Top surfers to battle it out

2017-06-01 06:00
Steven Sawyer (22) from Jeffreys Bay is set to surf his local breaks to defend the prestigious title he claimed last year.                  Photo:ERNST OHLHOFF

Steven Sawyer (22) from Jeffreys Bay is set to surf his local breaks to defend the prestigious title he claimed last year. Photo:ERNST OHLHOFF

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FIVE local and seven national surfers will battle it out for the coveted wildcard entry into the World Surf League Championship Tour Corona Open JBay during the JBU Supertrial that surfs off today.

The JBU Supertrial, that has a waiting period from June 1 to 11, is the only contest in the country that offers surfers a stake into a World Championship Tour competition.

Leading the pack, is defending JBU Supertrial champion Steven Sawyer (22) who is set to surf his local breaks to defend the prestigious title he claimed last year.

This young goofy-footer who won the recent Buffalo City Surf Pro in East London and has numerous good results in Jeffreys Bay, will be joined by 2016 JBU Supertrial runner-up Dale Staples, former event winner Dylan Lightfoot, Matt McGillivray, and Joshé Faulkner - all local surfers.

Other JBU Supertrial invitees include Beyrick de Vries, Mikey February, Matt Bromley, Davey van Zyl, Jordy Maree, Shane Sykes and Adin Masencamp.

According to Sawyer, who has been surfing since he was nine years old, all the entrants have a very good chance of winning the wildcard entry into the Corona Open JBay. “This year the number of competitors have been cut down from 24 to only 12. Every surfer in this event has been hand picked by the organisers as the countries best surfers at Supertubes,” says Sawyer.

“Only God knows whether I will win again this year.”

Sawyer’s recipe to success is ensuring that he is in his ‘zone’ and ready to receive anything that might come his way. “Once in the water I am in my own world.”

Will he go easy on his fellow local surfers? “Tit for tat. I do not think anyone is willing to go easy with such a huge victory at stake.

Sawyer says his ultimate goal in surfing is to bag a world championship. “It would be pretty rad to be a world champion . . . longboard or shortboard. It is the title we are fighting for.”

Format

The JBU Supertrial presented by Monster Energy is an exclusive invite-only tournament, with first prize being the coveted Wildcard entry into the World Surf League Championship Tour Corona Open JBay that will take place from July 12 to 23 as part of the annual JBay Winterfest.

The contest format is going to be something fresh and different this year. “We have something quite special about this event already, being a small, invite-only contest at one of the best waves in the world,” says contest organiser Koffie Jacobs. “Following through with this, the format will also be something unique.”

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