Loss of contest costs J-Bay

2013-04-10 08:51

Cape Town - Jeffrey's Bay in the Eastern Cape is to lose R20 million in tourist income because its annual Billabong Pro surfing contest is off after 25 years, it was reported on Wednesday.

The Cape Times reported that the event's key sponsor, Billabong, had withdrawn its funding as it faced financial trouble and was up for sale.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.

There were also four wildcard entries at times including surfers from overseas.

Event spokesman Craig Jarvis told the newspaper 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," he said.

Read more on:    travel south africa

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