24 June, 2018 24 June, 2018

The Corona Open JBay 2018

Can you even!? It’s that time of the year already, the Ballito Pro is underway and in just a couple more sleeps the Corona Open J-Bay is set to kick off, one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the world surfing calendar. This year seems to be one for the books, and we haven’t even started. For the first time the women’s event will take place, Kelly Slater’s back from his foot injury which has been a talking point in many car parks around the world, post-surf. And let’s not even get started on World Title races. What a time to be alive, if you are yet to make arrangements to hit Mzansi’s surfing pride and joy, I employ you to do so, like now. Go, now. Please. 

Jeffreys Bay, or JBay as it’s echoed on the streets, is known far and wide as one of, if not, the best wave on the planet. If you part of the 0.0001% of people who are inclined to think otherwise, then you can at least 100% use it as a measuring tool when comparing other breaks around the world. Realistically who could argue when steam cats coming barreling in from the depths lurching 6+ foot peelers on what seems like a wave embarking on a voyage with no set destination. I’m crying typing this right now, due to excessive levels of anticipation. All I really needed to say here was Supertubes. It’s just beautiful, like that first after graft draft on a Friday. So refreshing.   

Photographer: Robbie Irlam /Surfer: Mikey Feb /Location: J-Bay

Photographer: Robbie Irlam /Surfer: Mikey Feb /Location: J-Bay

What’s new this year. Well, finally, the women will be able to stake their claim and do battle, locking horns with the beast. Whats gonna distinguish you from the pack down in the Eastern Cape? Your style, flair, natural groove and of course your ability to get pitted. DEEP. Any names spring to mind, well no doubt two of those names will be Lakey Peterson, Steph Gilmore, and Tyler Wright who will no doubt benefit from advice coming the way of her brothers and chomma Fanno. 

Whichever way you skin this one, it’s gonna be one helluva ride. The women, sorry the best women in the world of surfing finally coming face to face with one of the best examples of nature at it’s best. I can’t wait to see how this one shapes up. 



JBay local Kirsty McGillivray looking fierce. Photographer: Alan Van Gysen

Quick history lesson then. In JBay, winning seems to be something that repeats it’s self. We’ve seen it multiple times with Kelly Slater, Jake Paterson, Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson and Jordy Smith all taking home the bacon at least twice. Obviously, the entire country will be rooting for our two surfing sons, Jordy and MFEB. Considering Jordy’s recent return to form you would be foolish to put money against him, that is if you are a gambling man. MFEB, on the other hand, sees the opportunity to take full advantage of the wave, letting his soulful style do the work.  Kelly returning to the wave that kaked out his foot last year which has seen him play a vanishing act along a few stops of the CT this year. Will Kelly be able to do the impossible and lock down a 5th victory at the event? Or will last years winner Toledo bar anyone any chance at the title, I guess only time will tell. And that time is fast approaching, yeeeew!! 

A claim that will go down in the history books. Image: WSL/Tostee

The wave in JBay has witnessed some crazy action. From a great white calling a final early to absolute mayhem brought on by wildcard entries. One of those wildcards was Parko, you took down name after name and he was only 18. Sean Holmes, another household South African surfing name responsible for getting the better of the late Andy Irons on several occasions. Don’t forget Kelly, Sean managed to take out that guy too. This year Mikey Wright holds one of those wildcards whilst the 2nd spot is yet to be determined, only being decided after the Ballito Pro where the highest ranked South African on the QS will put his hand up and take home that card with the chance to go bossies!! 

Surfer: Jordy Smith Photographer: Alan Van Gysen

The JBay Winterfest 2018, taking place from the 2 – 17 July 2018 and will be an exciting and action-packed two weeks for the town of Jeffreys Bay. Even if surfing isn’t your thing you are sure to have a good time. An amazing line-up of events and happenings are set for this year, including the previously mentioned Championship Tour men and women’s surfing, a mountain bike race, a day-night stage trail running event, the fishing skins contest an open water swim and more.

Photographer: Robbie Irlam / Surfer: Charlie Reitz / Location: Jbay


Past CT Winners 

1996: Kelly Slater (USA)
1998: Munga Barry (AUS)
1999: Joel Parkinson (AUS)
2000: Jake Paterson (AUS)
2001: Jake Paterson (AUS)
2002: Mick Fanning (AUS)
2003: Kelly Slater (USA)
2004: Andy Irons (HAW)
2005: Kelly Slater (USA)
2006: Mick Fanning (AUS)
2007: Taj Burrow (AUS)
2008: Kelly Slater (USA)
2009: Joel Parkinson (AUS)
2010: Jordy Smith (ZAF)
2011: Jordy Smith (ZAF)
2014: Mick Fanning (AUS)
2015: Interrupted
2016: Mick Fanning (AUS)
2017: Filipe Toledo (BRA)

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *