Stab Magazine | Top 34 vote on a World Tour event at J-Bay in 2016
420 Views

Top 34 vote on a World Tour event at J-Bay in 2016

Words by Craig Jarvis At a WSL meeting during the Quiksilver Pro, France, the details of which somehow made it all the way into my grubby little iPhone, J-Bay 2016 was discussed. The surfers had a vote, and most of them, led by Mick Fanning and Julian Wilson, were keen for another round at the […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Words by Craig Jarvis

At a WSL meeting during the Quiksilver Pro, France, the details of which somehow made it all the way into my grubby little iPhone, J-Bay 2016 was discussed. The surfers had a vote, and most of them, led by Mick Fanning and Julian Wilson, were keen for another round at the world’s most perfect right pointbreak. The problem is, a few surfers are adamant that they won’t return to surf J-Bay in 2016 and voted a firm negative, putting the event in jeopardy.

It’s only fair to let the surfers decide on returning to J-Bay. After all, they’re the ones who will be in the water, surfing at the place where they all witnessed a shark encounter. Putting the decision-making in the hands of the surfers is a fair call from the WSL, and one that can only be applauded – though, one has to wonder what sort of precedent this could set: Would the Margaret River tour stop survive a surfer vote?

The WSL as a commercial entity must be confused about it. The J-Bay Open 2015 broke viewership records (22.3 million views on the clip above), and the 2016 event will undoubtedly be the most watched surf event in the history of the sport. The whole world will dial in (or see it in the news), and the J-Bay 2016 event could be that final push that takes surfing firmly into the mainstream; the obvious goal of the WSL to make the juggernaut a commercial success. But then, there’s also the very real possibility, no matter how small, that another attack could occur on live broadcast again.

So, who are these surfers? There’s two that were particularly vocal. And how shall I put this…

They’re both Brazilian, both goofyfooters, neither of them are rookies, and neither are consistent standouts at J-Bay. One of them may or may not have a world title. You can’t help wondering about an ulterior motive. J-Bay as a tour stop isn’t in Gabriel Medina’s best interests. Jadson Andre, who doesn’t have a world title in his near future the way Gabs does, is probably just really scared, and who the hell can blame him? Perhaps Gabs is genuinely scared too, but… it’s interesting regardless.

When I asked Jordy Smith recently about his opinion on J-Bay, the two-time event winner was adamant.

“The 2016 J-Bay Open will probably be the most watched event in the world,” Jordy said. “Why would they not have it? I remember two years ago, the first time we surfed The Box, there was a shark in the water, thrashing around between me and Miguel, and we carried on surfing that event.”

Taj Burrow, enjoying the new thrill of fatherhood, was of similar mind. “Yes, I think J-Bay 2016 should be on,” said Taj of the contest. “It’s one of the best events to participate in as well as to spectate.”

Since the J-Bay Open 2015, Billabong South Africa held a South African Junior Championship at The Point in J-Bay, and were extremely vigilant in their shark monitoring approach during the five-day event, with extra skis in the water, drones monitoring the line up and beaming back to a permanently monitored screen, with shark spotters permanently positioned in elevated positions on the beach. There were no problems.

There’s also been talk of the WSL commissioning an Australian company that specialises in monitoring below-surface activity in a focused area (i.e. a lineup). More on that as it develops.

As for the town of J-Bay… Well, the local surfers are going to paddle out and score ridiculous waves, regardless of whether there’s an event or not.

What do you think? Should the World Tour Return to J-Bay?

Should the World Tour return to J-Bay in 2016?

Yes

No

.

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

1:38

Can A GQ Cover Boy Take Out Teahupo’o?

Kauli Vaast is your incredibly handsome Tahiti trials winner.

Aug 11, 2022

Watch: Ramble On With Caity Simmers 

An action-rich tour behind the scenes of her triumphant first voyage to Oz.

Aug 11, 2022

PSA: Surf Filmers Not Welcome In Nicaragua

Cameras and drones are being seized on arrival, Stab spoke with two recent visitors.

Aug 11, 2022

Inside The Alternative Surfboard Marketing Machine 

Two of the biz's best — Matt Parker and Blake Peters — spill many beans.

Aug 10, 2022

The Tragic Parallels Between The Murder Of Ricardo Dos Santos & 8x World Jiu Jitsu Champion Leandro Lo

Two Brazilian sporting icons killed brazenly by off-duty police officers.

Aug 9, 2022

The Pick-Up, Vans US Open: In The Belly Of The Beast

Finger flips, shaping with Zion Wright, slurpees, Hawaiian takeovers, and the king of Surfline rewinds.

Aug 8, 2022

Albee Layer Discusses His Not-So-Budding Acting Career And The Upcoming Film “Sweet Adventure”

"Matt and Nora were tripping a little harder than I was just because they weren't…

Aug 8, 2022

Zeke Lau & Bettylou Sakura Johnson Win The Vans US Open Of Surfing 

Hawaii dominates HB.

Aug 8, 2022

How A Former CT Surfer Gets “Absolute Beginners” Barreled In A Matter Of Months

Luke Stedman elaborates on his Blackball surf programs.

Aug 7, 2022

5:50

Sweeter Than Stolen Honey 

A versatile Haydenshapes x Dylan Graves HP (and soft board) tested in weird waves.

Aug 7, 2022

15-Year-Old Ladybird Erin Brooks Makes Final In All-Men’s Tuberiding Event

And Clay Marzo takes the dub.

Aug 6, 2022

Are We Looking At Reef Sculpting The Wrong Way? 

The pros, cons, possibilities, and mechanisms of changing reefs to suit our surfing desires.

Aug 6, 2022

The Gudang Trio Discusses Brotherhood And How To Make It To The Mountain Top Together  

Positive sibling vibrations we should all aspire to.

Aug 6, 2022

9:03

Everyone’s Local Zone Has A Mythical Wave

Kai Lenny, Imaikalani DeVault, Eli Hanneman and friends get to surf theirs.

Aug 5, 2022

The Pick-Up, Vans US Open: Harry Bryant Vs. The Wedge

A lot of swell, stolen identities, surf masochists, mutilated noses, The Wedge, skull-crushing pylons, and…

Aug 5, 2022

When Gabby And Kolohe Pull Out, The Hog Pulls In

Tahiti wildcards named.

Aug 5, 2022

First Look: The 2022 Electric Acid Surfboards

Did our questionable EAST gamble pay off for Mick Fanning's Maldivian quiver ?

Aug 4, 2022

How Boardshorts Work

They are your one chance to look cool while actually surfing. Don’t blow it.

Aug 4, 2022
Advertisement