Business Day

Billabong drops surf contest

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CAPE TOWN — Jeffreys Bay in the Eastern Cape is to lose R20m in tourist income because its annual Billabong Pro surfing contest is off after 25 years, reports said yesterday.

The event’s key sponsor, Billabong, had withdrawn its funding as it faced financial trouble and was up for sale.

“Billabong has been the major sponsor of this event for over 25 years. There have been various other sponsors over the years, but they have only contribute­d a small percentage of the total cost of the event,” Billabong Pro marketing director Chad D’Arcy said.

The annual contest featured about 32 of the country’s top surfers, including juniors.

Event spokesman Craig Jarvis said the contest could have been saved this year if there was government funding. “But that is unlikely to happen. (It) is a huge disappoint­ment for the local community and (for) surfing.” Sapa

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