The annual Jeffreys Bay Winterfest is upon us (6 to 17 July, 2016), and as always, it promises to be a big fat jol (read party).
Walking around Jeffreys Bay while the festival is on might cause you to bump into the likes of Jordy Smith or Mick Fanning (if he’s not busy battling a Great White), some of the planet’s greatest surfers.
And although surfing is undoubtedly the main draw-card for the Winterfest, there’s more to the festival than awesome barrels, aerials and cutbacks.
Even if you don’t know your Kelly Slater from your Adriano de Souza, you’ll enjoy this party.
Let me break it down for you.
Jbay Open of Surfing
The Jbay Open of Surfing forms part of the Samsung Galaxy World Championship Tour, a WSL venture. It’s a prestigious event featuring the cream of the surfing world.
Surfing competitions work slightly differently from other sporting events.
Because the sport is dependant on wave quality (until Kelly Slater’s wave pool becomes a staple), organisers select the window of time to run the heats comprising the surfing event.
So, even though the surfing event is said to run from 6 to 17 July, it could be wrapped up within a few days.
Here’s the thing about professional surfers though: they surf anything.
So even if the waves end up sucking, they’ll make it look good.
If you fill a bath tub with water and add some bubble bath, these okes would most probably be able to surf it, and surf it well.
You need to see this, so come on down to Jeffreys Bay and experience some amazing skillz. Visit the Jbay Open web page for more info.
Here’s something to whet your appetite: Jordy Smith scoring a perfect 10…
Jbay Wind Farm MTB Classic
This is a popular event, with praise pouring in from those who partook in the 2015 Winterfest MTB event.
Three races make up the 2016 Classic: 25 km, 50 km and 85 km.
Riders take off from Kabeljouws lagoon and make their way through Impala Ranch, across purpose-built wooden bridges and berms, along the Seekoei River reserve and through technical single tracks along a riverbed, to name some of the highlights.
It’s the only MTB event in the world that takes riders through a wind farm, onto dirt roads lined with huge wind turbines, making for spectacular scenery.
All three races happen on 16 July. For more info, and to enter, visit the Jeffreys Bay Sport website.
Jbay Cold Water Classic
If you’re a sucker for cold water, the Jeffreys Bay Cold Water Classic was designed for you.
No, this is not a water drinking competition, to see who throws back the most glasses of ice water.
It’s worse. This is a swimming event.
And you’re only allowed to wear a Speedo-like creation, a pair of goggles and a swimming cap…
…while swimming the sub-15 degree Celsius waters of Marina Martinique.
(I can’t imagine myself in a Speedo. Might blind a few people. But if you can rock it like a boss, that’s awesome.)
The event offers three races: Mile, Double Mile and Triple Mile.
Starting time is 9:30am on 16 July at Marina Martinique.
For more info, speak to Brenton at +27.835496795, or visit the Cold Water Classic web page.
Jbay X Trail Run
Three individual 20 km trail runs make up the Jbay X Trail Run event.
The events start 12 hours apart and showcase the best of Jeffreys Bay, in terms of scenery.
If running’s your thing, try your foot at this event, which totals just over 60 kms in distance.
All three events start and finish at Impala Ranch, meaning you’ll be treated to amazing views while your legs are slowly dying.
Full event details available at the X Trail Run web page.
Fishing Skins and Catch a Nissan
The fishing event for the Jbay Winterfest runs over two days, Saturday and Sunday, 16 and 17 July.
The Saturday sees you winning R3,500 in cash if you manage to catch the biggest fish of the hour. That’s a total of R17,500 in cash these okes want to give away to anglers.
Not to be sneezed at.
The big one happens on Sunday, 17 July.
Organisers have managed to get Nissan on board for the fishing comp, and Sunday might see a fisherman walking away with a brand new Nissan bakkie.
This is the best prize of the Winterfest, by far.
If you’re not a fisherman, become one. Or perhaps you shouldn’t. Gives me a better chance of getting my hands on a much-needed new vehicle.
More info at the Fishing Skins web page.
National Kite Festival
The National Kite Festival kicks off on a high note with a lumo kite display on Friday, 15 July.
The kite festival runs for three days and features big kites, small kites, twizzers, bols and anything else that can fly and is controlled via string. (No, tying a piece of string to your mother-in-law won’t let her pass as a kite.)
Stunt kites come out on the Saturday, while Sunday allows for kids to create and display their own kites.
If you’re a kite fan, you should be in Jeffreys Bay from the 15th.
What’s a party without music?
The Jbay Winterfest hosts a music festival featuring international acts, as well as some of South Africa’s top music talent.
This year, festival goers can expect to be entertained by Cut Snake.
Paul Fisher and Leigh Sedley, two former professional surfers, make up the deep house duo, Cut Snake. They’ll be doing their thing at Jolly Dolphin after the Oakley X-Over prize-giving event.
Here’s a taste of their music…
Other acts include Timo ODV & Phfat, as well as the ever-popular, slightly-over-the-top-but-always-entertaining Jack Parrow, who seems to have become synonymous with the Winterfest.
Oakley X Over
Every year, international sport stars make their way to the Jbay Winterfest to partake in the Oakley X Over event.
The event comprises a golf tournament, mountain bike race and surfing event.
Top names like Giniel de Villiers, Jordy Smith, Butch James, Greg Minnaar, John Smit, Ryan Sandes, Garreth Mclellan and Dale Steyn all partake for the coveted X Over trophy.
The Jbay Winterfest offers some serious fun for everybody, whether you prefer to sit and watch the action or whether you like the physical and mental challenge of being in the game.
You should make your way to Jeffreys Bay and experience one of South Africa’s premier coastal sporting festivals.
See you there. (Just don’t cast over my line at the fishing contest.)
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