February Can't Wait for June - News - Contests - The JBU Supertrial presented by RVCA
We spoke to Mikey February, who is frothing for the 2016 Supertrial after he got a taste of the JBay Open as a last-minute alternate last year. CRAIG JARVIS asked the questions., We spoke to Mikey February, who is frothing for the 2016 Supertrial after he got a taste of the JBay Open as a last-minut…
Regional Sports News
- The Corona Open JBay is the 6th stop on the World Surfing Leagues’ Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour, and marks half way of the professional tour surfers’ yearlong campaign.
- The Championship Tour consists of 34 surfers, who will be joined by two event wildcards at each event. In JBay one of these wild cards is Dale Staples, the winner of the JBU Supertrial powered by Monster Energy. The JBU Supertrial was run off in excellent conditions in June, and Staples hails from St Francis Bay.
- The surfing event takes place when the waves at Supers are of ‘contestable’ conditions, and there is a contest director and surf technology to help forecast what the waves will be like throughout the event’s waiting period.
- Historically the waiting period for the contest is a great time for swell and favourable winds at Supertubes, and more often than not the contest is held in some of the best conditions of the year. When Supertubes is in her best form, rides of 300 meters, and ten point rides are fairly common, but more on points scoring coming up.
- There are five rounds in Championship Tour surfing contest, with the first round and the fourth round being non-elimination. After this round it is sudden death elimination, all the way to final.
- The top two waves of each surfer is scored, and the criteria is thus:
– Commitment and degree of difficulty
– Innovative and progressive maneuvers
– Combination of major maneuvers
– Variety of maneuvers
– Speed, power and flow
- Judging scale:
[0.0 — 1.9: Poor] [2.0 — 3.9: Fair] [4.0 — 5.9: Average] [6.0 — 7.9: Good] [8.0 — 10.0: Excellent]
- A panel of five judges scores each wave on a scale of one to ten. For every scoring ride, the highest and lowest scores (of the five judges) are discounted and the surfer receives the average of the remaining three scores. There is no limit on the number of waves that will be scored, but the two best scoring waves (each out of a possible 10) are added together to become a surfer’s heat total (out of a possible 20).
- First prize for a championship tour event like the JBay Open is $100,000 and 10,000 valuable points counting towards a surfer’s world tour ranking. A win in JBay bodes well for a surfer’s back end of the tour, and promises a good finish.
Lower Point, JBay – The inaugural JBay Loggers Classic is fast gaining momentum, and looks to be a popular addition to the JBay Winterfest 2017. There has been international interest in the contest, with a couple of high profile surfers entered into the tournament.
A logging competition has a few set-in-stone commandments, which make it differ from normal longboarding contests. They are thus:
- The board needs to be a minimum length of 9’2, with most surfers actually riding boards between 9’4 and 9’6.
- The boards need to be a minimum of 6kg in weight. They also need to be purpose-built single fins, with the one fin either glassed or in a box, but there is no allowance for side boxes.
- Generally there is a rule that no leashes are allowed either, but for this event at Lower Point, and with some veteran surfers in the event, there will be a call made on the day to see if leashes are needed from a safety aspect. If so, then they will be allowed.
- There is no interference rule, and there is a gentleman’s (or gentlelady’s) rule of no hassling or dropping in. The logging ideology is more about sharing and having fun than being overly competitive.
Event director Ryan Anderson from Logger’s Union is happy with the reaction to this first-time event thus far.
“We are very encouraged by the growing international interest in our event,” said Ryan. “We look forward to welcoming a number of international surfers who will be joining the local logging community in sharing the beautiful waves of Lower Point, Jeffreys Bay. Amongst our international entrants is Rachel Tilley, the 2015 WSL Ladies World Longboard champion from California, USA. Two other entries are from Alexandra Florence and Ivan Florence from Oahu, Hawaii, who are mom and brother of the current WSL Men’s World Surfing Champion John John Florence. With such a high caliber of local and international competitors, we are confident that the JBay Loggers Classic is set to become a fixture on the international longboarding calendar.”
The JBay Loggers Classic presented by Vodacom4U also has a solid line-up of live music for the two days, Friday the 21st of July and Saturday the 22nd of July. Friday’s music kicks off at 12:30pm and includes Tall Thief, Too Many Chiefs and The Cottonfields, while Saturday’s line-up consists of The Rob Thompson Band and Charlie Finch.
