All eyes will be on KwaZulu-Natal's esteemed surf break of Ballito, KwaDukuza, as the world's best surfers arrive to compete for the prestigious Mr Price Pro Ballito crown June 30 - July 6, 2014.
This year's Mr Price Pro Ballito will see 96 surfers from 18 countries compete for a slice of the lucrative R2.7 million prize purse and critical ratings points for those aiming to qualify for the elite ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) in 2015.
Current No. 24 on the WCT rankings, Travis Logie (ZAF) is one of South Africa's top title contenders, looking to capitalize on a Prime event with home-soil advantage.
â€œI always look forward to the event in Ballito,â€ Logie said. â€œNothing beats being with the family when you're competing. And the waves are always fun for the event, which is a huge bonus.â€
Renowned for causing huge upsets in taking down World No 1's, top seeds, and event favorites on the ASP World Tour, Logie is a feared opponent among all current competitors and will be even more dangerous on his home turf.
â€œIt's all about having 100 percent confidence," Logie said. â€œBallito is a pretty level playing field. It's a little right-point and pretty much everyone on tour has grown up surfing waves really similar. Our advantage is having the home crowd cheering for us.â€
One of the most consistent finishers at the Mr Price Pro over the past few years, posting a career-best runner-up result against Australian Chris Davidson in 2008, Logie has had every result from second down to 30th but has yet to clinch the title.
â€œIt's been pretty heartbreaking to be honest, 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.â€
With three weeks to go, 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.
â€œI'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! 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.â€
In addition to Logie, South African fans will have plenty to cheer about with the likes of World No. 11 Jordy Smith, Beyrick de Vries, and Dale Staples all making their way into the Prime-rated ASP event, thanks to their respective world rankings. Local competitors Michael February and Slade Prestwich are currently seeded as event alternates but have a chance of being seeded if they pull solid results in the upcoming Los Cabos Open of Surf. (Note: ASP South Africa's two regional wildcards are selected based on Qualification Series rankings up to the event start date.)
One of the biggest beach festivals on the African continent, the Mr Price Pro Ballito is expecting approximately 100,000 fans to soak up the non-stop entertainment over the seven days of competition. The event window for the Mr Price Pro Ballito is June 30 through July 6.