The inaugural Bloodscan Surf Challenge and Industry Cup is fast approaching, and Jeffreys Bay is gearing up to host what promises to be a dynamic new event on the surfing calendar as well as a great gathering of the South African surf community.
With R 74000 in prize money and the promise of excellent waves at The Point in Jeffreys Bay, the entries have been flying in and the contest organisers are well on the way to a full house of entries.
This open event comes at a time when the South African surfers are hungry for events, and it incorporates 5 divisions, so everyone can enter. The divisions are Open Men’s(Industry Cup), U20 Boys, U20 Girls, U14 Boys and U14 Girls. Open Division first prize is R 15 000.
The Industry Cup, which hasn’t been surfed since 2003 (Billabong hold the trophy) is going to be an entertaining component of the event, with surf teams from all over the country entered into the event. Majority of the top surfers in the country are representing their sponsors, and there are going to no doubt be a few friendly old rivalries coming to the fore.
Quiksilver has fielded a strong team of Slade Prestwich and Beyrick De Vries, who placed first and second in the Quiksilver Pro Junior in Durban recently. They are joined by powerful goofy-footer and former WQS event-winner Dan Redman, as well as Dane Patterson, who will be representing from the Quiksilver offices, and who knows how to wet a rail as well.
Billabong is equally as strong, with Dale Staples, Sean Holmes, Shaun Payne and Raymond Robertson representing. All four of them are dangerous on right-hand point breaks and Dale, Sean and Shaun all have impressive Jeffreys Bay victories under their belts. On paper this looks like a winning team, and they could well be victorious and defend their title, but we all know that paper representation can be way different to what goes down on the beach at contest time.
Another danger team is the impressive Volcom crew. Alan Johns and Shane Thorne are fierce competitors who compete to win, while Luke Patterson and Simon Nicholson can both be unbeatable in good waves. They will want to do well, get the silverware from Jeffreys Bay and take it home with them to Durban.
Similarly dangerous is the Firewire team, comprising Ryan Payne, Warren Dean, Craig Els and Ari Kraak. This is another team with extensive Jeffreys Bay knowledge, and every one of these guys is a fierce competitor. Any one of them could make it to the final and win the whole event, and as a team they have depth and experience, which is so important in team events.
There has been a fairly good start to the season in Jeffreys Bay already, and contest organisers are confident that there will be good waves for the event. The contest venue is The Point in Jeffreys Bay, a perfect wave in its own right, but often overlooked due to its older brother, Supertubes, always showing off just up the road. The Point provides a perfect canvas for high performance surfing, as well as for solid carving.
The event is sponsored by BloodScan, and will be raising much needed funds for the Supertubes Surfing Foundation. The Foundation has been preserving the waves and beaches of Jeffreys Bay since 1999. The Supertubes Surfing Foundation is a joint venture between the local surf clubs and the surf industry in Jeffreys Bay.