The JBay Loggers Classic is part of the JBay Winterfest that takes place 12 – 23 July. The JBay Winterfest includes the Corona Open JBay, the Cold Water Swim Classic, the Oakley X Over, the Endurade JBay X Trail Run, the JBay Windfarm MTB Classic, the Kite Festival, the Skins Fishing Comp and the Funduro.
#JbayWinterfest #jbayloggersclassic #loggersunion
We chat to the JBU Supertrial swell forecaster and soothsayer Spike from www.wavescape.co.za
How difficult is it to forecast swell for JBay?
It can be a bit stressful when you’re not forecasting for your mates or yourself. However, it’s quite a straight forward equation when it comes to the swell direction and swell period needed for it to turn on in the average, normal (which is still world class) kind of way for JBay. The other factors that matter to other spots are not that crucial, like strength of the offshore, sand movement and tides. These make subtle differences (when it goes from the sublime to the ridiculous) but you don’t have to factor them in as much for ‘normal’ JBay. While JBay can be quite tough when working out storm intensity and angles and energy, it’s very forgiving with these more localised things – but makes a big difference at say New Pier in Durban for example.
What do you reckon your hit ratio is?
“Hit rates” can be subjective. It’s pretty good, maybe 9 out of 10, if you’re just making a general call about overall size and general conditions. Maybe it drops a bit when making an exact call about those subjective things that mean different things to different people, like ocean texture, wave quality, and the intervals and lulls between sets.
Did the #JBUSupertrial pan out surf wise as you expected?
(check the video of the #JBUSupertrial here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=An-4zDLHdOU )
I was worried when I first saw that giant storm about nine days before. It was coming in hard and fast and the swell looked too west at first, and the southerly component, when it came in, looked like it would be too late and onshore winds were predicted for that phase in the storm’s aftermath. However, as I studied it I began to get a sense of the sheer enormity of the storm, in terms of wind fetch and power, and in terms of the sheer amount of ambient energy that was going to cause the ocean to explode across an area the size of the whole of southern Africa. It was giant, absolutely giant, and with a lot of period. I think when you have 40 foot+ swell at 15 + seconds, you can be fairly confident a fair bit will wrap in, even when swell is going to be WSW going on SW, which is normally a bad swell direction for Supers. Even if you heavily penalised that swell, knocking off 80 to 90% of it, you’re still left with 4-6′ lines.
Do you see any difference in the seasons that everyone is talking about?
I don’t think I am old and wise enough to see the difference between ‘normal’ and what is different. Anecdotally, it seems that our seasons are bleeding into each other, with autumn coming 1-2 months late, and winter being a bit erratic. The Atlantic and Indian Ocean high pressure systems – driven by the Intertropical Convergence Zone – appear to be the culprits, whether from climate change and/or El Nino, with their positions way too far south for ‘normal’. The storms are bouncing around, mostly getting pushed further south by the high pressure cells, which means they are missing us. The interesting thing about the #dikWednesday storm was that it formed off South America almost due West of Cape Town, and it tracked OVER the top of the High pressure. As it approached SA, the high deepened below it, so instead of forcing it south as many others have been, it forced it to stay way higher than normal. As it approached, it became surrounded by high pressure cells all around it, including a cold sinking high over the land, which caused it to strengthen as it hit. Normally they weaken before landfall. That’s why it was so devastating for Cape Town, and why the berg winds were so fierce that drove the fires. The eye of the storm, or centre (I was recently chastised for calling it an eye because apparently you can only say eye if you’re talking about hurricanes or typhoons) was much higher north, and the main brunt of the storm – a lot of its energy and wind and storm swell and big rain – basically just slammed into the land.
Why is the rainfall so slight this year? What is the major climatological difference to years before, if any?
Bizarrely, south-placed Highs are pushing the storms south and their rain is falling into the sea.
What does the www.wavescape.co.za magic 8 ball tell you about the upcoming Corona Open JBay?
- Size of surf?
- Who is going to win?
