Eish, the weather really threw a curveball at these ou's. Howling wind, and some serious rain showers created challenging conditions for Sunday's Ironman. But when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
It pissed with rain in the morning - which meant I decided the most appropriate attire to go watch the start in was my wetsuit! There was some heavy chop and a moer of a current running. I saw some ou's bail even before the swim, just collected their bags and went home. Then one ou swam out for about 50m, decided he was over it, turned round and swam right back! The jetski's and rubberducks were working constantly pulling exhausted swimmers out and back to shore.
Got goosebumps a few times when I saw peeps that really epitomised the Ironman motto of "Anthing is Possible". I saw a guy struggling to get out the shallows, he kept on falling over - well, turned out he only had one leg. They were allowed to give him his crutches when he dragged himself onto the beach, then he had to get himself up off the sand and hop up the beach to the transition. Next a guy came in attached with a rope to another guy. He was blind and he had swam an entire 4km being roped to a guide. Pretty damn scary to be out in the middle of a mean and nasty ocean and not be able to see a flipping thing.
The bike was a challenge in the wind. Some poor bugger got blown off his bike as he came past us where 3rd avenue intersects with Marine Drive - he hadn't expected the gust of wind that pumped down the street as he passed the road - and next thing he was blown off his bike and over the hedge onto the grass. Just another fun day in the saddle.
The run suffered from more gale force winds, and some driving rain showers just to really round off an already kak weather day. But hey, the ou's still plodded along. Big up's to everyone who competed and managed to finish. Local surfers Wes Weihahn, James Medcalf and Garth Wright were amongst the finishers - respect. Although it does mean they miss out on the surf today cos they probably can't walk!
Til this time next year......get training peeps. If Ollie le Roux can finish, so can you!
PS The Ironman 4 the Kidz charity raised R1.5 million for under-privileged kids, great stuff guys.
In a stroke of insanely bad luck, the Ironman on Sunday is going to get squarely hit in the teeth with gale-force winds and a moer of a storm. Ironic when the days leading up to Sunday, and almost immediately after Sunday, are all picture perfect weather! Kak luck.
But what's kak luck for some is great news for others....particularly those of us who have been waiting for the first of the real winter swells to pull in. Well, wait no longer. Sunday & Monday are going to be be absolutely massive in JBay. Sunday clocks in with 14-16ft ocean swells, which probably translates to about 10ft wave faces; and then climbing to a crazy 22 - 27ft on Monday - which should see about 12-15ft faces at least. Any takers???? Reckon you could get properly smeared onto the reef trying to make it out the keyhole.....and by the time you look over your shoulder you've been washed down to Point without even catching a wave!
The swell has plenty of south in it unfortunately for those looking to surf the bay in PE. That means Sunday is gonna be pretty average at about 3ft at best - and coupled with stonking gale force winds doesn't look too promising. You know when the wind speeds get coloured purple that it probably isn't going to be a kiff day out on the water!!
However things get better on Monday, which should see us get some decent 5-6ft lines in the bay. The swell still has too much south in it to really clock around into the bay properly - but with 20ft open ocean swell - we'll at least get some decent sized titbits!
The southerly swells are always the phantom one's for the bay. Everyone checks out their windguru's or Magic Seaweeds and gets all excited when they see the swell size. But peeps, the direction is lank important too. Our bay needs a traditional SW swell with a period of 13sec + for it to bend properly around Cape Recife and into the bay. Anything that is SSW or S hits the coast to straight on, and doesn't bend around the point and into our line-ups. So Bluewater Bay is ginormous in a S or SSW, and the Fence to Pipe stretch is average.
Luckily this SSW one is big enough to still get us something, so let's wait and see. Take a sickie or bunk school on Monday - gonna be worth it I think! Not gangbusta by any means, but just good solid head high to overhead swell.
JBay on the other hand is going to be huge on Sunday, and frigging lunatic outta-control on Monday.......but surf that at your peril...make sure your medical aid payments are up to date before you paddle out.....
Eish, the sand has gone seriously AWOL at Millers lately. Which is a REALLY bad sign as winter hasn't even started yet! Usually the summer onshores build up the sand, and then the winter storms sweep it away. The hiccup is, now we have bogger all sand left for winter to take.
I haven't seen the beach at Millers this rocky, and the dunes this damaged in the 12 years I've lived over the road. There's rocks popping outta the sand I've never laid my eye's on.
The dunes at the back of the beach have taken a pounding too, and are busy getting smaller with each passing winter. They used to extend far deeper onto the beach, whereas now they're getting smaller and are only starting further back towards the grassy area behind Millers. Not a good sign at all - cos once these guys are gone, that's it ...no more dunes. There's no feeder sand to build em back up.
Yet another beach screwed up by the march of development. We're gonna seriously regret stuffing up the dune system in Summerstrand, cos one day soon we're just going to have big concrete walls all along our beaches.....
Might be an interesting winter.....
