After much deliberation, the final 16 surfers in the JBU Supertrial presented by RVCA have been selected. They are once again a mix of young talent alongside hard-earned experience, of new school aerial antics against smooth carves and power arcs. One of the selected 24 surfers will win a slot into the World Surf League Championship Tour's 6th event of the year, the JBay Open. Along with getting to surf against the best surfers in the world, this surfer will also win a minimum of US$9,000 (R109,000). The JBay Open is the anchor event of the JBay Winterfest - www.jbaywinterfest.com
The 16 surfers to join the 8 seeded surfers already selected are in no particular order:
Dan Thornton, Remi Peterson , Frankie Oberholzer, David van Zyl, Shaun Payne, Shane Sykes, Simon Nicholson, Matt Bromley, Casey Grant, Ricky Basnett, Chad du Toit, Dan Redman, Brandon Jackson, Benji Brand, Joshe Faulkner and Ryan Payne.
They join the 8 seeded surfers - Dylan Lightfoot, Matthew Mcgillivray, Dale Staples, Shaun Holmes, Beyrick De Vries, Greg Emslie, Michael February and Slade Prestwich.
Voting and social media definitely played a part in popular Durban surfer Simon Nicholson being selected into the tournament. He was ecstatic to be included in the selection.
"I honestly never thought I would get a shot at a Championship Tour event ever again, so to be honest, a spot in the trials is a huge opportunity for me," said Simon. "The JBU Supertrial is as prestigious as the Pipe Trials or Chopes, where you go up against guys like Sean Holmes and Greg Emslie, who have consistently finished in the finals of the WCT event there. It’s going to be so tough. I probably won’t sleep in the nights leading up to it if there is a good swell. Beyond stoked right now!"
Joshe Faulkner from JBay was another surfer who was surprised but elated at his inclusion in the event. "I'm so stoked to be in the JBU Supertrial, and I can't believe that I will possibly get a chance to surf in a Championship Tour event," said Joshe. "I hope to make all my friends and family in JBay proud when I compete in the event."
Alternates for the contest are, in no particular order:
Sebastian Williams, Max Armstrong, Shane Thorne, Josh Salie, Koby Oberholzer, Grant Baker, Llewellyn Whittaker, Kelvin Zehmke and Simon Fish.
Alternate seedings will be announced when the heat draw is finalised.
Nixon South Africa will be awarding a Nixon Tangent Sports Watch valued at R6,000 for the surfer who rides the Best Tube in the contest, as well as a Nixon Blaster for the Event Winner.
The JBU Supertrial presented by RVCA is sanctioned by Surfing South Africa. Surfing South Africa is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), and recognised by the Dept. of Sport and Recreation as the national controlling body for surfing.
The JBU Supertrial presented by RVCA precedes the JBay Open WSL Championship Tour event, which takes place during the JBay Winterfest.
The JBU Supertrial presented by RVCA is supported by Arbor, Firewire, Stance, Nixon, Monster Energy South Africa, Zigzag Magazine and El Jimador Tequila.
An electrifying final day at the Oi Rio Pro, the fourth stop on the Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), saw Filipe Toledo (BRA) and Courtney Conlogue (USA) reign supreme, claiming victory at Barra da Tijuca in front of a capacity crowd of thousands and thousands of passionate fans. Toledo defeated Bede Durbidge (AUS) to win the men’s event while Conlogue got the better of Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) to claim the women’s event, each securing their second CT win of the season and putting themselves firmly in the world title race.
Filipe Toledo (BRA) claimed the second CT victory of his career today following his inaugural win at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast at the start of this season and continuing his exceptional run of form with a win at the WSL Qualifying Series 10,000 event in Lower Trestles earlier this month. Previously at third place on the rankings, the result sees Toledo move up to second place on the Jeep Leaderboard behind Adriano de Souza (BRA). The blistering aerial maneuvers of the young Brazilian in each Round of the competition kept the fans enthralled and Toledo was on top form throughout the event, winning each of his heats en route to Final with consistently high heat totals.
“I don’t know what to say,” said Toledo. “The first thing I did was cry because look at the crowd, I’ve never seen anything like that before. It’s been such a blessed week and I have such amazing friends and family. I need to be grateful for everything I have and everything God has done in my life.”
“It’s been my dream to win this contest here and since the year that I qualified I’ve been dreaming of this day,” continued Toledo. “I’m feeling really confident right now. It’s going to be a really amazing year for me and the Brazilians and I’m hoping to finish in the top 5 and fight for the title at the end of the year.”