It does seem that we’re in a seesaw season of weird extremes. At the moment the highs are behaving and pushed further north and we’ve got a whole lot of what you might call normal winter swell coming for the rest of June into July. By the end of June it seems that the Highs are back to misbehaving, and don’t discount the chance of a couple more super storms klapping Cape Town, and some big weather pushing east. Certainly, the big Wednesday storm seems to have broken the seal, and there is proper winter stuff going on, with a lot of storms. Looks like we’re in for lots of extremes in cold, busting weather and giant swell oscillating with stiff High pressure-induced devils N winds and north easterlies.
Oh, and who is going to bet against Mick Fanning continuing his winning trend? Either way, if not Mick, then I would say it’s one of the “older” athletes. Maybe even Jordy Smith again. He’s pushing 30 so must definitely qualify in the ballie department. Surfing Supers well is about flow and composure, and tapping into the energy, rather than trying to force your move on the wave, which I am not sure the younger guys know how to do as much as the ou ballies.
We chat to the man behind the Oakley X Over Seth Hulley
Where did the #XOVER concept come from?
In discussion with Greg Pearson one day, discussing athletes and product launches – I said how cool it is to bring athletes from all different sports together and everyone has a blast on the eve of a launch and then they all go their separate ways again after a great night. We discussed how bringing these icons together has legs in having an event that ran over two or three days and the athletes coming together to know each other better and discuss sport in general – the highs, the lows and having a good time. Then generating exposure from such an event, hence utilizing the #Jbaywinterfest environment and JBay landscape was a perfect setting to host these athletes in a competition that featured three of Oakley target sports – Surf, Golf and MTB.
How easy/difficult was it to pitch the idea to Oakley?
I have been in sports marketing now working at Oakley for 16 years so I have some experience to have a good idea of what will work. With all these high profile athletes it seemed like an idea that couldn’t fail in terms of exposure that could be generated from this event. This was not only in the three sports categories we targeted but also the sports media that those athletes are authentic in as well. We also knew that mainstream media would get behind Oakley X Over. Oakley global seemed excited at the prospect of this event.
What was the biggest challenge with pulling off #XOVER one?
The athletes’ calendars are always very full and to get all these athletes together at the same time can be a challenge. The guys are keen and committed, but then unforeseen circumstances arise and they have to pull the pin on the event. For the first event – the logistics and set up – working on a tight time schedule and holding two different sporting events in one day was another challenge.
What has been the best moment in the #XOVER so far?
There have been so many amazing moments. Seeing these athletes participate in sports that are foreign to them and taking them out of their comfort zones has been amazing, like John Smit’s surfing at the point in JBay, and Ruan de Smidt’s first ever surf at Lower Point Jeffreys Bay and he rode first time, as well as Tom Whitaker riding a MTB were all amazing to see. These athletes are all naturals because they participated in fine style. What X Over has created however, is camaraderie amongst these high-level athletes and from the time the X Over Whatsapp chat group was created before the 2014 event, it has been nonstop – the support for each other at their authentic events has been phenomenal.
What has been the funniest moment?
There are just too many… probably the pie fights at BP after the night out and when security chased Bob, Butch, Kevin and Minnaar because they were launching pies all over. Maybe Butch lighting a flash bomb cracker next to Greg Minnaar when he was sleeping, or Garreth “Soldier Boy” giving Minnaar 10 seconds to choke him out but didn’t succeed and then it was Soldier Boy’s turn and put Minnaar to sleep. Maybe it was last years champ – Raynard Tissink wanting to get home faster and diving down the stairs at the Mexican to get a few seconds extra sleep.
What are your predictions for the 2017 event? Anyone new set to step up to the plate?
It’s great to have Dale Steyn back after missing last year’s event and I know he has been spending a lot of time in the surf. Butchie, Minnaar, Tissink and Tom Whits have been consistent and strong, but the possibility is real that a dark horse could take this years event. Seabelo Senatla has been refining his surfing skills and getting time in the water at Seth Surf School, but it could be John Smit, Tonderai Chavhanga or Giniel de Villiers. In saying that I do think the event is wide open and there has been a different winner each year which makes it exciting, so it’s really hard to make a call on who will take the title in 2017.
