All 32 of the world’s top ranked surfers will be in Jeffreys Bay in July for the R 3 million Billabong Pro J’Bay 2011, Africa’s only stop on the ASP World Tour.
Scheduled for 14 – 24 July, the event will again be staged at Jeffreys Bay’s Supertubes, the 300 metre stretch of coastline that is universally acknowledged as one of the planet’s top 10 high performance surf breaks.
The star studded field includes 10 time and reigning ASP world champion Kelly Slater (USA); South African superstar and defending event champion Jordy Smith; former two time world and event champion Mick Fanning (Aus), and previous Billabong Pro J’Bay champions Joel Parkinson and Taj Burrow (both Aus).
Throw in the progressive manoeuvres of Dane Reynolds (USA), the precocious talents of Owen Wright (Aus), Michel Bourez (Tah) and 2010 Billabong Pro runner up Adam Melling (Aus), add established stars like current ASP World Tour number one ranked Adriano de Souza (Bra), the Hobgood twins – 2000 world champion CJ and 2009 J’Bay runner up Damien – along with fellow American Bobby Martinez and spectacular surfing performances are guaranteed to light up the waves at Supers.
The 36 man field also includes South Africa’s “uber wildcard” Sean Holmes, who defeated both Slater and the late Andy Irons (Haw) on his way to fifth place last year. Holmes’ uncanny affinity with the waves at Supertubes has wrecked the title hopes of many top contenders over the years.
The second wildcard goes to the winner of the VonZipper Superheat, a five man encounter held on the first day of the event. It will feature rising South African stars Shaun Joubert and Dale Staples, international contenders Granger Larson (Haw) and reigning ASP World Junior champion Jack Freestone (Aus), along with Shaun Payne, the winner of the Xcel Pro Showdown at Supertubes.
This year three days of major underground music talent will coincide with the world class surfing action at the Billabong Pro Music Festival, which runs from Friday 15 July – Sunday, 17 July at the Jolly Dolphin.
The line up of 14 top SA bands includes the likes of Aking, City Bowl Mizers, P.H.Fat, Jack Parow and the ever-popular local Hot Wasabi band.