More than 300 international and local professional surfers will descend on Durban’s Golden Mile to compete in the 39th annual Mr Price Pro (formerly known as the Gunston 500, now part of the Durban Beach Festival) surfing contest which boasts R1,1-million in prize-money. Internet Solutions (IS), a leading converged communications services provider, will once again be the technology partner for this event.
From July 1 to 8, this six star rated event is part of the World Qualifying Tour and attracts the top professional surfers – men, women and juniors – from all corners of the planet. There will also be a Junior event that will start on the 29 June before the main event.
“Events of this global reach and magnitude are dependent on efficient and reliable connectivity,” says Greg de Chasteauneuf, technologist and Internet evangelist at IS.
“IS’ partnership with Mr Price is one based on leading edge technology. Whilst providing connectivity for such an event is certainly a necessity, we wanted to stretch our imaginations to the limits and showcase some of the technologies which would have a certain ‘cool’ factor associated with it.”
In addition to hosting the tournament website, anticipated to receive over 7-million page impressions during the event, IS is providing Wi-Fi hotspots for the judges and the extensive media contingent so they can access the scores, post stories and high-resolution photos directly from the beach.
Local and international cache servers have been set up in New York and London to stream live video globally. Last year, over 15 Mbit/s of video was streamed out of IS’ International caching platform, effectively reducing the amount of traffic traversing IS’ international backbone and ensuring optimal quality video feeds to surfing enthusiasts around the globe.
Voice over IP phones will be installed throughout the event allowing staff, judges, VIP guests and event co-coordinators to communicate with the world over IS’ VoIP platform VoIS. All this will be carried via a dedicated wireless link from North Beach Durban to one of IS’ hubs in Umhlanga.
A Bluetooth hotspot is also being provisioned through a third-party vendor to provide for live scores and promotional media updates to everyone on the beach front.
Renowned as the second longest running professional surfing event in the world, The Mr Price Pro carries a proud tradition that spans nearly three decades, and keeps South African surfing on the map.