SA surfer Jordy Smith on being repatriated: ‘It’s great being home’

Jordy Smith  (PHOTO: Getty Images/Gallo Images)
Jordy Smith (PHOTO: Getty Images/Gallo Images)

Jordy Smith is back in South Africa – and he couldn’t be more relieved.

After being stranded on OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg for five hours after disembarking from a repatriation flight from the US, Jordy Smith and his wife, Lyndall, are finally home.

The SA professional surfer, who’d been training in Hawaii and other parts of the United States, had been planning to travel to Australia next. But the pandemic meant those plans were brought to a screeching halt.

His touchdown in SA on 4 May was not a pleasant one, as he and Lyndall – along with nearly 300 other passengers – had to wait for five hours before being accommodated.

 “We landed in Johannesburg and were stuck on the tarmac for five hours,” Jordy says.

“They had no information for us – around 275 people, all stranded here wondering what the hell was going on.”

After spending time quarantined in Johannesburg, he and Lyndall are finally home in Cape Town.

Although the 32-year-old is excited to be back home, he admits that he misses surfing, which has been banned under the country’s level 4 lockdown rules.

“It’s great being home! Obviously, we’ve had to obey the regulations and the rules. I’m not able to surf at the moment so it’s kind of a bummer.

“I’ve come from Hawaii and the US, where I was definitely allowed to continue training for the Olympics or anything like that, so everything has come to a halt.”

For the time being, he’s traded his morning surfs for walking and cycling.

And when he’s not spending quality time with his loved ones or trying to stay fit, Jordy is being charitable.

“I’ve been trying to help some of these charities and their needs,” he says.

“And, of course, with the rand being so weak, a dollar goes a long way. So I’ve been trying to bring in as many dollars as possible to help support and do whatever we can to support them, trying to help out in any way possible.”

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