Gabriel Medina © WSL/Cestari

JBay – with the JBay Winterfest and the JBay Open just over a month away, there is much work being done to get the town and the amenities ready and prepared for the thousands of annual visitors and spectators. Every year the town of JBay fills up to capacity with guests and competitors, bringing a welcome boost to the economy and a welcome flurry of activity to the accommodation and hospitality establishments in the area.

Once again this year the Winterfest will feature a number of music sessions after the surfing has taken place. This year the Vibe In The Park music sessions will take place in the Supertubes Park, and there has been much interest in this part of the festival. Some big names have been dropped to headline at the Vibe In The Park, but at the time of this release their slots have not been confirmed, so stay tuned. There will also be a number of local bands jamming at the sunset sessions.

©WSL/Poullenot 

JBay – the Corona JBay Open, South Africa’s only World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) event is fast approaching, and the best competitive surfers in the world are starting to make their respective moves for the 2019 world title race. The Corona JBay Open is a pivotal event, coming in mid-way through the year-long tour, and a win in JBay could very easily set a competitor up for a world title going into the back half of the year.

Currently rated sixth on the Jeep Leaderboard – the rankings board for the Men’s Championship Tour – Durban-born Jordy Smith is looking like a very strong contender for a big result in JBay. Jordy has been in serious focus for 18 months now, working on fitness, diet and technique, in a serious bid for a world title, and his form is evident that he has what it takes to secure a win in JBay.

uMhlanga local and former Ballito Pro quarterfinalist Beyrick de Vries signing autographs for his fans 

The Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill will be an African surf adventure for surfers and spectators alike. The 51st edition of the world’s longest running professional surfing event will take place from 27 June to 7 July in Ballito, KwaDukuza on the east coast of South Africa.

“KwaDukuza Municipality is excited to welcome visitors to our region to enjoy the internationally renowned Ballito Pro,” said the Event Coordinator, Collette Bundy. “This year we welcome Sal Masekela, the son of legendary South African jazz musician Hugh Masekela, as the event’s official ambassador for a true African Surf Adventure.”

The Zigzag Durban Surf Pro, set to take place from 10-12 May, has been CANCELLED due to a sewage leak at the Durban Harbour.

The extent of the contamination poses a serious health risk and threat to the marine life alongside the marina and along the beachfront. The World Surf League (WSL), the global sanctioning body for professional surfing, and the organisers of the City Surf Series (CSS) took the decision to cancel the event for the safety of the surfers and event staff.

“It was not an easy call to make and we looked at many alternatives,” said Colin Fitch, WSL Africa Operations Manager. “We need to maintain the safety standards associated with an international sports event and we have the support of Surfing South Africa, the national surfing federation, on this call,”

“Our domestic tour is so important to us, our sponsors and especially our members but we will not take any chance with the future of our sport and organisation by not doing the right thing,” said Fitch.

Jordy Smith Durban

Jordy Smith (Durban), the current World No. 3, will be promoting his new SMTH Shapes surfboard brand at the
2019 Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill at Willard Beach in KwaDukuza in June. (
Photo: (c) O’Neill / Wez Lewis)

Events:
Men - Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill (QS10,000)
Women - Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill (QS1,000)
Juniors – O’Neill SMTH Shapes Junior Pro (JQS1,000)
Venue: Willard Beach, Ballito, KwaDukuza, South Africa
Dates: June 27 - 7 July, 2019