Words: Craig Jarvis
Jeffreys Bay - The JBay Winterfest is ready to welcome the world's best surfers back to town. This year sees the return of ASP World Tour surfing to the waves of Supertubes after a short two-year break, and it's going to be a spectacle of the world's best surfers on one of the world's best waves.
Current ASP World Championship Tour ratings leader Gabriel Medina from Brazil is relatively untested at Supertubes, but has an incredible backhand approach and will no doubt synch perfectly with the waves when they come. Gabriel is as proficient on his backhand as he is on his forehand, and we can expect some big moves and progressive aerial surfing from the young sensation.
Hot on his heels is the powerhouse surfer from Tahiti, Michel Bourez. Michel, otherwise known as 'The Spartan' for his powerful build and strong surfing style, is a stand-out at Supertubes and is always a threat when the waves are firing. His strong approach is perfectly suited to the walls of Supertubes, and he is head-first into a title run.
Kelly Slater is third on the rankings, but is by far the most dangerous surfer on tour at the moment. Kelly is hungry for another win at JBay and voraciously chasing a world title this year. It is no real secret that Kelly wants to finish off his time on the ASP World Tour with another world title, and he wants to get that title under the belt sooner than later. "JBay displays the best of people's surfing, and it shows you where you need to work on your fundamentals," said Kelly on the upcoming event. "It's simply a classic wave that allows for pure lines and linking of maneuvers. JBay is a staple of the tour that everyone loves going to."
Another surfer who is keen on another win at JBay would be fourth ranked Taj Burrow from Australia. Taj is a top performer at Supers and has endless experience out there. "JBay is the most enjoyable high-performance right point break in the world," said Taj of the JBay Open. "It's a wave that irons out all your bugs."
While Jordy Smith comes into the event ranked 11th, he did win the last two ASP World Tour events at Supers and is hungry for a third win. His surfing has been on-point the whole year but he has yet to string together a run of good finishes that could ignite a world tite run. JBay could be the place. Jordy has a lot of experience here, and his powerful carves and aerial approach are both perfectly suited to the high performance walls of Supers.
Round one of the JBay Open can be found here www.aspworldtour.com/events/2014/mct/674/j-bay-open
The JBay Open ASP World Tour event forms part of the JBay Winterfest, a festival that takes place in JBay that includes surfing, skating, a music festival, trail running, a mountain bike event, the VW Rally, the Cold Water Classic open water swimming event, the Oakley X-Over Challenge and much more. For a listing of all the events on offer go to www.jbaywinterfest.com/
More details on the JBay Winterfest on the Facebook page www.facebook.com/jbaywinterfest
The hashtag is #JBayWinterFest