With just over three weeks to go before the start of the 2019 Corona JBay Open, the town of Jeffreys Bay is getting ready for the biggest surfing event in South Africa. The Corona JBay Open is the anchor event of the JBay Winterfest, and is a huge attraction for competitors, fans and spectators alike.
What is it?
The Corona JBay Open is a professional surfing event for men and women, who compete on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT). There is a first prize purse of US$100,000 for both men and women. Simply put, the best professional surfers in the world competing at the best wave in South Africa.
When is it?
The waiting period for the contest is 9-22 June. There is a waiting period in place in order to ensure that there is good surf available to run the event. Historically July is a good month for great waves at Supertubes, but a waiting period allows the contest director to pick and choose the best days available during the waiting period.
Where is it taking place?
The contest takes place at Supertubes, the prime wave in Jeffreys Bay, and one of the best right-hand point-break waves in the world. It is a fast and perfect wave, conducive to high-performance surfing, as well as a wave that produces excellent tube rides. Surfers from all over the world have Supertubes in JBay on their bucket lists.
Why is it on?
The Championship Tour (CT) consists of 11 contests in some of the best, most iconic waves of the world. Contest venues include Snapper Rocks and Bells Beach in Australia, Teahupo’o in Tahiti, Pipeline in Hawaii and JBay in South Africa. The Corona JBay Open is the middle point of the tour that culminates in Hawaii and produces a world champion for both men and women every year. The CT is the pinnacle of professional surfing in the world.
Who is in it?
In the Men’s contest we have two-times defending champion Filipe Toledo (BRA) going for a hat trick, 11-times world champion Kelly Slater (USA) going for his 12th world title, two-times world champion John John Florence going for his third title this year, two-times event champion Jordy Smith (ZAR) looking for a third event win in front of a home crowd and two-times world champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) looking for his first win at the competition. The rest of the 36 surfers are the best professional surfers from all over the world, including a local wild card surfer who gets entry by being the highest placed South African on the Qualifying Series after the Ballito Pro 2019 on Durban’s North Coast.
In the Women’s contest, we have defending champion and seven-times world champion Steph Gilmore competing, along with last years runner-up Lakey Peterson (USA), three times world champion Carissa Moore (Haw) and fierce newcomer Caroline Marks (USA) in the event, along with a host of others.
What else is going on in JBay?
The JBay Winterfest includes the Endurade JBay X Trail Run, the Funduro Moto X, the Fishing Skins Tournament, and the Winterfest Bowls Tournament. There is also the Vibe In The Park music sessions comprising a host of the best South African bands and musicians jamming for free. There is a comedy festival, pop-up surf movies from the Wavescape Film Festival, book launches, pro signing sessions and more. For more information go to www.jbaywinterfest.com
The Corona JBay Open is the anchor event for the JBay Winterfest and takes place from 9 – 22 July.