16 June, 2024 16 June, 2024

J-Bay Classic Presented by Corona Specialty: Luke Thompson (RSA) and Sarah Baum into the main event

Luke Thompson (RSA) and Sarah Baum (RSA) won the World Surf League (WSL) J-Bay Classic Trials Presented by Corona today in two-to-three foot surf. With this win, Thompson and Baum get to compete against the elite field of invitees in the J-Bay Classic Presented by Corona Specialty event, which runs from 17-23 June.

Pictured: Luke Thompson (RSA) won the WSL J-Bay Classic Men’s Trials presented by Corona Credit: © WSL / Tostee

Thompson Secures Main Event Slot, Overcomes Stacked Local Field

The waves were pumping for the Semifinals, and it was an exhilarating heat to watch Cape Town’s Luke Thompson (RSA) and local favourite Dale Staples(RSA) go excellent to secure their spot in the Finals, alongside top contenders Tide-Lee Ireland (RSA) and Adin Masencamp (RSA). Unfortunately that was the best part of the day, as Supertubes slowed down bringing long lulls and small waves. 

It was anyone’s game in these conditions, but Thompson scored the best wave for a 6.00 point ride (out of a possible 10) for a combination of big turns on the Supertubes canvas. With a small backup ride of 3.33, it was enough to take the win over Ireland, Staples and Masencamp. 

Pictured: Luke Thompson (RSA) slicing his way to the Finals at the J-Bay Classic Men’s Trials presented by Corona Credit: © WSL / Tostee
“I was actually so nervous in my first heat today, probably the most nervous I’ve been all year,” Thompson reflected. “In the Final, my game plan was to wait for the sets. I fell on my first wave and it actually worked out to my benefit, because then I got second priority and I could go for that wave where I got the six. After that I sat wide and just hoped a set wouldn’t arrive for the rest of the guys.”

“I just want to surf as many heats as I can out here. The forecast looks really good this week so I can’t wait to surf perfect J-Bay with just a few people out. I’m not event thinking about it as a competition, I just want to surf!”

Pictured: Sarah Baum (RSA) celebrating her win at the J-Bay Classic Women’s Trials presented by Corona Credit: © WSL / Tostee
Baum Stamps Her Ticket To Specialty Event, Shines At Supertubes

South Africa’s Olympic contender and top female surfer on the WSL Challenger Series, Sarah Baum (RSA), went excellent in her Semifinal clash to advance to the Finals. Baum picked off the best waves, showing her experience from competing at Supertubes as a wildcard in the Corona Open J-Bay last year. She unleashed her backhand, committing to huge turns in the cascading lip to get an excellent heat total of 16.17 (out of a possible 20).

In the Final, Baum stayed patient and waited for the set waves, surfing smart to bank two good waves. Not pushing too hard, but completing her rides, it was just enough to fend off a commendable performance from Sarah Scott(RSA) who finished in second place, with Natasha van Greunen (RSA) and Zoe Steyn (RSA) rounding out the results.

Pictured: Sarah Baum (RSA) with an excellent heat score on her way to the Finals at the J-Bay Classic Women’s Trials presented by Corona Credit: © WSL / McGregor
“There were definitely some nerves in the first heat, but it got better,” Baum said. “The Semifinals had great waves, and then the Final was a bit slow, but that’s how it goes. I’m just excited because there are waves coming. It’s so cool to surf J-Bay with just a few people out, which doesn’t happen often. The hype over here is always so crazy, so to be part of it all, I just want to have fun. It’s not often you get to surf events for fun,” Baum said.
Pictured: Shane Sykes (RSA) won the Dawn Patrol Wine Lines expression session on a Channel Islands twin fin shaped specifically for the J-Bay Classic presented by Corona. Credit: © WSL / McGregor
After the Finals, a handful of competitors grabbed a twin fin surfboard specifically shaped for the J-Bay Classic presented by Corona, and headed out for the Dawn Patrol Wine Lines expression session, the first of many expression sessions planned for the duration of the competition window period.

Jordy Smith (RSA), ⁠Dale Staples (RSA), Sage Erikson (USA), Coco Ho (HAW), Sarah Baum (RSA), Michael February (RSA), ⁠Luke Thompson (RSA), Tide-Lee Ireland (RSA), Faye Zoetmulder (RSA) and Shane Sykes (RSA) had the Supertubes lineup all to themselves to have some fun on the beautifully crafted twin fins from SMTH Shapes, Spider, Channel Islands, Timmy Patterson, ELS and Fishstix. 

1 Comment

  1. […] Trials winner Luke Thompson is proving to be a real threat in the Supertubes lineup when he earned an excellent 8.00 in the Thruster Round for his powerful surfing in the pocket. Thompson is currently third on the leaderboard behind Mickey February who showed his versatility and skill at Supertubes when he scored a solid 7.67 in the Thruster Round to add to his incredible 9-point ride from the Twin Fin Round; and Josh Kerr pulled a big full rotation for a 6.67 to move into second overall, […]

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