Exciting Start To The JBay Winterfest 

In Winterfest 2015 by Liam Bradley

 Jeffreys Bay – It was an action-packed day at the JBay Winterfest presented by Woodlands, as the first events got underway.

The Oakley X-Over, which started yesterday with their Mountain Bike and Golfing events, finished off today at The Lower Point with their surfing tournament. In the 3-foot onshore conditions, it was wildcard Wihann Kotze who emerged as the winner of the surfing event, with Greg Minnaar and Kevin Evans in the minor positions.

“It was hard work, I tried to catch as many as I can,” said Kotze afterward. “There weren’t too many good ones,” he said. ”I’m so stoked, what a brilliant bunch of guys – this was an amazing experience.”

Wihann Kotze © Kolesky/Nikon/Lexar

While the Oakley X-Over was taking place at Lower Point, the JBay Open surfing event, the anchor event of the JBay Winterfest, was being run at Supertubes in light onshore conditions, with some massive scores dropping throughout the morning.

Dane Reynolds was on form in heat 4, up against Adam Melling from Autralia and Filipe Toledo from Brazil. He was surfing fast and in the air, and looked like he was enjoying the light onshore conditions. “I actually think that the onshore getting a bit stronger actually improved it out there,” said Reynolds of the increasing wind strength during his heat. “Before the wind came there were so many ribs on the waves, and it was making it really difficult to surf, especially if you’re riding a board with little rocker. When the wind came through and picked up, it kind of pushed the lip down a bit and the ribs disappeared, which made it easier to surf.”

There was a sudden announcement just prior to heat 5 that Matt Banting had withdrawn from the heat as a result of injury, and South African Mikey February was awarded a slot into the event.

Up against three times world champion Mick Fanning from Australia, and Brazilian Tomas Hermes, Mikey started off well with a long, walled-up wave and performed multiple moves off the top for a decent score of 4.83 out of ten. He followed this up with an even better wave and successfully executed a big aerial rotation and was rewarded with a 6.5 score to take the lead of the heat.

Defending event champion Mick Fanning was not going to be beaten easily, and started fighting back with all of his years of Supertubes experience. He soon overtook Mikey with a 7.5 and an 8.17 and remained in the lead until the end, beating Mikey into second and Hermes into third. Mikey will have a second chance in the event in round 2.

“It was really weird for me as I only found out that I was surfing about twenty minutes before my heat,” said February. “I was in the lead in the beginning of the heat. It felt good, but I knew that Mick would get a couple of good scores. I got stuck on some of my waves, and I didn’t really get the ones that opened up, but had one or two fun ones and I’m looking forward to the next round. I’m just so stoked that I could be a part of this.”

The next South African in the event was wildcard Slade Prestwich from Durban, who was awarded his slot by winning the recent JBU Supertrial presented by RVCA. Slade was up against Jeep Tour Leader Adriano De Souza from Brazil and Kolohe Andino from USA. It was a close heat, and Kolohe took the lead in the last few minutes from Adriano, with Slade in third. Slade also gets a chance to surf again in round 2.

Kolohe Andino was on top form at Supers © Kody McGregor

All eyes were on Slater when he paddled out against Matt Wilkinson and Glen Hall, and he didn’t disappoint. Riding a smallish board, and seemingly full of confidence, Slater launched straight into a massive air rotation into the flats for a big score of 8.17. He followed this up with an even bigger score of 8.83 for a longer ride with a series of turns that impressed the judges.      

The final South African to hit the water was Jordy Smith, who was up against Bede Durbidge from Australia and Ricardo Christie from New Zealand. It was the heavy-footed Durbidge who shot into the lead and remained there until the end, with Christie in second and Smith in third.

Tonight will see the Oakley X-Over prize giving take place at The Jolly Dolphin at 7:30pm, followed by the Supertubes Surfing Foundation auction. The auction will be attended by the like of John Smit, Bobby Skinstad and Butch James, and there are some big items for auction, like a Trek Superfly FS6 Mountain Bike valued at over R30k, an authentic current rugby players’ jersey, framed, and signed by the current Springbok squad and other rugby and Oakley X-Over memorabilia.

Jack Parow will be performing tonight at the Jolly Dolphin at the Winter Musicfest. More information on the music festival can be found herehttp://www.jbaywinterfest.com/music-festival/

The JBay Winterfest is proudly presented by Woodlands Dairy.

Co-sponsors include Oakley, Kouga Municipality and RVCA

Supported by Spar Jeffreys Bay, Arbor, First Choice and the Mandyville Hotel.

The event hashtag is #jbaywinterfest

The JBay Winterfest social media channels:

Website: jbaywinterfest.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jbaywinterfest

Twitter: @jbaywinterfest

For JBay Winterfest information contact

Koffie Jacobs

e. koffie@silverbullet.co.za 

Event spokesperson:

Brenton Williams

e. brenton@jbaynews.com

t. 083 549 6795

Media enquiries:

Craig Jarvis

e.

info@craigjarvis.co.za

t. 082 376 4443