We chat to the man behind the Endurade JBayX Trail Run Rieghard Janse Van Rensburg
How did the idea of the Endurade JBayX trail run come about?
Little more than two years ago I was chatting to Koffie about a trail run event for the #JBaywinterfest and we were playing with the idea of more than one run during the whole winterfest period, but eventually realized that the logistics will be a big issue. So I came-up with the idea of three stages, all starting twelve hours apart and incorporating a night run. So it became a ‘compressed’ stage race.
How easy/difficult was it to pitch the idea to the event organizers?
I think the idea was very well accepted, with the JBay Winterfest committee buying into the idea from day one. I think it is sometime a bit more difficult to get the idea across to runners, as they tend to think ‘one stage – one day’ and we are doing three stages in little more than 24 hours. I still believe its a great concept and surely tests runners in a different way.
What was the biggest challenge with pulling off the first one?
Finding 60Km of runnable trails around JBay!
What has been the best moment in the #JBayX thus far?
Seeing people who thought it was impossible for them to complete one 20Km run, finish all three and cherishing their medal!
What has been the funniest moment?
On Stage one of the first ever JBayX our ground crew couldn’t find the waypoint, where runners had to cross the dunes into the Kabeljous Nature Reserve and only after the start was I informed. I had to race past the runners on a quad and call back the 1st group and get them back on track. Fortunately everything else went much better after that!
What has been the worst moment?
Having an issue with the timing at one of the events at the 2016 race, where two of the lady runners’ times were swapped around and we had the wrong person on the podium!
What are your predictions for the 2017 event?
We are very excited about the 2017 event! Not only will SA’s golden couple of trail running be taking part, they will also be presenting a trail running workshop, made possible by Sea Whisper Guest House on Friday 21 July 2017. Tickets for the Event and the Workshop is available via Quicket – http://qkt.io/2017jbayx
Runners are reminded that the three-stage trail run entries will close on 30 June 2017!
JBay – with just a few short weeks to go, the excitement around the upcoming JBay Winterfest 2017 is tangible. Construction has started on the Corona Open JBay setup, the Lower Point hub is starting to take shape and the event organisers are hard at work in getting their sites and venues prepared.
While the surf contests, mountain bike race and trail run are well-known and popular events at the JBay Winterfest, there are a couple of other events that are becoming increasingly popular and well-attended.
The Cold Water Swim Classic
Now in its 5th year, the Cold Water Swim Classic, presented by Nicholas Melck, has become one of the core events on the calendar of the JBay Winterfest.
With water temperatures ranging from an icy 11C to a “warm” 14C last year, the Classic lives up to its billing as an extreme event.
Swimmers have the option of wearing a wetsuit or swimming according to channel rules, which means wearing only a speedo type costume, goggles and a swim cap when taking on the Mile and Double Mile events.
However, the Triple Mile, being an official qualifying swim for the notorious Robben island crossing is only open to swimming wearing nothing more than a speedo.
“The Cold Water Classic is a perfect training swim for anybody wanting to prepare for Robben Island and is the only recognised cold water swim in the Eastern Cape,” said event organiser Brenton Williams.
“The Triple Mile is a qualifying swim, meaning the Cape Long Distance Swim Association will allow all the swimmers who complete the event to apply to swim Robben Island.”
The final training swim for the Cold Water Classic will be held on 9 July at Marina Martinique and all swimmers are welcome to join.
Online entries for the event can be done via www.jbaywinterfest.com/events-2017/cold-water-classic/
The Kite Festival
‘Paint The Sky With Colour’ is our motto for the JBay Winterfest this year. Once again we are gearing up for a dazzling display of all shapes and colours to fill the sky above the beach.
This year the Kite Festival will host world renowned kite experts; the likes of Peter Binsbergen (a top Quad liner) and many others, filling the sky with giant inflatables, flow forms, trains, facet kites, traditional Asian kites and many line fillers.
Peter will be twirling his magic with quad line revolution kites, showing off his stunt flying. As far as some of the key inflatables go, we will be joined by a dinosaur named “Stinky”, various dragons, and of course our favourite piggy aptly named “Piggasus”. There will be plenty of action for the kids of all ages, with our kiting team on hand to offer advice to the novice kiters and show them how to fly the smaller kites and bols. Don’t forget we will once again be doing the traditional “Sweety Drops”.
