BALLITO, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (Friday, 19 November 2021) - After Covid-19-related delays, organisers of the 2021 Ballito Pro presented by O'Neill are excited to announce the official dates for the highly-anticipated Ballito Pro presented by O'Neill surf and festival programme, based at Willard Beach in KwaDukuza. From 9 to 19 December, visitors will get the chance to watch world-class surfing action and enjoy a full line-up of festival fun as the Ballito Pro gets underway in December - for the first time ever!
"KwaDukuza Municipality is very pleased to implement one of our key tourism recovery elements this summer by supporting the Ballito Pro presented by our partners O'Neill," said Municipal Manager of KwaDukuza, Mr N Ndakane. "The adopted 2020 KwaDukuza Socio-economic Recovery Plan identified this event as the launching pad for our digital destination marketing strategy focused on attracting domestic and international tourism."
He encouraged the private sector partners and tourism establishments to embrace the event which is set to follow strict Covid-19 health and safety protocols: "We hope to retain this as one of the top five sports tourism events in KwaZulu-Natal. We'd like to thank our sponsors and partners for continued support and resources, and we look forward to hosting the prestigious 55th Surfing South Africa Championships for the first time in KwaDukuza."
Brand Director Paul Canning of Sector Group, said: "On behalf of O'Neill, we are honoured to be involved in the Ballito Pro again this year. It has been a tough two years for all competitive surfers and I am excited to see such a prestigious and integral event on the South African Surfing calendar go ahead once again. I would also like to extend a huge thank you to the KwaDukuza Municipality for their continued support of the Ballito Pro and surfing in South Africa."
The Ballito Pro 2021 is centred around ongoing surfing contests; the professional World Surf League's Men, Women's and Junior contests, as well as the O'Neill Ballito South African Surfing Championships - being hosted in Ballito for the first time in history. And while the surfers battle it out on the waves, festival-goers can enjoy a variety of recreational activities and retail options suited to all ages.
WSL Africa Regional Manager Colin Fitch concurred, saying they're looking forward to hosting this world-class event: "South Africa's young surfers are hungry to make an impact on the Qualifying Series and a good result at this prestigious event could catapult you into the big league. Our sincere thanks and praise to the KwaDukuza Municipality, the sponsors and all the residents of Ballito for welcoming us back to their wonderful town and magnificent beaches."
Robin de Kock, General Manager of Surfing South Africa said they're excited to be associated with the Ballito Pro in the form of its annual Surfing South Africa Championships: "The 55th edition of this iconic event is particularly important as it determines the South African Men and Women's Champions and decides which district will take home the coveted President's Cup. We are grateful to the KwaDukuza Municipality for putting their faith in us and we are confident that the athletes will embrace the opportunity to sample Ballito's famous surf."