The organisers of the JBay Winterfest have announced that the highly popular festival will take place from 8 – 19 July this year.
All the world’s top surfers will be back in town following the confirmation that the JBay Open of Surfing will once again be a World Championship Tour event.
South Africans will have the opportunity to watch Jordy Smith in action, tearing up the freight train walls of Supertubes as he guns for his first ever world title in 2015.
The JBU Super trial, presented by RVCA will take place prior to the JBay Open and will present an opportunity for a local surfer to claim the wild card and surf against the best in the world.
Last year, JBay local Dylan Lightfoot won the Super trial and gained invaluable experience when he surfed against Kelly Slater in Round One and then current world champion Gabriel Medina in Round 2.
Winterfest spokesperson Brenton Williams said that the ’15 edition of the festival promises to be bigger and better than ever before.
“This is the third year the JBay Winterfest is taking place and we will be building on the successful event that was held in 2014 when an estimated 50 000 people visited the town to watch the JBay Open and to participate in the multiple sporting codes that were on offer,” said Williams.
At this stage it seems that all the events from last year will be taking place again in 2015, with the JBay Mountain Bike Open, the Core Sokkie Jol skate event and the Infood Blu Cold Water Swim Classic all confirmed for 2015.
The Winterfest draws feet into Jeffreys Bay in the traditionally quiet winter months and is a community organised event that took the place of the now defunct Billabong Pro, which folded back in 2012.
“Supertubes produced epic waves for the JBay Open last year and the surfers on the world tour are all looking forward to coming back to South Africa in 2015 as Jeffreys Bay is renowned for producing consistently good waves during the winter months,” said Koffie Jacobs, the organiser of the Winterfest.
The JBay Open is event 6 on the Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour and Mick Fanning is sure to be back in JBay to defend his title that he won in 2014 in huge waves at Supertubes.
“We are looking at adding a junior surf event to cater for the youngsters during the Winterfest this year and more details about this contest will be announced shortly,” added Jacobs.
Last year saw the National Kite Festival take place on Kabeljous Beach, while the Skins Fishing competition attracted anglers from all over the country.
The Oakley X-Over was a widely publicized event with big names in South African rugby like John Smit, Bob Skinstad and Butch James all taking part.
The Infood Blu Cold Water Classic attracted swimmers like Robben Island legend Theodore Yach, who battled his way through 11C water in Marina Martinique to complete the 7.5 km swim, wearing nothing but a speedo costume and a swim cap.