The display will be held from the 21st till 22nd July, at the Lower Point, on the beach heading towards Kabeljous surf.
Remember to stop in at Brian, who will be at the Lower Point market, selling kites, bols and other wonderful sky dancers, then head onto the beach and help us Paint The Sky With Colour.
The Skins Fishing Comp
The 5th Winterfest Skins Fishing Competition will take place in Jeffrey’s Bay on Saturday 22 July 2017. This event has seen massive growth over the past 5 years, and is now one of the biggest and most unique shore angling competitions in South Africa!
The ‘skins format’ of the event, means that every hour is like a mini competition that gives many more people a shot at the fantastic prizes. It creates a lot of excitement at the prize giving, as no one really knows who will win the various skins. We have had many ladies and juniors winning the main cash prizes over the last few years, making it a fun family event to get hooked on.
The cash prizes will be worth a minimum of R18 000 (R3000/hour x 6)! We also have a Penn Power Hour. During a selected skin the top 5 anglers will each win a fantastic fishing reel from Pure Fishing. There will be various other prizes, including holidays, fishing gear, tackle vouchers, hampers, sunglasses etc. Last year our prizes were valued at more than R100 000. As if this is not enough, PSG and Nissan will give anglers a shot at winning a vehicle.
Area will be from The Gap at Kabeljous to Kitchen Windows restaurant. Two flags will demarcate the boundaries. No fishing will be allowed outside of these flags. Fishing times will be from 7am to 1pm. (All weigh cards to be handed in at prize giving tent before 2.30 pm.) There will be 6 skins each worth R3000 each. The highest scoring fish for each hour will be the winner. Edible fish count 10pts/kg & non-edible fish 1pt/kg. There will be many other prize categories such as top lady, top junior, most species etc. plus many lucky draws. In order to involve the whole family, men can cast for ladies and juniors as long as they are all entered into the competition.
Please note that we support catch and release.
Slake Adventures will host the 4th Annual JBay Winterfest Funduro on 22 July 2017 at Mondplaas.
The Funduro is an offroad motorbike fun day aimed at riders of all levels and age, and consists of Kiddies, Intermediate and Pro Loops. The Pro Loop is 15km long and consists of a mixture of flowing and technical terrain, whereas the other loops only cater with flowing terrain for beginners and intermediate riders.
The infamous “Slake Pit” (Obstacle Course) is a common sight at Slake Funduro’s and sure to wow the crowd with spectacular entertainment! Come and see some of the top riders in South Africa take on the unforgiving obstacles that include logs, drop offs, tyres, ramps and the feared balance beam!
As an edition to the Funduro, the Free Wheelers Expression Session will also be a huge crowd entertainer, as riders show off their mad skills with Wheelies, Stoppies and all round motorbike skills.
For more information contact:
Other happenings at the JBay Winterfest 2017 include the JBay Windfarm MTB Classic, the Corona Open JBay, The JBay Loggers Classic, the Endurade JBay X Trail Run, The Oakley X Over and more. Events will be elaborated on in forthcoming media releases.
Supertubes, Jeffreys Bay – In firing surf at Supertubes, Dale Staples from St Francis Bay won the 2017 edition of the JBU Supertrial by powering through some of the biggest and deepest barrels of the day. Staples was in rhythm with the ocean from the start, picking up all the best waves on his route to the final.
It was a cold and blustery JBay morning, but there were sets at first light and the contest organisers showed no hesitation in calling the event on. As the freezing offshore wind picked up, so the invited surfers hit the perfect lineup, with consistent six-foot waves pouring through.
Former Championship Tour surfer Greg Emslie was a surprise elimination from round one, after leading for most of the heat. Greg caught a particularly long wave, and after his final turn and kicking out, found himself facing a huge set in front of the reef. “I got caught inside by a big set and pushed onto the reef,” said Greg. “By the time I surfaced from the first wave there was another one, and more behind it. I hit the reef again and eventually got washed all the way down and came in.”
Former event champion Dylan Lightfoot and defending champion Steven Sawyer did not disappoint however, and both won their first round heats. With a wildcard into the Corona Open JBay as well as $10k (R127k) up for grabs there were some determined performances in the breezy conditions with no one giving any quarter.
