World's Best return to South Africa for J-Bay Open
Round 1 could kick off as early as tomorrow. Here's the heat draw!
Jeffreys Bay will host the world's best surfers this week from tomorrow onwards. Photo: ASP/CESTARI
Universally regarded as one of the best right-hand pointbreaks on the planet, Jeffreys Bay returns to the WCT in 2014 after a two-year hiatus from elite competition.
The venue has existed as a favourite tour stop for the world’s best surfers since its inception. In case you don't remember, home favourite Jordy Smith was the last to claim the title in 2011 and 2010.
“When I got the news that Jeffreys was returning to the schedule this season, I basically ran around my house screaming for 30 minutes," Smith said. “It’s a special wave. It’s a special wave for me personally and has been intertwined with my career since I can remember. The level of surfing on tour this season has been ridiculous. If there are waves, we’re going to see some crazy stuff go down."
Previous to 2010, Parko won the event in 2009 (10 years on since his rookie win there) Kelly has won there three times and Fanning twice (a while back now in 2002 and 2006).
In 2012 J-Bay did run as a 6-star QS event, yet again delivering all-time conditions, with Brazilian veteran Adriano de Souza taking out the contest.
“For sure, it was a special event for me and I’m very proud to have won it," De Souza said. “However, it was two years ago and winning a QS event there is much different to winning a WCT – they’re just not the same thing. I’m very excited it’s back on the schedule and I hope the waves pump because the level of talent on tour this season has been scary good. I really hope to do well again in J-Bay this year."
Surfline have forecast medium-size SW swell for the first day of the contest waiting period, with a fading trend into the weekend, so stay tuned for the call tomorrow morning.
J-Bay Open Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Dion Atkinson (AUS)
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS), Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 3: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Kai Otton (AUS), Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 4: Michel Bourez (PYF), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Adam Melling (AUS), TBD
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA), Mitch Crews (AUS), TBD
Heat 7: Nat Young (USA), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Aritz Aranburu (ESP)
Heat 8: Adriano de Souza (BRA), C.J. Hobgood (USA), Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 9: Josh Kerr (AUS), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 10: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Owen Wright (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 11: John John Florence (HAW), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 12: Kolohe Andino (USA), Julian Wilson (AUS), Travis Logie (ZAF)