Winterfest gears up for Corona Open

2018-05-31 06:00
Jordy Smith in action at Jeffreys Bay.                              Photo:SUPPLIED

Jordy Smith in action at Jeffreys Bay. Photo:SUPPLIED

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WITH the JBay Winterfest a mere six weeks away, plans are in full swing to get the town of Jeffreys Bay ready for the throngs of tourists, athletes, fans and spectators that will be in attendance for the event.

One of the biggest draw cards of the JBay Winterfest is the Corona Open JBay – the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) surfing event that will take place at Supertubes. The event attracts the top competitive surfers in the world, including current world champion John John Florence from Hawaii, multiple world champion Kelly Slater from Florida, previous multiple event winner Jordy Smith from Durban and previous world champion Gabriel Medina from Brazil, as well as last year’s event champion Filipe Toledo, also from Brazil.

In the event, Jordy Smith will also be joined by CT rookie Mikey February from Cape Town and a yet-to-be-announced local wildcard who will be chosen from World Qualifying Series ratings points.

This year will also see the women return for their Championship Tour event at JBay, also to be held during the event waiting period July 2 to 16. The top rated women on the Championship Tour include Stephanie Gilmore from Australia, Lakey Peterson from USA, Tatiana Weston-Webb from Brazil and Carissa Moore from Hawaii. It is the first time that the women have had an event in JBay since 2 000, and everyone is excited to see how the best female surfers in the world express themselves on the flawless walls of Supertubes.

A three hundred-meter long ride, Supertubes is often described as one of the best waves in the world, and the venue is one of the most popular among the surfers on the Championship Tour. The month of July is historically a good month for surf, and contestants are guaranteed to encounter some excellent conditions during their stay in JBay.

Judges analyse the following elements when scoring waves:

  • Commitment and degree of difficulty
  • Innovative and progressive manoeuvres
  • Combination of major manoeuvres
  • Variety of manoeuvres
  • Speed, power and flow.

A panel of five judges score 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).

At Supertubes the surfing takes place close enough for the surfers to hear the spectators cheering, and two-times event champion Jordy Smith has often commented on this aspect of the event. “Sometimes you can’t hear it when you’re riding a wave, doing manoeuvres or pulling into a barrel, but when you kick out of a wave you can hear the crowd roar,” reckons Smith. “It really is an amazing experience to hear the crowd cheer for you and it gives you a jolt of adrenalin and excitement; it really makes you want to do well.”

Oakley, Kouga Municipality, Island Tribe and Bioplus proudly sponsor the JBay Winterfest.

The festival is anchored by the Corona Open JBay, and there is the JBay Windfarm MTB Classic event, the Cold Water Classic open water swim, the Endurade JBayX Trail Run, the Fishing Skins Tournament and the JBay Winterfest Funduro.

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