13 June 2014
Many of the world’s leading surfers are set to descend on Ballito on the KwaZulu- Natal north coast for the 2014 Mr Price Pro Ballito, which runs from 30 June to 6 July.
This year, 96 surfers from 18 countries will compete for a slice of the lucrative R2.7 million prize-purse, as well as the vital ratings points on offer for those aiming to qualify for the elite ASP World Championship Tour in 2015.
World number 24, Travis Logie, formerly of Durban but now residing in California, is one of South Africa’s top title contenders and will be looking to capitalise on a Prime event on home soil. Prime contests are held at premium venues, with restricted fields Prime ASP World Rankings points on offer.
‘I always look forward to the event’
“I always look forward to the event in Ballito,” Logie said in a statement on Tuesday. “Nothing beats being with the family when you’re competing. And the waves are always fun for the event, which is a huge bonus.”
Renowned for causing huge upsets in taking down number ones, top seeds, and event favourites on the ASP World Tour, Logie is a feared opponent among surfing’s elite and will be even more dangerous on his home turf.
“It’s all about having 100 percent confidence,” Logie said. “Ballito is a pretty level playing field. It’s a little right point and pretty much everyone on tour has grown up surfing waves [which are] really similar. Our advantage is having the home crowd cheering for us.”
One of the most consistent finishers at the Mr Price Pro Ballito over the past few years, including posting a career best runner-up result against Australian Chris Davidson in 2008, Logie has had every result from second down to 30th but is yet to clinch the title.
“It’s been pretty heart-breaking to be honest,” he admitted. “I’ve finished everything except first! Every year I hope it’s going to be my year, but win or lose I’m still so grateful to have such a massive event in South Africa.”
Rest and rehabilitation
With three weeks to go to the Mr Price Pro, Logie will be focusing on rest and rehabilitation for a persistent shoulder injury that plagued him at the recent Fiji Pro where he placed equal 25th.
“I’ve been battling with it since the start of the year and a couple days before I flew to Fiji, it really deteriorated. The muscles around my shoulder joint went into a massive spasm and almost pulled my shoulder out of the joint from being so tight,” he revealed.
“I’ve been doing a lot of rehab and am confident it will be a lot better come the Mr Price Pro as it improves slightly every day.”
In addition to Logie, South African fans will have plenty to cheer about, with the likes of Jordy Smith, Beyrick de Vries, Dale Staples, Michael February and Slade Prestwich all making their way into the Prime-rated ASP event, courtesy of their respective world rankings.