Yellow fever shots are usually recommended before visiting Africa, but there is simply no evading World Cup fever.
All Photos: Trevor Moran
The vibe at the Mr. Price Pro is very similar to US open, just on smaller scale. Everyone is on vacation. The weather is warm. The sun is blazing. And of course, there are 15-year-olds running around in neon, dying for attention. The only difference is that the town is pretty quiet and it seems like people don’t go to nightclubs or black out and wake up in tattered clothing under the HB pier. It kind of ended up being Groundhog’s Day in terms of the surf — offshore in the morning, then the winds would kick up around 11am as the tide would bottom out. The afternoon sessions were a lot less crowded, with only a few surfers hunting the rare barrel or lucky air section. Everyone stayed in ocean front hotels just behind the comp scaffolding, so guys would just run down, surf their heat, hang for a coffee and split back to their room. It was a fun week.
The final day was like a ghost town – the temperature dropped like thirty degrees and it started raining. Most of the ‘CTers and video section specialists jetted down to J-Bay to catch a swell there. A decent beach crowd still turned up, but it was substantially less than the week prior. The final heat had some fireworkds, and no one was giving Timmy Reyes a snowball’s chance in hell of winning going into the quarters, semis and final. Sure enough, he came through. After it was over, the scaffolding quickly came down, the crowd scurried, and there was a super small after party at the nearest restaurant. The next morning, everyone drove to the airport with one eye open to catch their plane to J-Bay the next morning and Ballito was over with a hangover. —Trevor Moran