Brandon Jackson of Durban and Shane Sykes of Salt Rock are filling the last two spots in this week's South African competition, Mr Price Pro Ballito. The two up-and-comers scored places in the contest's main event after winning Surfing South Africa's trials event Saturday June 28. Mr Price Pro is an annual ASP Qualification Series (QS) event with a Prime rating because of the venue's high-caliber conditions.
Jackson was the standout of the trials, winning the four-man Final over fellow advancing surfer Sykes, who finished runner-up.
"I used to compete on the QS, so rocking up this morning and seeing all the familiar faces felt great," Jackson said. "Last year I missed out on the trials, so I am really stoked to come back and get into the main event."
The second Prime event of the 2014 season has attracted 17 of the top 34 surfers on the elite ASP World Championship Tour (WCT). After the contest in Ballito, they'll go on to compete in the prestigious J-Bay Open in nearby Kouga from July 10 â€“ 21, 2014.
Willards, the trials venue, is 30 minutes north of Durban. Known as Surfers Beach to the locals, it's a fast, hollow, right-hander that breaks just off the rock, north of Ballito's Main Beach. The break works best on a southwest swell and a low tide, and is beloved for its world-class barrels.
The Surfline swell forecast looks promising with consistent surf for the week ahead. Fun, waist-high surf is expected on Monday and Tuesday, increasing to chest- and even some shoulder-high sets through Wednesday.
A similar size SSW to S groundswell is on the radar for around Friday July 4, and could see wave faces increase in time for the Mr Pric Pro Final. The QS contest will be streamed live on aspworldtour dot com.
Mr Price Pro Ballito Round of 96 Matchups:
Heat 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA); Caio Ibelli (BRA); Ricardo Christie (NZL); Michael February (ZAF)
Heat 2: Tomas Hermes (BRA); Charles Martin (GLP); Nic Von Rupp (PRT); Felix Messias (BRA)
Heat 3: Aritz Aranburu (ESP); Carlos Munoz (CRI); Dales Staples (ZAF); Santiago Muniz (BRA)
Heat 4: Bino Lopes (BRA); Peterson Crisanto (BRA); Alex Ribeiro (BRA); Steven Pierson (PYF)
Heat 5: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW); Tanner Gudauskas (USA); Heitor Alves (BRA); Thiago Camarao (BRA)
For complete Round of 96 draw visit the ASP Mr Price Pro event page.