Third annual JBay Winterfest on its way


Words: Craig Jarvis

Two times event champion Jordy Smith in action at the JBay Open last year.

Photo credit: Kolesky/Nikon/Lexar

The JBay Winterfest comprises many sporting events, as well as a music component, and the Oakley X-Over celebrity cross-over event. To get a feel for the event check out the JBay Winterfest Experience video clip -

The anchor event of the JBay Winterfest is the JBay Open Of Surfing, event six of the World Surf League Championship Tour. The defending champion is Australian Mick Fanning, and surfers like 11-times world champion Kelly Slater (USA), current world champion Gabriel Medina (Brazil) and local hero and two times JBay event champion Jordy Smith will be in attendance for this tournament. Slade Prestwich from Durban was the winner of the JBU Supertrial presented by RVCA, and won a wildcard slot into the main event of the JBay Open. The contest has a waiting period from 8 - 19 July.

A new competition at the festival is the Billabong Junior Series presented by BOS. This event is set to be held at Magnatubes from the 13-17 July. It has a waiting period of 5 days and only needs 3 days to run. The best junior surfers in the country, as well as a crew of international junior surfers, will be in attendance as Magnatubes gets its day as a contest venue for the first time in years.

Another new event is the inaugural Jeffreys Bay Xtreme Trail Run. Presented by Seagull Travel, the JBayX is 2-day / 3-event Trail Run, which forms part of the 2015 Jeffreys Bay WinterFest

The JBayX is unique in concept, entailing 3 individual Trail Runs, all starting 12-hours apart, showcasing the best of the Jeffreys Bay area. The total distance covered will be just over 60km and will surely test the mettle and endurance of all participants.

Day 1 will kick off at 7:00am on Saturday 11 July 2015, with a 20Km Trail Run in the Kabeljous Lagoon / Nature Reserve area, followed at 7:00pm, by a 20Km Night Trail Run at Impala Ranch, with part of the route taking runners under the majestic wind turbines of the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.

Day 2 will get under way only 12 hours later at 7:00am on Sunday 12 July 2015, with a 20Km Trail Run in the Seekoeirivier / Aston Bay area. The day's event will start and finish at the Happy Hippo Farm on the banks of the Seekoeiriver.

The Music Festival also looks like it's going to kick off his year at The Jolly Dolphin, with acts like Jack Parow, Matthew Mole, Shortstraw, Taxi Violence, PHFAT and Desmond and the Tutus, to name a few.

The JBay Mountain Bike Open, which forms part of the JBay Winterfest, carries a unique distinction of being the only MTB event in Africa to run through a wind farm. This association has now been taken a step further with Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm coming on board as title sponsor of the event.

"Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm is pleased to be able to welcome the JBay MTB Open for the second year running," said Mark Pickering, General Manager of Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm. "This gives us an opportunity to make our wind farm more acessible to our surrounding communities," he continued, explaining how big a priority the local community is to the Wind Farm.

The 2015 JBay Mountain Bike Open presented by Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm will start at Kabeljous Lagoon (also the venue for the fishing and trail running events, as well as the Kite Festival) and will feature three routes, 40km, 60km and 85km. For more information and to enter online go to

South Africa's most extreme open water swimmers will be gathering at Marina Martinique during the JBay Winterfest to take on a 7.5 km swim in sub 15 degree C water wearing nothing more than a speedo type costume, goggles and a swim cap. For the less adventurous there will be a 2.5 km swim where swimmers can wear a wetsuit to offset the icy water. Entries can be done via

The JBay Winterfest has a few vibrant Social Media channels that will be relaying the action throughout the 12 days.
Twitter: @jbaywinterfest