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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Wed, 7 June 2017

A heaving storm swell is heading for JBay, and the JBU Supertrial Powered by Monster Energy is ready to run the event tomorrow Thursday, with a short window on Friday, writes Spike.


DIK WEDNESDAY: A large winter storm tracks east of Cape Town on Wednesday. Photo Windy

The huge storm battering Cape Town today will transform into big storm surf in JBay, with challenging conditions for the 12 invited surfers vying for a wildcard into the Corona Open JBay. There are two possible days that the tournament could run, and surfers are already heading to JBay to start preparing for what is going to be an interesting day of surfing.

Strong west winds on Thursday when a huge storm swell arrives The Cape is being battered by one of the fiercest storms in a decade as a 985mb low pressure cell slams into Cape Town on Wednesday, spreading east rapidly in the form of a gale force northwesterly followed by westerly.

JBay is blasted by devil winds on Wednesday, followed by strong west winds on Thursday when a huge storm swell arrives. Some proper sets should be bending into Supertubes, despite their west angle, because of their sheer size, and a fair bit of energy (17secs), but winds are fierce, although moderating all day to manageable levels for Supers.

Friday has a very small window for the contest to run before the onshore picks up. By Friday, the swell has gone southerly and is a solid six to eight-foot at Supertubes perhaps bigger at first, easing gradually. Epic conditions are possible but for only a few hours at daybreak, with a moderate onshore starting to ruffle the surf by mid morning. Looks like Thursday.


TUBULAR SWELL: Matt McGillivray is another who has a crack at the big league. Photo Thurtell

Contest organiser Koffie Jacobs has been closely monitoring the swell charts, and concurs with Spike. "There is a lot of weather coming our way, and plenty of surf along with it," said Jacobs. " We are looking for the best window of opportunity on either Thursday or Friday, as both days have potential."

Out of the 12 selected surfers for this invite-only event, there are three local guys who are very excited about the upcoming event. Matt McGillivray is a natural-footed surfer who calls Supertubes his home break.

“I'm super grateful to have been included in the JBU Supertrial again this year,” said McGillivray. “I'm really excited for it and am crossing my fingers for a good sized swell to come through. It’s an incredible opportunity to be able to surf a heat with just four guys out, at one of the best waves in the country.”


FLEET OF FOOT: Dylan Lightfoot is a contender at the JBU Supertrial. Photo Thurtell

Former event champion Dylan Lightfoot is another local surfer who is ready to meet this swell head-on: “The JBU Supertrial is my favourite competition of the year, and every surf I have at Supers is geared towards preparing myself for it,” said Dylan. “My boards are feeling good and I am feeling confident for the event! There is a great swell this week that is looking promising.”

The defending champion, local goofy-footer (right-foot forward) Steve Sawyer is also very happy about the upcoming swell and subsequent running of the competition.

”I’m excited for the 2017 JBU Supertrial,” said Sawyer. “I've waited a whole year for it. To be honest, last year was an unexpected and super pleasant surprise. I have no expectations for this year except for the awesome waves that are coming."


REIGNING CHAMP: You can't discount last year's winner Steve Sawyer. Photo Thurtell

So all eyes will be on the famous right-hand point-break of Supertubes for the next few days, as JBay prepares for another classic day of surfing in this prestigious tournament. First prize in the JBU Supertrial consists of a wild card into the Corona Open JBay and valuable competitive experience surfing against the likes of 11 times world champion Kelly Slater (USA), three times world champion and defending champion Mick Fanning (AUS), current world champion John John Florence (HAW), former world champions Gabriel Medina and Adriano De Souza (BRA) as well as South African surfing legend and two times event champion Jordy Smith. There is also a minimum prize purse of US$10k (R127k).


Shane Sykes, Jordy Maree, Dale Staples, Adin Masencamp, Matt Bromley, defending champion Steven Sawyer, Mikey February, Matt McGillivray, Joshe Faulkner, Beyrick De Vries, Davey van Zyl and Dylan Lightfoot.


The JBU Supertrial presented by Monster Energy is an exclusive invite-only tournament, with first prize being the coveted Wild Card entry into the World Surf League Championship Tour Corona Open JBay. The Supertrial has a waiting period from 1st – 11th June, and historically always enjoyed excellent surf conditions at Supertubes. The Corona Open JBay has a waiting period from 12th – 23rd July, and is part of the JBay Winterfest

Hashtags #JBUsupertrial #JBayWinterfest
The JBU Supertrial is co-sponsored by RVCA.
www.wavescape.co.za is the media partner.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/jbaywinterfest

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