUTH AFRICA

  • Men’s Round of 96 Started At 8:05 a.m. (GMT +2)
  • No Women’s Competition For Today
  • FULL RECAP COMING
Pictured: Local hero Jordy Smith (RSA) will be coming up in Heat 12 of the Opening Round at the Ballito Pro Presented By O’Neill. Credit: © WSL/Tostee

BALLITO, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (Monday, 4 July 2022) – The Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill, the third stop of the 2022 World Surf League (WSL) Challenger Series (CS), has been called on in two-to-three foot surf at Willard Beach in Ballito. The men’s opening Round of 96 will start competition at 8:05 a.m. (GMT +2). There will be no competition for the women today.

“We have two-to-three foot conditions that is set to improve throughout the day so we’ll look to maximise on that and complete the first 16 heats of the men,” said Travis Logie, WSL Tours and Competition.

The men’s opening round will see some exciting matchups, starting with former Championship Tour (CT) competitor Ezekiel Lau (HAW) in Heat 1 against Keanu Kamiyama (JPN), Taichi Wakita (JPN) and Daniel Emslie (RSA).

In Heat 5, the 2019 Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill winner Deivid Silva (BRA) will be up against Te Kehukehu Butler (HAW), Mihimana Braye (PYF) and John Mel (USA).

CLICK HERE FOR MEN’S ROUND OF 96 MATCHUPS
CLICK HERE FOR WOMEN’S ROUND OF 64 MATCHUPS

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