The world’s best surfers are one week away from competing at Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay for the Corona Open JBay.
The event marks the halfway point on the CT and will resume this season’s thrilling title race, with the top five athletes on the Jeep Leaderboard separated by just 600 points.
Universally regarded as one of the best waves on the planet, Jeffreys Bay boasts a quality righthand pointbreak that delivers unparalleled high-speed consistency, making it the perfect platform to test the world’s best.
The event holds a competitive window of July 12 – 23, 2017 and is the only CT stop on the African continent.
Matt Wilkinson (AUS) heads into the event wearing the coveted Jeep Leader Jersey after an impressive win at the OK Fiji Pro.
Wilkinson’s best result in South Africa is a Semifinal finish in 2014 and this year the Australian will need to place higher in the event than the other surfers in the top 5 in order to retain his position at No. 1 on the Jeep Leaderboard.
Just 250 points behind the Australian is reigning WSL Champion John John Florence (HAW), who made it to the Final of the J-Bay Open in 2016.
With 13th place finishes at the previous two events this season, Florence is in need of a strong result in South Africa to get back on track to defend his World Title.
Florence is set to meet Ian Gouveia (BRA) and one of the wildcards in Round 1.
Jordy Smith (ZAF), Adriano de Souza (BRA) and Owen Wright (AUS) are all tied for third place with 26,150 points on the Jeep Leaderboard, sitting close behind Florence and Wilkinson.
Smith, a two-time event winner (2010 and 2011) and the lone South African on the CT, is a perennial threat at Jeffreys Bay.
The hometown hero is injury free this season and in excellent form to hunt down his third event win and maiden World Title.
In the opening round of competition Smith will take on Conner Coffin (USA) and an event wildcard.
Dale Staples (ZAF) from St Francis Bay will join the WSL Top 34 as a wildcard after winning the 2017 edition of the JBU Supertrials.
The remaining wildcard will be decided following the conclusion of the WSL Qualifying Series 10,000 event, the Ballito Pro.
The Corona Open JBay is the anchor event of the annual JBay Winterfest, a multi sport sport festival that takes place every year in the coastal town. For more information visit www.jbaywinterfest.com
Corona Open JBay Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 2: Owen Wright (AUS), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Josh Kerr (AUS)
Heat 3: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Frederico Morais (PRT), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 4: Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Ethan Ewing (AUS)
Heat 5: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Conner Coffin (USA), TBD
Heat 6: John John Florence (HAW), Ian Gouveia (BRA), TBD
Heat 7: Kolohe Andino (USA), Italo Ferreira (BRA), Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat 8: Julian Wilson (AUS), Kelly Slater (USA), Kanoa Igarashi (USA)
Heat 9: Connor O’Leary (AUS), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Jack Freestone (AUS)
Heat 10: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Stuart Kennedy (AUS)
Heat 11: Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Mick Fanning (AUS), Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 12: Michel Bourez (PYF), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Ezekiel Lau (HAW)