A huge aerial rotation from Toledo early in the heat earned him a Perfect 10, his second of the event, to begin his domination of the Final. The landing creased his board but after an equipment change he continued to look unstoppable, posting an 8.33 for his impressive rail surfing. Toledo bettered his position with another air reverse and an 8.53 for a formidable 18.53 heat total. Durbidge was left in a combination situation and, despite a solid 7.60 and 7.10, he was still in need of two excellent scores get back into the heat. Toledo’s go-for-broke performance couldn’t be matched and he stormed to victory, sealing the deal with a near-perfect 9.87 and the highest two-wave heat total of the entire competition, a 19.87 out of a possible 20.
“The Brazilians have really started the year well and that’s really given me so much confidence,” Toledo said. “It was so crazy when I was trying to get my back-up board and there were just so many fans. Big congratulations to Bede (Durbidge) and to Bianca (Buitendag) and Courtney (Conlogue), you’ve all done such an amazing job and are such great surfers.”
Tour veteran Bede Durbidge (AUS) has been part of the Top 34 since 2005. The result today is his best since 2010, where he made a Final at the Rip Curl Search event in Puerto Rico, and moves him up one place to 10th on the Jeep Leaderboard. Durbidge previously defeated Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Josh Kerr (AUS) and Keanu Asing (HAW) before facing Toledo in the Final.
“It’s amazing this crowd and I knew it would be a tough heat here against Filipe (Toledo),” said Durbidge. “I knew he’d take it to me straight away and he did with that 10. I just had fun at the end and enjoyed this crowd and Rio. Filipe is only 20 and he’s going to be hard to stop but it feels good to be back on the podium so I’m stoked. This definitely gives me more confidence. It was my goal this year to get back on the podium and win an event. This is a good stepping stone and hopefully next time I will win.”
Oi Rio Men’s Pro Final Results:
1- Filipe Toledo (BRA) 19.87
2 - Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.70
Oi Rio Men’s Pro Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.83 def. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 6.34
SF 2: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.63 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 8.23
The world’s best surfers battled to avoid an early exit from the Oi Rio Pro today as elimination Round 2 was completed in solid six-to-eight foot (2 - 2.5 metre) waves at Barra da Tijuca. The day saw top seeds win through the morning, with big performances and upsets dominating the afternoon as the rookies came back strong to eliminate several big names.
The fourth stop on the 2015 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour, the Oi Rio Pro, is the sole Championship Tour event on South American soil, but in a departure from their Round 1 dominance, Round 2 witnessed all four Brazilians competing today eliminated.
Three-time world champion Mick Fanning (AUS) defeated David do Carmo (BRA) in the opening heat of the day with the highest two-wave heat total of Round 2, 16.63 out of a possible 20. The win sees Fanning get one back over the wildcard who eliminated him in Rio last year in Round 2.
“I was watching the water before my heat and talking to a few people to work out where to get the best waves,” said Fanning. “You have to let previous losses go but at the same time there’s a little bit of you that wants to get him back. Once you’re out there it’s really a lucky dip. I really tried to put some scores on the board early.”
Hawaiian charger John John Florence (HAW) got the better of wildcard Alex Ribeiro (BRA) in their Round 2 match-up thanks to a 14.84 heat score. The Brazilian is eliminated from the contest in equal 25th place and Florence heads to Round 2 where he will face Adam Melling (AUS).
“I just couldn’t find a wave the whole heat,” Florence said. “I kept paddling but you can’t find it when you’re out there. It was mind games the whole time but I got lucky with that last wave. It was actually scary because I had to airdrop, it was like Tahiti or something. It’s crazy here, there are just so many people and everyone is stoked on surfing.”
Ricardo Christie (NZL) caused the first upset of the day by eliminating higher seed and former event winner Jordy Smith (ZAF) from the competition. The South African dominated through much of the heat but the rookie came back with an excellent 9.17 for a righthand tube to claim his second CT heat win and advance to Round 3.
“I’ve been watching all day to see where the good waves have been breaking,” said Christie. “The rip is so gnarly out there though and can really change things up. I actually got my good wave exactly where I’d been watching, which was neat. Every event I feel stronger and stronger and more comfortable at the event. I’m making some friends and learning so much from the top guys. It’s a really cool experience and great to get some momentum.”
Keanu Asing (HAW) became the second rookie to cause an upset today when he narrowly defeated Joel Parkinson (AUS), who is eliminated from the event and takes home his worst CT result since 2011. The Round 2 victory is Asing’s second heat win of the year and will see him move to the next round of competition where he will take on reigning WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA).