WQS competitor and perennial Supertubes standout Dale Staples from St Francis Bay shone during the first semifinal. With the swell still rising, Dale found some deep barrels, including one ridiculous 10-point barrel ride at the Impossibles section to emerge with a near-perfect heat score of 19.93 out of a possible 20 points, throwing away a 9.7 as his third wave.
“It’s really good to get such great waves for a contest,” said Dale after his heat. “That ten-pointer was a nice set wave. It looked like it was going to run off away from me, but it actually held all the way to the end.”
Staples continued his form all the way through to the final, which turned into a barrel frenzy as Supertubes, one of the best waves in the world, delivered wave after perfect wave throughout the afternoon. Staples jumped into the lead early on in the final with one incredible double tube ride, followed by a second high scoring ride, and his lead was unassailable from then on.
Mikey February from Cape Town has been having an excellent season but couldnt find the good ones out there and finished in fourth place. Local surfer Matt McGillivray had been looking good all event and some had him touted for the win, but he couldnt match Staples incredible tube riding. Former event champion, a fit and determined Dylan Lightfoot from JBay, found some of the biggest waves of the final, but was unable to string together enough combination moves to get close to Staples, who won the final with a comfortable lead.
“After I got that early one I was feeling really good, and it’s always great to bank a good score in the beginning, ” said a jubilant Staples on the beach afterwards. “Then I got that second nine, and I was stoked and hoping that it would just go flat.”
The wind was howling offshore the whole day, and quite a challenge for all competitors, but it actually worked for the victorious Staples.
“The wind was actually beneficial for me in this event,” said Staples. “It was like the wind was just holding the main barrel section up the whole day. Some of the barrels looked like they were going to shut down on you and then they just opened up in the wind.”
First prize in the JBU Supertrial consists of a wild card into the Corona Open JBay, $10k (R127k) as well as the valuable Championship Tour competitive experience that comes with it.
Kouga Mayor Elza Van Lingen was in attendance at the event and was rapt with the action in the water. “I’m so proud of all the surfers in he competition, and proud of the fact that we were able to host such an amazing contest,” said Van Lingen. “There is nowhere else in the world where we can run such an event, and I can’t wait for this all to happen again when the JBay Winterfest comes to the town of Jeffreys Bay next month. I hope to see you all there.”
The Corona Open JBay has a waiting period from 12th – 23rd July, and is part of the JBay Winterfest.
1. Dale Staples (St Francis Bay).
2. Dylan Lightfoot. (JBay).
3. Matt McGillivray (JBay).
4. Mikey February (Kommetjie).
Hashtags #JBUsupertrial #JBayWinterfest
The JBU Supertrial is co-sponsored by RVCA.
www.wavescape.co.za is the media partner.
The JBU Supertrial is sanctioned by Surfing South Africa, the recognised governing body for the sport in South Africa.
About Surfing South Africa
SSA is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).
The JBU Supertrial also is sanctioned by the World Surf League (WSL).
About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.
For more information contact the event organiser
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High-resolution images are available on request for media outlets.
Supertubes, Jeffreys Bay.
The JBU Supertrial Powered By Monster Energy is set for a 9am start down at Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay. The waves are pouring through and the decision was made to go at 9am.
“The waves are big, there are non-stop sets and we’re going to get the show on the road,” said contest organiser Koffie Jacobs. “There is a chance that it might get a bit too big this afternoon, so we’re running at nine o’clock”
Davey Van Zyl
Beyrick De Vries
First prize in the JBU Supertrial consists of a wild card into the Corona Open JBay, as well as the valuable Championship Tour competitive experience that comes with it. The Corona Open JBay has a waiting period from 12th – 23rd July, and is part of the JBay Winterfest.
Supertubes, JBay – There is a powerful swell heading for JBay, and the contest organisers of the JBU Supertrial Powered By Monster Energy are ready to go with their event. The huge storm heading for Cape Town mid-week will transform into big storm surf in JBay later in the week, and will result in challenging conditions for the competition.
There are two possible days that the tournament could run, and invited surfers from out of town are already heading down to JBay to start preparing for what is going to be an interesting day of surfing.
