Ballito, Kwazulu/Natal (Wednesday, June 19, 2013) - With just under two weeks to go until the ASP Prime Mr Price Pro Ballito, the South African contingent are directing their focus on the hollow waves of Willard’s Beach as they prepare to take on the 88 internationals in this year’s R2.5 Million event.
Current World No. 20, Travis Logie, formerly of Durban but now residing in California, USA, is one of South Africa’s title contenders looking to capitalise on a Prime event on home soil, and on a wave he still regards as one of the best in the world.
“When Ballito is turning it on or even when it’s average, it’s a world class wave,” says Logie. “It’s the perfect arena for the event and it’s probably the best wave on the whole Prime tour. I’ve had some of the best waves of my life out there.”
One of the most consistent finishers at the Mr Price Pro Ballito, posting a career best runner-up result against Australian Chris Davidson in 2008, Logie has had every result from second down to 30th. With crucial ratings points and prize-money on offer, it is not only an event that could prove critical for his ASP world rating but also one he most wants to win.
“The Mr Price Pro Ballito is hugely important for both tours because when you’re on the main tour, both tours count towards your end of the year tally. It’s also a great contest to surf in front of my home crowd and I would love to take out a win.”
Now the only major ASP rated event in Africa, the Mr Price Pro Ballito is crucial for local surfers hoping to qualify but its flawless waves are also a major draw card for international competitors.
“The international guys are disappointed there’s only one event in Africa but it’s a really big and important event. The wave is a favourite for a lot of the guys on tour so I think they would come whether there were five events in South Africa or one.”
A seasoned campaigner on the WCT, Logie finished in the Top 20 in 2012 and continues to impress at elite level where he has gained a reputation for taking down World Title campaigners.
“Almost every year I’ve had a world title determining heat with one of the contenders. It’s weird, I look forward to those heats. A lot of the guys get a little nervous and overwhelmed but I perform 100% better when I am up against World Title contenders.”
A seven-year veteran on the WCT, Logie continues to maintain his position as an elite contender and is a role model for South Africa’s up and coming surfers.
“I think South Africa pumps out a good generation of surfers each year. There are always surfers coming up with enough talent to make it to the level that Jordy (Smith), myself and Bianca (Buitendag) are at and have managed to stay at. The difference is whether they’ve got the drive, determination, and focus to get to that point.”
Citing surfers such as Shaun Joubert, Beyrick De Vries and Slade Prestwich as South Africa’s future talents, Logie offers his advice on reaching that highest level.
“The biggest thing to get there is strength of mind because in surfing you lose a lot more than you win and you’ve just got to be able to take those losses and go into an event the very next week, in a different country, away from home, just as amped as you were the week before. And you’ve got to do that the whole year.”
Thirteen South Africans will feature in this year’s Mr Price Pro Ballito including ASP World No. 4 Jordy Smith (CT), Beyrick De Vries (Uml), Shaun Joubert (Mos), Dale Staples (St Fr), Michael February (CT), David Van Zyl (CT), Chad Du Toit (Dbn) and wildcards Greg Emslie (EL), Steven Sawyer (JBay) and Matt Bromley (CT).
The Mr Price Pro Ballito will include the ever-popular Beach Festival which will boast an array of impressive entertainment. This entertainment will include 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 wake skate, break-dance, parkour and BMX all on offer, this year’s 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.