Ballito Pro wildcards revealed | Courier North Coast

The long wait is over and the wildcard entries for the Ballito Pro, pres. by O’Neill Challenger Series surfing event have been unveiled.

Six wildcard slots are on offer – three men and three women – four of which were announced this week.

Jordy Maree (Cape Town) and Luc Lepront (Scottburgh) were awarded the men’s slots, while Louise Lepront (Scottburgh) and Sarah Scott (Cape Town) took home the women’s wildcards.

The remaining two will be awarded to the champions of The Ballito Open pres. by Flojos QS1000 event, which will be crowned on Sunday.

Jordy Maree. Photo: The Ballito Pro

Jordy is a returning threat with one goal in mind: qualifying for the Championship Tour.

With a ninth-place finish at the Sydney Surf Pro Challenger in May as an alternate entrant, the 25-year-old’s goofy foot intentions are clear.

Jordy has already proven his worth after previously qualifying for the Challenger Series, but declining participation for personal reasons. It’s taken him three years to get back into shape and he’s doing everything he can to undermine his authority this year.

“I’m finally back! It took me three years to get to this place. It’s been quite a journey, but I’m so happy to say I’m back and ready for the rest of the year!” he posted on Instagram after his breakthrough performance in Australia two months ago.

With his signature 12 o’clock vertical corkscrew rotations and extensive experience in Ballito, Jordy is one of those wildcards who can upset the apple cart on any given day.

Luc Lepront. Photo: Kody McGregor/Ballito Pro.

Seventeen-year-old Luc Lepront is the reigning South African U18 champion and O’Neill SMTH Shapes Rookie Rippers 2023 semi-finalist, defeated by eventual champion Ryan Kainalo of Brazil. Luc comes to Ballito in deadly form with a fourth place finish at the SA Open of Surfing and third at the recent eThekwini Surf Pro.

With it being a family affair, his younger sister Louise’s wildcard selection is a no-brainer. The 15-year-old is currently the world’s third U16 surfer, having secured a stunning bronze medal at the ISA World Junior Surfing Championship in El Salvador in May.

“I’m at a loss for words, taking home a bronze medal at this year’s @isasurfing world games was my biggest achievement. I came to this event with my goal to reach the quarterfinals. I managed to exceed my goal and achieve 3rd place in the world for the U16 girls,” she says on Instagram.

Proving she’s the real deal, Louise backed up her performance in El Salvador last month with a win on the eThekwini Surf Pro QS1000.

Ready to prove her mettle against the best in the world, she is an all-time great and currently the top-ranked surfer in the WSL Africa region.

Sara Scott. Photo: Pierre Tostee.

Sarah Scott (18) is a familiar face in Ballito, having competed before and achieved good results. She qualified for this year’s Challenger Series, but declined her entry and decided to focus on her senior year instead.

Competing without the pressure of qualification, the 2023 SA junior surfing champion has achieved great results this year with a fourth place finish at the SA Open of Surfing QS1000 and a second place finish at the eThekwini Surf Pro QS1000.

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