“The Cape is in for one of the fiercest storms in a decade as a 985mb low pressure cell slams into Cape Town on Wednesday, spreading east rapidly in the form of a gale force northwesterly followed by westerly,” said JBU Supertrial official wave forecaster Spike from www.wavescape.co.za. “JBay will be blasted by devil winds on Wednesday, followed by strong west winds on Thursday when a huge storm swell arrives. Some big sets should be bending into Supertubes, but winds are fierce.”
According to Spike, it looks like Friday has a small window for the contest to run as well.
“By Friday, the swell has gone southerly and is a solid six to eight-foot at Supertubes perhaps bigger at first, easing gradually,” continued Spike. “Epic conditions are probable for the early hours of daylight, with a light onshore starting to ruffle the surf by late morning.”
Contest organiser Koffie Jacobs has been closely monitoring the swell charts, and concurs with Spike. “There is a lot of weather coming our way, and plenty of surf along with it,” said Jacobs. ” We are looking for the best window of opportunity on either Thursday or Friday, as both days have potential.”
Out of the 12 selected surfers for this invite-only event, there are three local guys who are very excited about the upcoming event. Matt McGillivray is a natural-footed surfer who calls Supertubes his home break.
“I’m super grateful to have been included in the JBU Supertrial again this year,” said McGillivray. “I’m really excited for it and am crossing my fingers for a good sized swell to come through. It’s an incredible opportunity to be able to surf a heat with just four guys out, at one of the best waves in the country.”
Former event champion Dylan Lightfoot is another local surfer who is ready to meet this swell head-on.
“The JBU Supertrial is my favourite competition of the year, and every surf I have at Supers is geared towards preparing myself for it,” said Dylan. “My boards are feeling good and I am feeling confident for the event! There is a great swell this week that is looking promising.”
The defending champion, local goofy-footer (right-foot forward) Steve Sawyer is also very happy about the upcoming swell and subsequent running of the competition.
”I’m excited for the 2017 JBU Supertrial,” said Sawyer. “I’ve waited a whole year for it. To be honest, last year was an unexpected and super pleasant surprise. I have no expectations for this year except for the awesome waves that are coming.”
So, all eyes will be on the famous right-hand point-break of Supertubes for the next few days, as JBay prepares for another classic day of surfing in this prestigious tournament. First prize in the JBU Supertrial consists of a wild card into the Corona Open JBay and valuable competitive experience surfing against the likes of 11 times world champion Kelly Slater (USA), three times world champion and defending champion Mick Fanning (AUS), current world champion John John Florence (HAW), former world champions Gabriel Medina and Adriano De Souza (BRA), as well as South African surfing legend and two times event champion Jordy Smith. There is also a minimum prize purse of US$10k (R127k)
The JBU Supertrial presented by Monster Energy has a waiting period from 1st – 11th June, and historically has always enjoyed excellent surf conditions at Supertubes. The Corona Open JBay has a waiting period from 12th – 23rd July, and is part of the JBay Winterfest.
It doesn’t seem that taxing on the outside, but a round of golf to a non-golfer can be a real challenge thing. Difficult, frustrating and at times exhausting, some hardened athletes have faltered at the green.
Ryan Sandes, for one, can run ultra marathons with ease across incredible distances, but when required to hit a little ball a few hundred meters it’s a fairly complex and exhausting process for the legendary runner.
Bob Skinstad plays a good game along with John Smit, but it will obviously be Ruan de Smidt who will walk away with the gold in this discipline.
The St Francis Links is a world-class golf course, under the CEO leadership of the eminent Jeff Clause. The athletes competing in the Oakley X Over are always welcomed to the St Francis Links with open arms, and the reception is always warm and friendly.
Sometimes, a few other celebrities are around when the Oakley X Over golf tournament is on, like the time 11 times world surfing champ Kelly Slater was having a quiet game alongside the athletes, and came over to say hello.
The Golf tournament in the Oakley X Over is a kingmaker game in that the winner will ultimately be decided after this leg. The competitive spirit of some of the best athletes in the country means that no quarter will be given on the greens or fairways.
So it’ll be time to power up those golf carts, put head down and follow through for those of the contestants serious about going for the coveted Oakley X Over 2017 trophy.