“It was a tough heat,” said Asing. “When you see everyone else struggling you know it’s going to be difficult. I’m just glad to get through that heat and focus on a better performance next time. I did the best I could with what I have and you have to overcome and adapt to get through these heats.”
The Oi Rio Pro will be webcast LIVE at WorldSurfLeague.com
The world's best surfing will also be broadcast LIVE on Fox Sports in Australia, MCS Extreme in France, EDGE Sports in China, South Korea, Malaysia and other territories and on Globo TV in Brazil.
Oi Rio Men’s Pro Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.63 def. David do Carmo (BRA) 7.94
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW) 14.84 vs. Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 10.83
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) 10.74 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 10.20
Heat 4: Josh Kerr (AUS) 9.27 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 5.40
Heat 5: Ricardo Christie (NZL) 13.27 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.03
Heat 6: Nat Young (USA) 11.77 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 7.84
Heat 7: Dusty Payne (HAW) 9.23 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 8.00
Heat 8: Keanu Asing (HAW) 9.60 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 9.50
Heat 9: Owen Wright (AUS) 14.77 def. Glenn Hall (IRL) 5.90
Heat 10: Adam Melling (AUS) 14.10 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 11.67
Heat 11: Kai Otton (AUS) 12.60 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 11.10
Heat 12: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.03 def. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 9.33
Oi Rio Men’s Pro Round 3 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 2: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA)
Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Matt Banting (AUS)
Heat 4: Nat Young (USA) vs. Italo Ferreira (BRA)
Heat 5: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 6: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Ricardo Christie (NZL)
Heat 7: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 8: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 9: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 10: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 11: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 12: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Keanu Asing (HAW)
There are 7 divisions for 2015, and competitors are allowed to enter a maximum of 2 divisions.
U12 Boys – 1A PST Rated
U14 Boys & U14 Girls – 2A PST Rated
U16 Boys and U16 Girls – 2A PST Rated
U20 Boys and U20 Girls – WSL 1000 Pro Junior Rated.
There are a number of exciting Specialty Awards and Events as well as Series Awards, and these will be announced shortly. Co-sponsors for the event include VonZipper and Nixon.
To check out highlights from the 2014 series finale at Seal Point go here www.youtube.com/watch
The Billabong Junior Series presented by BOS is sanctioned by Surfing South Africa. Surfing South Africa is a member of the South African Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and is recognised by the Dept. Of Sport and Recreation as the national governing body for surfing.
Barra da Tijuca today delivered clean four-to-six foot (1 - 1.5 metre) waves for the opening rounds of competition at the Oi Rio Pro.
The fourth stop on the 2015 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour, the Oi Rio Pro is the sole Championship Tour event on South American soil and the rising power of Brazil dominated the day’s affairs.
Gabriel Medina (BRA), reigning WSL Champion, rebounded from an uncharacteristic early exit in Margaret River with a hard-fought Round 1 win this morning over Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) and Alejo Muniz (BRA). The young Brazilian drew a crowd of hundreds on the beach cheering for him as he advanced directly into Round 3.
“I’m feeling good to get that one,” said Medina. “The waves are kinda hard but I got that 7 and a 5 I think and the heat was pretty slow after that. Alejo (Muniz) and Freddy (Patacchia) couldn’t get another score so I was lucky to get through. I cope pretty well with pressure and it’s good to have people cheering for you. It’s a lot of people but I’m here at home so there’s no reason to feel pressure."
Following Medina’s heat, the crowd reached a fever pitch for current frontrunner on the Jeep Leaderboard Adriano de Souza (BRA). De Souza, a former event winner, exhibited an impressive command of the lineup netting a 17.90 out of a possible 20 to advance directly through to Round 3.
“There’s a lot of pressure for me right now so it’s difficult,” said De Souza. “I have to remember that the contest has just started and there’s a lot of people that have come out to watch. My strategy out there was to win my first Round 1 heat of the year and I can’t pick a better spot than here to do this. I'm really proud of myself for making my first heat and I want to keep the momentum alive going into the next Round. The Margaret River contest was so special for me, I really wanted to win an event this year and I did.”
The “Brazilian Storm” had a sensational outing in Round 1 with Filipe Toledo (BRA), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Italo Ferreira (BRA) and Jadson Andre (BRA) all winning through their opening heats to advance directly to Round 3.
Kelly Slater (USA), 11-time World Champion and current WSL No. 9, was in unparalleled rhythm in the shifting beachbreaks, threading barrels on both his forehand and backhand to collect the day’s high heat total of a 19.27 out of a possible 20.
