J-Bay Open

2014 J-Bay Open Event Guide

Official Event Site
July 10 - 21, 2014
Kouga: Eastern Cape, South Africa
PRIZE MONEY: $500,000
COORDINATES: 34°3′0″S 24°55′0″E
BAGGAGE CLAIM: Port Elizabeth Airport, Port Elizabeth, South Africa (PLZ)

TRANSPORTATION: Jefferys Bay is located just off the N2 Highway, making it an easy drive from the airport and other Cape attractions like Cape St. Francis (made famous by the 1966 documentary The Endless Summer) and Bluewater Bay, known for the prevalence of Southern Right and Humpback Whales. Public roads are well developed and directions are easy to spot so, if you have an international driver's license, a car hire is the best way to experience the whole of the Eastern Cape.

ATTITUDE: Soon after Mike Hynson and Robert August "discovered" St. Francis and Jeffreys, a passionate surf community grew up around the once-sleepy fishing town. While resulting tourism has led to vast urban development, it maintains the laid back, hippie vibe from the early days.

THE WAVE: Unknown to most who saw the film, Hynson and August caught a lot more rides at Jeffreys than they did at the "perfect" break of St. Francis Bay. Jeffreys is known for a quality right-hand pointbreak, one of the best in the world, that pumps with unparalleled consistency.

PERKS: Smooth barrels that can break as long as 300 metres before the wave closes out. J-Bay has fast, powerful and hollow rides on offer in droves.

PERILS: There have been numerous shark sightings off the coast of Jeffreys. Taj Burrow (AUS) bailed from the surf in 2003 after he saw one in his periphery and Mick Lowe (AUS) reported seeing one during the 2007 competition. Be on alert.

APRES SURF: Away from Supertubes and the aforementioned marine life attractions, Jeffreys is home to a unique on-land surfing pilgrimage. The Surf Museum, located in the Sunshine Cost region, boasts everything from old newspaper clippings tracing the history of the sport to surfboards lined up to show the progression of shaping techniques.

ASP WORLD TOUR HISTORY: The last time ASP found itself in J-Bay was in 2012 when it was run as a 6-Star Qualification Series event, a demotion from the elite Tour status it had previously held. As a WCT event, Jordy Smith (ZAF) has claimed home-field advantage, winning the event back-to-back in 2010 and 2011. There are currently two South Africans on the elite Tour with Smith currently in 11th place overall (Travis Logie is in 24th).

NOTABLE: J-Bay has been a somewhat "emotional" stop in years past. Smith's first win in 2010 bolstered his confidence (after the tears had dried) and helped him on his way to a second-place overall finish behind Kelly Slater (USA). It also saw the toppling of the Champ and Andy Irons by wildcard Sean "The Nemesis" Holmes (ZAF) that year. And in 1999, Joel Parkinson (AUS) won over the underdog fans when he took first place as a wildcard.

2011: Jordy Smith (ZAF)
2010: Jordy Smith (ZAF)
2009: Joel Parkinson (AUS)
2008: Kelly Slater (USA)
2007: Taj Burrow (AUS)
2006: Mick Fanning (AUS)
2005: Kelly Slater (USA)
2004: Andy Irons (HAW)
2003: Kelly Slater (USA)
2002: Mick Fanning (AUS)
2001: Jake Paterson (AUS)
2000: Jake Paterson (AUS)
1999: Joel Parkinson (AUS)
1998: Michael Barry (AUS)