The format for the new VonZipper Superheat has been announced. The Superheat will be run on the first day of the Billabong Pro as the opening heat.
This year the waiting period for the Billabong Pro Jeffrey’s Bay is the 15 – 25 July, an eleven-day period that is historically a great time for swell and good conditions at Supertubes.
The VonZipper Superheat will be a four-man heat, consisting of VonZipper rider Dale Staples and Xcel Pro winner Ryan Payne being joined by two international riders who will be anounced shortly.
Sean Holmes and Shaun Joubert are already into the main event as wildcards, and the third wildcard will thus be the winner of the Superheat. With these two wildcards, along with Jordy Smith and Travis Logie competing, South Africa already has 4 surfers in the event. The Superheat could see a fifth local surfer getting into the main event.
“It’s an exciting new format,” said VonZipper South Africa brand manager Chad D’Arcy. “The Superheat is guaranteed to be run off in good or great surf, and it becomes part of the main event, as opposed to the three heat stand-alone event in the past.”
St Francis surfer and Supers stand-out Dale Staples is keen to show the local supporters some top surfing at Supertubes. “Obviously I’m really happy to be invited to surf in the VonZipper Superheat,” said Staples. “The great thing about this year’s format is that the heat is tagged onto the main event and we’re almost guaranteed perfect surf for the heat.”
The wildcard slots can lead onto great things. In 1999 Australian Joel Parkinson won his first World Tour event, the Billabong Pro Jeffrey’s Bay as an 18-year-old wildcard and it launched his very successful pro career. Sean Holmes has twice deposed of a world champion in the event whilst competing as a wildcard at the JBay Billabong Pro.