The Wildcard at the Corona Open JBay used to be quite a fun old affair, with a well-planned event run by the JBU to determine a winner, and that winner getting the wild card into the event.
It was first the Xcel Shootout, and then it became the JBU Supertrial. Those events are gone now, with no sponsorship interest.
The wildcard is now decided on rankings, as it is the most fair way of doing these things, and the highest ranked South African surfer on the WQS ratings gets the wildcard.
Last year it went to JBay surfer Matt McGillivray, where he came third to Joel Parkinson in his last JBay event, and Julian Wilson. In the second round he came up against Julian again and was eliminated.
This year we have a three-way race going down between Adin Masencamp, at 29 on the QS rankings, McGillivray at 36, and Dylan Lightfoot sitting at 40. There is also the outside chance of Beyrick de Vries, sitting at 61.
The thing is, it is a 10,000 event so there are a lot of points on offer. A fifth place throws out 5,200 points, a third gives you 6,500, a runner up slot awards you with 8,000 and a win is 10,000.
Right now Adin is on 5,445 points, while Beyrick is on 3,680.
A big result in Ballito will change the game. It was primarily the reason why Mikey February qualified at the end of 2017, he placed third and banked 6,500 points in Ballito to go with his wins at the 1,000 Nelson Mandela Bay Pro, the 1,000 Corona Durban Surf Pro, the 1,000 Vans Surf Pro Classic and a runner up position at the Buffalo City Surf Pro (750 points).
Right now, Adin Masencamp is the man with the eye of the tiger.
His win in PE at the Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing was ruthless. He was taking no prisoners from the start, and was going to do whatever it took, along with fine surfing, to win that event.
He wants the wildcard more than anyone right now, and if he carries on with the momentum he has right now he’ll be paddling out at Supers in the seeding round next week.
The Corona Open JBay takes place from 9 – 22 July at Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay. There is also free live music on offer in the Supertubes Park to keep everyone entertained.
The Corona Open JBay forms part of the JBay Winterfest which is being held from 6 – 22 July 2019. More information can be found at www.jbaywinterfest.com