JBay Specialty

May 8, 2024
SUN HAS NOT SET YET: Stephanie will be back to a town she loves to visit. WSL

As the first winter lines sweep down the point, invitees for the inaugural WSL specialty event, the J-Bay Classic Presented by Corona, have been announced with the window set for 14 to 23 June.

The invitees include a cross-section of talents from around the world. World Champions, free surfers, elite competitors, retired pros, and up-and-comers will converge at this unique event to showcase their surfing within a specialty format, as well as within a Team Division.

The main event will consist of two rounds of competition, where surfers will compete on twin fin and thruster surfboard setups, showcasing how Supertubes can be surfed on alternative and high-performance surfboards, to earn points on the leaderboard. The top four men and women will progress to Finals Day. The Team division will feature six mixed teams, each competing in a 45-minute session.

The women’s invitees are Alana Blanchard, Sage Erickson, Sally Fitzgibbons, Stephanie Gilmore, Coco Ho, and Sierra Kerr. The men’s Invitees are Adriano De Souza, Michael February, Jack Freestone, Josh Kerr, Mason Ho, Sean Holmes, Josh Kerr, Travis Logie, Mark Occhilupo, James Ribbink, Steven Sawyer, Kelly Slater, and Owen Wright

Eight-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) has stepped away from the Tour this year to take a break, but makes an appearance at the J-Bay Classic. As the winner of the J-Bay event in 2018, Gilmore is undoubtedly one of the best to surf the Supertubes canvas, and she loves coming to Jeffreys Bay.

The 1999 World Champion, Australian goofy-footer Mark ‘Occy’ Occhilupo returns to the famed right-hand point break where he first grabbed the surfing world’s attention. He won the 1984 Country Feeling Classic in J-Bay as a young 18-year-old with a backhand attack that was unmatched. Occy was the only goofy footer to have won an event at Supertubes until Gabriel Medina finally broke through the ceiling at the Corona Open J-Bay in 2019.

STYLE COUNCIL: Mikey February makes a welcome return to the sweeping lines of the Bay of Jay. WSL

"I'm really excited to head back to Jeffreys Bay and I'm honored to be invited to the inaugural WSL J-Bay Classic," Occhilupo said. "When J-Bay gets big it’s actually better to surf on your backhand. On a low tide, it gives you room to throw some big hacks. It's one of the best waves in the world for sure.”

A stacked field of men and women representing the WSL Africa region will compete in the local trials’ competition, with one men’s and one women’s spot up for grabs.

The women’s invitees are Sarah Baum, Sophie Bell, Louise Lepront, Zoe Steyn, Jessie van Niekerk, and Faye Zoetmulder.

JBay Specialty

The men’s invitees are Aboubakr Bouada, Teva Bouchgua, Eli Beukes, Sung Min Cho, Chad du Toit, Max Elkington, Daniel Emslie, Joshe Faulkner, Tide-Lee Ireland, Shaun Joubert, Dylan Lightfoot, Thomas Lindthorst, Surprise Maphumulo, Jordy Maree, Adin Masencamp, Remi Peterson, Slade Prestwich, Connor Slijpen, Luke Slijpen, Dale Staples, Shane Sykes and Luke Thompson

The J-Bay Classic presented by Corona is proudly supported by Kouga Municipality, Eastern Cape Tourism, Red Bull, Sealand, and Grit.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com .