Conditions Expected to Improve Over Coming Days 

Matt Wilkinson (AUS), No. 1 on the Jeep Leaderboard, in Jeffreys Bay in 2014 • Credit: WSL / Cestari

Competition has been called off for today at the Corona Open J-Bay, Stop No. 6 of 11 on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), due to adverse winds at Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay.

"The conditions are similar to yesterday but we have some strong NW 'devil winds' that are damaging the waves," said WSL Deputy Commissioner Renato Hickel. "In addition we have onshore winds projected for lunchtime today so we've decided to call the contest off for the day. We'll be back tomorrow morning to take another look at conditions and we are expecting the winds to be more favourable."

Although the competition has not run since the competitive window opened on Wednesday, hundreds of spectators from far and wide have lined the natural amphitheatre created by the dunes to watch the world’s best surfers practising at Supertubes each day.

The Corona Open J-Bay marks the halfway point on the 2017 CT and will resume this season’s thrilling title race, with the top five athletes on the Jeep Leaderboard separated by just 600 points.

Current No. 1 on the Jeep Leaderboard Matt Wilkinson (AUS) returns to South Africa this year wearing the Jeep Leader Jersey at this event for the second season running and will match up against Jeremy Flores (FRA) and Ethan Ewing (AUS) in Round 1.
 
Reigning WSL Champion John John Florence (HAW) sits just 250 points behind Wilkinson and the 2016 event runner-up will meet Ian Gouveia (BRA) and wildcard Dale Staples (ZAF) in Round 1.
 
Two-time event winner and the sole South African on the Championship Tour Jordy Smith (Durban) is currently tied in third place on the Jeep Leaderboard. Fresh from victory at the Ballito Pro Qualifying Series 10,000 event, Smith looks in fine form and will battle Conner Coffin (USA) and wildcard Michael February (ZAF) in Round 1.
 
South Africans Dale Staples (St Francis Bay) and Michael February (Kommetjie) will join the WSL Top 34 as the wildcards for the event. Staples won the JBU Supertrial in June while February was rewarded for the excellent form that has seen him jump up to No. 4 on the WSL Qualifying Series rankings this year.

Two-time event winner and 2012 WSL Champion Joel Parkinson (AUS) will be first to compete alongside Brazilians Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) and Miguel Pupo (BRA) in Round 1 Heat 1.

Last night’s report from Surfline, official forecaster for the Corona Open J-Bay, is calling for:
 
New SSW swell will build through Friday with light onshore wind expected for much of the day (cleanest early). Saturday will see similar size surf as conditions improve with offshore wind expected. Holding surf is expected on Sunday, with fading swell/surf on Monday. Confidence is increasing that we’ll see larger swell for Tue-Wed of next week, with another swell possible for the end of next week.

Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7.30 a.m. local time to assess conditions and make the next call.

The event will be broadcast LIVE via WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL app and on Facebook LIVE via the WSL's Facebook page. Also check the local listings for coverage on CBS Sports Network in the U.S., Fox Sports in Australia, ESPN in Brazil, Sky NZ in New Zealand, SFR Sports in France and Portugal and as part of the EDGEsport Network.

For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com.

Corona Open J-Bay 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), Michael February (ZAF)
Heat  6: John John Florence (HAW), Ian Gouveia (BRA), Dale Staples (ZAF)
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)

The Corona Open J-Bay is the showcase event at the J-Bay Winterfest, a multi-sport and music festival in Jeffreys Bay from July 12-23. More details at www.jbaywinterfest.com.

About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world's best surfing since 1976, running in excess of 180 global events across the Men's and Women's Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport's rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels, and in doing so crowns the undisputed world champions in Men’s, Women’s across all divisions within the tour.

Showcasing the world's best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Mick Fanning, Tyler Wright, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Grant Baker, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

Issued on behalf of:
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