Two surf events running simultaneously at the JBay Winterfest saw a whole lot of perfect waves being ridden by some of the best professional, as well as some of the best junior surfers in the world.
The JBay Open
At first light it was doubtful as to whether the JBay Open would actually run. Tiny waves could be seen trickling along the reef, but as the sun appeared and the surfers started streaming through the keyhole and picking up a few sets, it soon became clear that the waves were actually pretty good.
As the day progressed the conditions improved even more, and as a result the contest organisers decided to run off the whole of the second round as well as the first four heats of the third round.
The first heat of the day saw Jeep Leaderboard tour leader Adriano de Souza up against South African wildcard Slade Prestwich. In fast-improving conditions, the Durban-based surfer who won the JBU Supertrial started off really well, but the Brazilian natural-footer found some rhythm and overtook Slade to take the win and advance into round 3.
“I felt like I was on my game, and my board felt really good, but I just needed another wave,” said Slade. “It obviously would have been really good to advance and get further in the event, but I’m still pretty stoked, and I’m going to just go surfing the next few days, get a few more point break waves.”
Jordy Smith was another surfer who unfortunately bowed out of the event by getting defeated by Australian Adam Melling. Jordy, who has been suffering from a back injury all week, struggled to find the good waves and was eliminated from the event.
Two times event winner and last year’s runner up Joel Parkinson had an excellent heat, posting a 9.07 and a 9.77 for two excellent rides and a heat total of 18.84. He was kept on his toes by the Kiwi rookie Ricardo Christie who put on an excellent battle, posting an 8.43 as well as a 9.70 for a total of 18.13. “Those are the sorts of heats that you want at JBay,” said a very stoked Joel afterwards.
In the second-last heat of the day, Julian Wilson was surfing dynamically, and was one of the stand-outs of the day by far, as he comboed Fred Patacchia in the still excellent conditions. He posted a 9.17 and an 8.77 for an easy win, so easy that even his two throwaway scores would still have beaten the Hawaiian goofyfooter.
In the final heat of the day it was Nat Young who comboed Adam Melling for an emphatic win into round 4.
Billabong Junior Series Presented By BOS Event 1.
Excellent waves poured through at Magnatubes for the best junior surfers in the country as well as the international who had entered the event.
U16 surfers who excelled today were Tyler Gunter, Ethan Fletcher, Sebastian Williams and Adin Masencamp, all making it to the quarterfinals.
Surprise eliminations in the U20 Pro Division were both Shane Sykes, and Slade Prestwich, who were eliminated by Griffin Colepinto an Eithan Osborne, both from the USA.
One of the moves of the day was a desperate last-second air by local surfer Matt McGillivray, who pulled off a giant full rotation air reverse to advance with a second place behind Eathan Ewing from Australia.
The JBay Music Festival continues tonight with performances by Grassy Spark, 7th Son and Kings Down South. For more details go to www.jbaywinterfest.com/music-festival/