Jeffrey's Bay Surf Challenge and Industry Cup presented by Bloodscan To Be Held At The Point, Jeffrey's Bay
Jeffrey's Bay - The inaugural Bloodscan Surf Challenge and Industry Cup is fast approaching, and Jeffrey's Bay is gearing up to host what promises to be a dynamic new event on the surfing calendar as well as a great gathering of the South African surf community. With R74,000 in prize money and the promise of excellent waves at The Point in Jeffrey's Bay, the entries have been flying in and the contest organisers are well on the way to a full house of entries.
This open event comes at a time when the South African surfers are hungry for events, and it incorporates 5 divisions, so everyone can enter. The divisions are Open Men's(Industry Cup), U20 Boys, U20 Girls, U14 Boys and U14 Girls. Open Division first prize is R15,000.
The Industry Cup, which hasn't been surfed since 2003 (Billabong hold the trophy) is going to be an entertaining component of the event, with surf teams from all over the country entered into the event. Majority of the top surfers in the country are representing their sponsors, and there are going to no doubt be a few friendly old rivalries coming to the fore. Quiksilver has fielded a strong team of Slade Prestwich and Beyrick De Vries, who placed first and second in the Quiksilver Pro Junior in Durban recently. They are joined by powerful goofy-footer and former WQS event-winner Dan Redman, as well as Dane Patterson, who will be representing from the Quiksilver offices, and who knows how to wet a rail as well.
Billabong is equally as strong, with Dale Staples, Sean Holmes, Shaun Payne and Raymond Robertson representing. All four of them are dangerous on right-hand point breaks and Dale, Sean and Shaun all have impressive Jeffrey's Bay victories under their belts. On paper this looks like a winning team, and they could well be victorious and defend their title, but we all know that paper representation can be way different to what goes down on the beach at contest time.
Another danger team is the impressive Volcom crew. Alan Johns and Shane Thorne are fierce competitors who compete to win, while Luke Patterson and Simon Nicholson can both be unbeatable in good waves. They will want to do well, get the silverware from Jeffrey's Bay and take it home with them to Durban.
Similarly dangerous is the Firewire team, comprising Ryan Payne, Warren Dean, Craig Els and Ari Kraak. This is another team with extensive Jeffrey's Bay knowledge, and every one of these guys is a fierce competitor. Any one of them could make it to the final and win the whole event, and as a team they have depth and experience, which is so important in team events.
There has been a fairly good start to the season in Jeffrey's Bay already, and contest organisers are confident that there will be good waves for the event. The contest venue is The Point in Jeffrey's Bay, a perfect wave in its own right, but often overlooked due to its older brother, Supertubes, always showing off just up the road. The Point provides a perfect canvas for high performance surfing, as well as for solid carving.
The event is sponsored by BloodScan, and will be raising much-needed funds for the Supertubes Surfing Foundation. The Foundation has been preserving the waves and beaches of Jeffrey’s Bay since 1999. The Supertubes Surfing Foundation is a joint venture between the local surf clubs and the surf industry in Jeffrey’s Bay.
Event co-sponsors are African Bank, Black Label, Sector9, Element and EP Skydivers.
Red Bull will be supplying the energy for all contestants.
For contest entries please contact Laureen Payne on firstname.lastname@example.org or 072 898 1001
For more information contact Koffie Jacobs on email@example.com or on 084 515 7026
For media enquiries please contact Craig Jarvis on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0823 76 4443
Also check out www.bloodscan.co.za for more information on BloodScan
The Jeffrey's Bay Surf Challenge is sanctioned by Surfing South Africa (SSA) and Eastern Province Surfing Association (EPSA).
Darn, these SSW swells keep toying with us. The charts look great if you just check the swell size n period - but then one always forgets that lil matter of swell direction. And therein lies the rub. The bay just really doesn't light up properly on a SSW. Just seems to not really get a proper wrap around Cape Recife as it's hitting it a little be too straight on. The top part ofthe bay down to say Pipe still tends to pick up a bit of it, but Avo's and deeper into the bay get skunked. The lil kink in the coast at Avo's putting paid to any hope of the swell sneaking further down to Millers, Pier or Hummies.
We really need a solid SW with a good period to wrap in, or else an east swell. S and SSW's always get us frothing, but then stand us up every time a coconut.
JBay and Seals don't suffer from the same dismal situation, and by all accounts the bay with the J was pretty damn solid on Friday and Saturday morning. Guess that's where all the PE locals must have bailed to, cos on Friday most spots were really uncrowded until about 3pm.
April Fools on Sunday - so took the opportunity of creating a Wildside "secret spot", which is actually some random stretch of coast out there that got cooking Bell's Beach flipped over n superimposed on it. Reading the Sunday Times one wasn't sure what was April Fools and what wasn't - such is the joys of our country that most weekends the stuff you read in it could be an April Fool cos it's so unbelievable!
Sunday also saw Dave Mandel do some impressive fly-by's in his fighter jet. Coming in low over the Millers line-up and then banking up over the pier and out towards Swartkops. No mundane Sundays drives for this ou!