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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Thu, 1 June 2017

South African surfing eyes are on two winter storms rumbling in from the deep as the 11-day waiting period for the JBU Supertrial officially opens today, writes official forecaster Spike.


DIK WEDNESDAY: A large winter storm moves past Cape Town on Wednesday. Photo Windy

There is only one result that really counts in the JBU Supertrial Powered by Monster, and that's the winner. This person gets a coveted wildcard into the World Surf League Corona Open JBay contest, one of the prime stops on the Championship Tour.

A few days of small clean conditions have kicked in, which is the calm before two big winter storms this weekend. The first comes in fast and leaves fast, with a whole lot of weather, big winds but flatters to deceive, with too much west in the swell.

The cold front hits Cape Town on Saturday afternoon, with some welcome but shortlived rain falling in the drought-stricken areas, before rapidly moving east, and past JBay on Sunday, when the swell at Supers should start pulsing intermittently at 2-4', and that's probably at best, with a 235 degree direction. Meanwhile, stiff NW devils winds will ruffle feathers in JBay on Saturday.


BUSTERLY: The storm brings SW gales up the coast but JBay is sheltered. Photo 1stweather

By Monday, the storm quickly moves on and the winds ease and swell dies away. Tuesday looks small and onshore. However, the three days between Wednesday and Friday look interesting. A giant storm smashes into Cape Town on Tuesday night with huge rain and 45 kt gales.

A giant swell fills in, reaching 40 feet A giant storm swell fills in all of Wednesday, reaching 40 feet or bigger on deepwater reefs, but unridable as westerly gales continue. In the JBay area, the only sign is a stiff devils wind NW - the precursor to the cold front, but no swell. But its coming. Oh boy. It is coming. Will it fill into Supers?

By Wednesday night a giant WSW swell buckles the horizon and hammers the wildside of St Francis with a 15 foot stormsea, but nothing shows at Supers yet. Overnight, as the storm surges past and tracks further east, the gales in the storm morph into a more SW to S fetch below the Eden district, and continue to blast away out to sea although by early on Thursday, the fetch is shortening now, weakening and moving rapidly away.


BACK TO THE LINE: Jordy Maree got an invite after an impressive walk-in last year. Photo AVG

The result is a swell peaking on Thursday morning, with an ambient (open ocean) SW to SSW groundswell of 22 feet at 14 seconds, with solid 4-5' if not six foot Supers - possibly the odd bigger one - although the larger waves may be intermittent. The open ocean swell gradually diminishes all day, particularly in the afternoon, but the direction tends more southerly - moving from 220 overnight to 210 in the morning, and then 200 by midday. This could well cancel out the drop in height, with possibly more consistent and bigger sets by afternoon.

All about the younger surfers hoping to break out into professional surfing This year this tournament is all about the younger surfers hoping to break out into professional surfing and get onto the championship tour, so the competition has a nice mix of red-hot up-and-comers along with a few JBay stalwarts and past winners.

Jordy Maree, the 18-year-old goofy-footer from Kalk Bay, can’t wait. “I’m so thankful to be a part of the JBU Supertrial at my age,” said Maree. “I’m always excited to arrive at JBay and get some waves at Supers. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to get up to JBay about eight times this year already and can't wait to be in the water with three others out in cooking conditions for the Supertrial. Thanks to everyone for the support, I’m really stoked to be a part of this event."


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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