Ballito, KwaDukuza, South Africa Thursday June 14 , 2012 – Five talented South African surfers have been granted wildcard entries into the prestigious ASP PRIME Mr Price Pro Ballito from July 2-8, 2012.
Greg Emslie (East London) and Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) will make their way into the event courtesy of event wildcards, while Brendon Gibbens (Kommetjie), Beyrick De Vries (Umhlanga) and Chad Du Toit (Durban) will take on the worlds’ best courtesy of ASP Africa wildcards.
American surfer Conner Coffin, 17, of Santa Barbara, California, is the sixth Event wildcard. A former NSSA Open Boys Champion, Coffin boasts a progressive and polished style honed on some of California’s finest point breaks.
Slotted directly into the round of 96, these six surfers will take on the event’s top seeds right from their first heat where they will be guaranteed a minimum of R6200 (US$ 750) should they bow out early and an enormous R335 000 (US$40,000) should they win the entire event!
The Mr Price Pro Ballito’s exclusive 96-man field means only the top ranked surfers on the ASP World Rankings qualify for a place in the main event, making a wildcard entry invaluable for local surfers hoping to improve their World Ranking in order to qualify for other international Prime and Six Star events.
For surfers such as Sawyer, De Vries, Du Toit and Gibbens, the opportunity to compete directly into the seeded rounds is critical towards their world ranking.
ASP World Tour retiree Greg Emslie, who flew the South African flag for a record nine years at the elite level, is the most experienced among this year’s wildcard deck. The powerful natural-footer (left-foot forward stance) will have the hopes of South Africa on his shoulders as a crowd favourite at this year’s event.
A total of seven South African surfers have also qualified for the main event via their ASP World ranking. They include World No. 8 Jordy Smith (RSA), World No. 24 Travis Logie (Dbn), Former World Tour Campaigner Royden Bryson (EL), former SA Junior Champion Shaun Joubert (Mossel Bay), Brandon Jackson (Dbn), internationally acclaimed pro junior surfer Dale Staples (St Francis Bay) and Rudy Palmboom (Durban).
Eight Local surfers will compete in the trials for the remaining two spots into the main event. They are David Van Zyl (Dbn), Matthew Bromley (CT), Klee Strachan (SKZN), David Weare (Dbn), Michael February (CT), Casey Grant (Scottburgh) and Davey Brand (CT). The eighth trialist will come from the KwaZulu-Natal Surfing Association who have been running a series of their own trials with their winner being awarded the eighth and final slot in the Mr Price Pro Ballito trials.
These eight trialists will compete in two, four man heats with the top two from each heat advancing into a four-man final. First and second place finalists will advance into the main event.
The Mr Price Pro Ballito includes an action packed beach festival including beach entertainment; extreme sports, dedicated children’s programs and a lifestyle and retail area that provides plenty of daytime fun. The ever-popular Mr Price Pro Music concerts will take place on the evening of 6 and 7 July at Salt Rock at no cost to festivalgoers.
For more information log on to www.mrpricepro.com.
Compiled on Behalf of:
Mr Price Sports Marketing
+27 83 447 9448
+61 449547739 (Aus)