Now entering its fifth year, the JBay Winterfest has slowly grown into one of the biggest and most popular winter sports and cultural festivals in the country. Anchored by the massively popular Corona Open JBay World Surf League (WSL) event, this year will see the WSL bring the highly skilled and talented ladies into the event at Supertubes in JBay for the Corona Open JBay Ladies tournament.
Some events have come and gone over the last few years but the stalwarts remain. They are the Corona Open JBay, the JBay Windfarm MTB Classic, The Cold Water Classic Open Water Swim, The Endurade JBay X Trail Run, the Fishing Skins competition and the Funduro. While surfing always holds center stage at the JBay Winterfest, these events are what brings the diversity to the town of Jeffreys Bay, and these are the events that keeps the Winterfest interesting.
The JBay Winterfest has served to bring tourists to JBay over the last five seasons due to the interesting and exciting events on the calendar, and the fact that the event has grown evey year since inception is testimony to the vision of the organisers from the humble beginning five years ago.
The mountain bike race is the only such race in the southern hemisphere to traverse a fully operational wind farm, the trail running has three stages, with one of them being an incredible 20km leg that takes place at night, and a total of 60km is run over the three stages and two days, the open water swimmers are a brave crew of all ages who have encountered freezing winter temperatures during the years, and the fishing skins tournament has grown exponentially in stature and popularity since inception in this fishing-mad town.
The surfing events have also grown in size and popularity, and the Corona Open JBay now stands as the most popular stop on the professional tour for the best surfers in the world. Last year saw the surfers enjoy an incredible 9 days or perfect surf at Supers, as well as some of the most dynamic and futuristic surfing yet seen on tour from the likes of Filipe Toledo from Brazil and two times event champion Jordy Smith from Durban. It will be very exciting to see the best women surfers in the world battle it out at Supers, and the booming female surfing population in our country are sure to all come along and watch their heroes surf it out.
JBay has a lot to give, and we would like to see the JBay Winterfest continue to grow as it is right now, as more people come to our town to embrace what we have to offer. Lets hope for great waves and even greater weather, but we will be more than happy with just the waves.