The world’s best surfers have converged in Jeffreys Bay ahead of the start of the JBay Open of Surfing.
At the media launch for the event last night, defending title holder Mick Fanning said that he feels right at home in Jeffreys Bay and is hoping for another good result in the JBay Open.
“This wave is so incredible,” said Fanning. “The people and the surroundings here make it feel some homely and it’s always a highlight to come back to JBay. Last year here was really special for me and this year I’m going to go out there and do my best. Hopefully that gets me another good result.”
The lone South African on the CT, Jordy Smith (ZAF), is currently ranked 18th in the world and returns to competition in Jeffreys Bay after missing the Fiji Pro due to a knee injury. Round 1 will see Smith take on Bede Durbidge (AUS) and rookie Ricardo Christie (NZL).
“My knee is definitely feeling better,” said Smith. “Watching everyone in Fiji was really hard and made me jealous so I’m happy to be back. Two wins at Jeffreys Bay is something I never dreamed of when I was growing up but as you get older you set new goal for yourself. I need to get back on track, get my head down and get some good results. I hope the swell shows up and we have a great event.”
Slade Prestwich (ZAF) earned a coveted wildcard entry into the event with a win at the JBU Supertrials on June 14, 2015. The Durban-based Qualifying Series (QS) surfer will battle Adriano de Souza (BRA) and Kolohe Andino (USA) in Round 1.
“I’ve watched these guys for years so I’m so stoked to be in the event,” said Prestwich. “I’ve got nothing to lose out here – they’re going for a title and I’m just trying to qualify. I’d love to be on the CT and do what these guys do and I’m so excited for the event.”
JBay Open Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS), Michel Bourez (PYF), Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 2: Julian Wilson (AUS), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS), Kai Otton (AUS), C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Adam Melling (AUS), Dane Reynolds (USA)
Heat 5: Mick Fanning (AUS), Matt Banting (AUS), Tomas Hermes (BRA)
Heat 6: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Kolohe Andino (USA), Slade Prestwich (ZAF)
Heat 7: Josh Kerr (AUS), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 9: Nat Young (USA), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 10: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Jadson Andre (BRA), Fredrick Patacchia (USA)
Heat 11: Bede Durbidge (AUS), Jordy Smith (ZAF), Ricardo Christie (NZL)
Heat 12: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Joel Parkinson (AUS), Keanu Asing (HAW)