15 July, 2016 15 July, 2016

This Weekend. It’s On.

The 2016 J-Bay Open kicked off last Wednesday with an action-packed high of back-to-back heats, only to hit an ice-berg with the John VS Jordy first quarter-final heat. Since then, the contest has sailed into slump of lingering lay days.

This year’s Open has taken us on an emotional roller-coaster of the most heated high’s and laziest lows. Almost a week of waiting for some decent swell has gone by. This lull couldn’t help but be a time of reflection, taking all J-bay Open addicts through the typical five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance…


Jordy Smith after an anti-climatic quarter-final heat vs John John.

Denial: With back-to-back heats from dawn ’til (almost) dusk – last Saturday saw a full day of exceptional surfing. The first feeling of denial was one of: “How could it possibly get this good!?” Initially it was speculated that Saturday’s good swell, would mean that the comp would be over that day – which brought a second feeling of denial for the J-Bay community, spectators, cameramen and surf industry millers. “No. They can’t end. No ways. Not on my watch.”

Anger: Sunday saw the first and much anticipated quarter-final heat between Jordy and John John kick off in relatively flat swell. To the puzzled spectators it seemed obvious to call the contest off when unresponsive sets saw a restart of the heat after 15 minutes of no rides. But the show went on, resulting in a pretty dismal heat.

Bargaining: Despite wishful thinking and longing stares into the deep abyss, the ocean remained flat. “Maybe if I stare long enough, donate my boards to charity or give the sea gods free buckets of Corona the waves will switch on?” They didn’t.

Depression: Despite the endless entertainment J-Bay provides around this time, there are only so many Corona’s you can sink on your own. Eventually, the slump of lay-days came and never seemed to end…

Acceptance: Like you can’t really choose a receding hairline or a punch in the arse – we cannot choose the swell we get. This is the nature of surfing, of life, and as much as we might complain – truth be told, this is why we dig it.

With swell predicted tomorrow, this weekend is set to take us on another emotional wave with the remaining, thrilling Quarter Final match-ups. But before we kick into full gear, let’s take a look back at some of the high’s from the 2016 J-bay Open thus far. Best get some therapy and a good night’s rest folks. This weekend is going off. This weekend – it’s on.

Tomorrow will see some of the most exciting matchups as the world’s best surfers contest for a place in the Semifinals and the event title:

11-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater (USA) will take on Josh Kerr (AUS) for a place in the Semifinals against John John Florence (HAW). Julian Wilson (AUS) will take on 2014 WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) and the winner will move forward to the Semifinals and match-up against either three-time WSL Champion Mick Fanning (AUS) or Filipe Toledo (BRA).

Hold tight!

*Lead Image: Josh Kerr (AUS). All Images © Ian Thurtell

**Video By: Dane Staples

***More J-Bay Open Action HERE

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