“It was a good start and it was a lot of fun,” Slater said. “I feel good, the waves are super fun and I watched for about an hour this morning from my hotel to try and line up where I’d sit. I felt really calm out there and in waves like that you just trust your instincts.”
The round was punctuated by impressive showings from Australians Bede Durbidge (AUS) and Matt Wilkinson (AUS), both taking heat wins to advance directly into Round 3.
Oi Rio Men’s Pro Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 12.17, Brett Simpson (USA) 12.07, Taj Burrow (AUS) 6.30
Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.27, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.06, Ricardo Christie (NZL) 11.76
Heat 3: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 15.97, John John Florence (HAW) 10.66, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 9.94
Heat 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.33, Freddy Patacchia Jr. (HAW) 7.77, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 4.90
Heat 5: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 14.07, Mick Fanning (AUS) 9.33, Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 2.47
Heat 6: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 17.90, Kai Otton (AUS) 11.60, David do Carmo (BRA) 5.67
Heat 7: Jadson Andre (BRA) 14.04, Josh Kerr (AUS) 11.97, Dusty Payne (HAW) 10.03
Heat 8: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 12.06, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 10.67, Keanu Asing (HAW) 10.60
Heat 9: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.84, Glenn Hall (IRL) 11.94, Nat Young (USA) 6.17
Heat 10: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.27, Kolohe Andino (USA) 11.93, Adam Melling (AUS) 8.40
Heat 11: Matt Banting (AUS) 9.76, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 9.26, Julian Wilson (AUS) 9.10
Heat 12: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.96, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.47, Owen Wright (AUS) 10.34
Oi Rio Men’s Pro Round 2 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. David do Carmo (BRA)
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 4: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 5: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Ricardo Christie (NZL)
Heat 6: Nat Young (USA) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 7: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 8: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 9: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 10: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 11: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 12: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Jeffreys Bay – The immensely popular RVCA Junior Challenge surfing event is returning to the waves of the Lower Point in JBay, and the 2015 event is going to be a few notches up from last year. RVCA South Africa has promised a 3-day surfing celebration for the junior surfers of our country, making everyone very excited.
What is it? – With the risk of being boring and repetitious, allow us to describe the event as such - three days of competitive surfing, having fun and being healthy at the beach. The RVCA Junior Challenge is a core surf event, focussed on a back-to-basics approach to enable the groms to get the best waves for an event and thus concentrate on their surfing above anything else.
Where is it going to take place? At the Lower Point in Jeffrey Bay. The right-hand point break is a perfect competitive arena for the junior surfers, and the grass patch and braai area is the ideal place to set up camp. There will be a tent in place for the restaurant and for the prize giving, and plenty of other interesting diversions in and around the event site.
When is it going down? The RVCA Junior Challenge will take place 13 – 15 June, which is a Saturday to Monday period. The Monday is a school holiday and the Tuesday is a public holiday – Youth Day. Yay for long weekends! The fact that the event has been moved forward to June shows RVCA's committment to ensuring good waves for the groms. Historically, June has always been a great month for surf in the JBay region.
Why is it happening? RVCA enjoy getting down and hanging out with the best junior surfers in the country, the groms, the up-and-comers and everyone else who enters their events. This is a grass roots event, and RVCA are proud to be involved in developing junior surfing in South Africa. Other people who enjoy hanging out and watching the junior surfers (we sometimes call them co-sponsors or event supporters) are Red Bull, Stance, Firewire, Futures Fins, Havaianas, Nixon, Rayne Cameras and Zigzag Magazine.
Who is going to be in it? Well, last year had the biggest entry into a junior event, and this year could be the same. There are the following divisions: Boys U10, U12, U14, U16 and U20, and Girls U16 and U20, so there are going to be a lot of surfers competing at the event. In fact, it might even turn out to be the biggest junior event in the country.
ENTER HERE: http://www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za/2015-rvca-junior-challenge/
Yeweee - EP took the win at the SA Longboard Champs held at Seals. Gave Province and Natal a lekker snotklap. Not only did we win, we have 8 individual champs as well. Shot to Ryan Lightfoot, Arnold Vermaak, Michelle von Kempen, Phillipa Hill, Greg Heasley, Craig Cuff, Alan Byram, Greg Smith and Mush Hyde for winning their divisions.
Some epic surf, and some great surfing. The swell pumped through over the end of the week and into Saturday to make sure the event was contested in proper waves.
Craig Cuff won Grand Masters - for some reason they weren't in the results I received above.
All images by Clive Wright