In small and testing offshore conditions at Supertubes, Greg Emslie from East London emerged victorious at the inaugural Jeffreys Bay Open of Surfing presented by Billabong, with some powerful and fast surfing.
The surf pulsed throughout the morning, with slower heats followed by intense action, and the luck factor played a large part in the final day action. Greg had snapped his favourite board in the semi-final, and was surfing in the final on a back-up board that seemed to really light up in the fast and shallow surf, getting some good waves with open faces and racking up the points. “It was tough out there, the waves were pretty scarce and they were quite tricky to ride on the low tide,” said Greg after the final. “The guys in the final heat were really fighting hard, and it was so competitive out there.” Greg has been surfing events at Supertubes all his life, as an amateur and as a pro on the World Championship Tour, and knows the wave very well. “I paddled out for the final, and I was thinking that it’s about time I win an event here at Jeffreys,” said a visibly stoked Greg. “So I put my head down and did it.” Despite putting on an electric performance throughout the contest, Brandon Jackson from Durban was second, with powerhouse surfer Slade Prestwich from Durban in third and local Jeffreys Bay surfer Dylan Lightfoot in fourth.
In the ladies division it was a determined and fast-paced Nikita Robb from East London who took the win with some big hits on the smaller waves on her backhand. Nikita surged into the lead earlier on in the final and despite some inspired surfing from Sarah, managed to keep the lead until the final siren. In the end it was Sarah Baum from Durban in second place, with Tanika Hoffman from Kommetjie in third and Emma Smith from JBay in fourth.
The Nixon Winner Takes All prize of a R9,000 Nixon Magnacon watch went to Allan Johns for a long and deep tube ride in one of the earlier rounds of the event. The VonZipper Award for the Best Air was awarded to Matt McGillivray for a huge frontside rotation into the flats that had the crowds cheering for the local rider. The DaKine Most Progressive Move Award went to Max Armstrong for a big slob air that he successfully pulled of on the opening day of competition. The Sector 9 Award for the Best Carve At Supers went to Ricky Basnett for a massive carve that he executed down at Impossibles, also on the first day of competition. The Best Wave of the event in the Men’s division went to Dylan Lightfoot, and he received a FireWire Surfboard from Country Feeling Surf Shop. The Best Wave of the event in the Women’s division went to Sarah Baum, and she also received a FireWire Surfboard from Country Feeling Surf Shop. Contest organiser Koffie Jacobs from JBU Surf Club was very happy with the event and the turn-out, and showed his enthusiasm looking ahead to next year. “We are all very stoked with the way things have turned out,” said Koffie. “We are totally committed to next year and are planning on going bigger and better! It was great to see all the support, and thanks to everyone for coming to our event.” Final results: Men Greg Emslie (R30,000) Brandon Jackson (R10,000) Slade Prestwich (R5,000) Dylan Lightfoot (R2,500) Women Nikita Robb(R5000) Sarah Baum Tanika Hoffman Emma Smith