Day one of the Women’s event was a challenging one. The waves had jumped in size a touch from yesterday, but the remnants of the onshore wind which began to wreak havoc towards the final of the men’s, made it’s presence felt the first day of the women’s. Although JBay did give us a window period of okay surf, the window soon closed, and Jbay opened her gate’s to the onshore flow.
JBay is a difficult nut to crack in general, it’s more difficult in the ‘devil wind’, and becomes extremely difficult in the onshore. But the girls took to the challenging conditions like a hustler to the streets. Dropping high scores throughout the day like Snoop Dogg when he finds them pimps in the crib.
It’s the first time in a couple of years we’ve seen the women compete at Jeffreys Bay, here are three women who were highly impressive.
Coco Ho had the tall order of taking on Sally Fitz in round 2 of competition once the onshore wind had savaged the lineup. Supers went from being a smooth highway to a gravel road in the Transkei. Sally started off by dropping a 6.00 and a 6.83 to Coco’s inconsequential’s. But Supers in the onshore breeze reminded her of an onshore Haleiwa, and Ho got to pimping that lip.
Supers is a wave that requires one to keep their speed up at all times. You need to start off with speed, and you need hold that speed close to your heart. Never let it go. And Coco Ho did that fantastically. She surfed off the front foot, driving down the line and found little clean bowly pockets to furnish the wave with turns. She responded to Sally’s pair of 6’s with a straight 9, and then backed her 9 with a 6.50 to send Sally down under.
What a pleasure it was seeing our wonderful Bianca Buitendag on the world stage. We’ve certainly missed her elongated backhand cracks on the WSL feed, and it’s only fitting that she received a wildcard at this event. And she made it count.
Bianca’s a point break girl through and through. She probably feels more comfortable surfing a right-hand point break than lying down in her own bed with a couple of her favourite teddy bears beside her. Growing up surfing Vic Bay, Bianca knows a thing or two about the backhand crack. She knows how to go straight up and down multiple times, and she showed this morning, that she hasn’t lost a beat. Bianca also displayed superior wave selection, picking waves which ran at less of a pace down the point, allowing her to really draw out her bottom turns and punctuate the off-the-tops. She also landed one of our favourite closeout bashes of the day; a fin popping backhand blast that everyone on the beach thought she had blown. But she hung on, and rode out over Impossibles.
During the Corona High Line event, we were surfing Boneyards. Tati was out there surfing with her lover Jesse Mendes. Suddenly, we heard Giggs order the skies to retrieve all surfers, screaming over the mic, “Jet Skies pick up your surfers immediately!!” Tatiana made her way in swiftly over the rocks. An incident like that could freak out a lot of people, but obviously, considering the way Tatiana surfed today, she was unperturbed.
Tatiana surfed in the most competitive heat of the morning. Her two competitors, Courtney and Keely, would’ve won most of the other heats surfed that morning had it not been for Tati. Tati, in the lumpy bumpy conditions, chose waves which offered her a smooth open face, often being the second or third wave in the set. She then proceeded to belt the lip hard. Showing commitment to the cause. The key to belting the lip on the backhand at Supers is; the bigger the wave, the harder you need to hit that thing. And Tati obliged. She hit that lip like it was an unwanted visitor on her plot of land, and the judges, they loved it, rewarding her with an array of high scores.