Paddlers Bonanza

Paddler Bonanza on St Francis Bay Canals this weekend

Paddling (canoe & surfski) has become a hugely popular sport / pastime in St Francis and recently attracted some of South Africa’s finest at the SA Canoe Marathon Championship. Amongst those who competed in those championships was  one who could be considered one of the greatest paddlers in the world was Hank McGregor, Well Hank is returning to St Francis this Thursday to attend a dinner in his honour as a G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time) on Thursday evening.

Whilst in St Francis Bay, Richard Arderne has challenged Hank to take on the St Francis Paddling Club;s Time Trial record of 41 minutes 26 seconds. Should Hank succeed in this challenge from he will take home the R5000 prize on offer from Pam Golding Properties St Francis Bay for breaking the record. That said and that Hank is one of the finest paddlers the world has known, it should be a synch but …..

The tide will not be in Hank’s favour making it all that more difficult for him to achieve what so many others have treid and so he will have to pull a paddling rabbit out of the hat to win the R5000 Pam Golding St Francis is offering.

And on the subject of paddling the annual (13th edition this year) Pam Golding Winter Challenge will take place on Sunday 22nd July  at 10:00 am from Quaysyde on Seaglades Drive on the canals. A doubles event the race takes place over a 10 kilometre or 20 kilometre course depending on competitor’s preference

For the first three participants crossing the finish line in the 20km event combined prize money of R3 000 is on offer whilst the winners in the following categories will also receive prizes:

  • ladies,
  • mixed,
  • over 55,
  • guppies,
  • juniors
  • first locals to cross the finish line.

There will also be a lucky draw prize of Carbonology Split Paddles

The race kicks off at Quaysyde at 10:00  and there is an entry fee is R150 per person and this includes a light lunch to replace the energy spent during the race.

Enter online at or contact 083 284 0168.

JBay Wind Farm MTB Classic

Declan Sidey and Yolande de Villiers overcome challenging conditions to win JBay Wind Farm MTB Classic

The sixth edition of the JBay Wind Farm MTB Classic took place on Saturday 14 July. Some 500 riders of all ages and skill levels braved wet and chilly conditions to tackle the finest trails around the Eastern Cape holiday town of Jeffreys Bay.

The event, which forms part of the JBay Winterfest offered three distances a 25km fun ride, 50km marathon and the gruelling 85km ultra marathon.  At the sharp end of the ultra marathon, Declan Sidey from Team Mad Macs p/b hazz out of Stellenbosch was the convincing winner.

“The bunch stayed together for the first 15 kilometres,” Sidey commented afterward. “Max (Sullivan) was feeling ill, so even though our plan was to try finish one/two, he told me to go.” According to Sidey he put in a big attack to see who else had good legs on the day, but no-one was able to stay with him. “In this kind of weather it’s better to be up-front anyway and be able to dictate your own lines,” he said, explaining that the torrential rain made for challenging conditions but the trails rode superb none-the-less. “Anyone who finished the race will really feel a sense of accomplishment; it definitely wasn’t easy out there.”

Sidey’s 60-off kay solo effort was valiantly chased by a duo of Jasons from East London – 2017 defending champion Jason Reed and good friend Jason Peach. The two worked well together but were unable to bring Sidey back, who eventually crossed the line in a time of 03:34:22 to claim the R11 000 first prize. Reed came in second (03:42:42), with Peach in third right behind him. (3:42:43)

The ultra ran on the much the same route as 2017 when it underwent a complete redesign. It did however feature a few new sections of singletrack as well as route designer Arthur Joubert’s trademark wooden bridges.

In the women’s race Yolande de Villiers rode a spectacular race to complete her hat trick, finishing sixth overall in the 85km, in a time of 03:59:51. She also collected the R11 000 first prize for her with Anriëtte Schoeman in second and Shauna Esmeyer rounding out the podium. “It was hectic out there,” commented a visibly exhausted De Villiers after the finish. “It was cold and muddy but I still had a lot of fun! The new bits of singletrack and bridges were really awesome,” she said.

While the racing snakes were battling it out at the sharp end of the field of a record field of nearly 500 other mountain bikers braved the torrential downpours to ride the only one-day event of its kind to traverse a wind farm.

“We have been a part of this event for four years now and are really proud of the association,” commented Mark Pickering, Managing Director of the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, who himself took on the weather. “The race has gone from strength to strength and it was really encouraging to see a record field despite the conditions,” he concluded.

Full results for all the routes are available at and keep a watch on the Facebook page ( for image galleries over the next two days.


Declan Sidey
Jason Reed
Jason Peach

Yolande de Villiers
Anriëtte Schoeman
Shauna Esmeyer

Ceejay Bosman
Ryno Gerber
Gerrit Rautenbach

Mischka Strydom
Ashley Mayhead
Riette Doubell

Press Release JBay Wind Farm MTB Classic

Jordy Smith Advances to Quarters

Jordy Smith Advances to Quarterfinals at Corona Open J-Bay

Jordy Smith put on a scintillating display of high performance surfing to advance to the quarterfinals of the Corona Open J-Bay on Wednesday.
Credit: © WSL / Cestari

The Men’s Corona Open J-Bay completed Rounds 3 and 4 today in pumping 1.3 – 2 metre waves at the world-famous Supertubes to determine the Quarterfinalists of Stop No. 6 on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT).

In an All-Star heat to open Round 4 South Africa’s Jordy Smith put in a scintillating performance of high performance surfing to grab second place behind Conner Coffin (USA) as the pair eliminated former world champion and two-time Jeffreys Bay winner Joel Parkinson (AUS) from the event.

Smith delivered the highest score of the 40 minute encounter, an excellent 8.33 out of 10, for a ride that saw the 2010 and 2011 J-Bay champ carve the wave up with powerful turns and finish with a gravity-defying close-out manoeuvre 300 metres down the rock-lined Supertubes point.

Coffin celebrated American Independence Day in style by posting two excellent rides of his own, an 8.0 and an 8.03, to squeak just 0.47 of a point ahead of Smith in the final tally while Parkinson, who announced that he will retire at the end of the year, finished his final competitive heat at Jeffreys Bay in third place..

“What an honour to surf against those guys at pumping J-Bay,” said Coffin. “It doesn’t get any better than that. To surf with Parko (Joel Parkinson) after he’s announced his retirement is such an honour. It has been so cool for me to get to know him. He is such a cool guy.”

Parkinson’s 9th place result marks his final time competing at J-Bay, the event that launched his career in 1999 when as a 19-year-old he won his first event.

“Those guys have become my favourite J-Bay surfers of the modern era, so to be against them was just an enjoyable heat,” said Parkinson. “The saddest thing about that heat is knowing that was the last time I’ll ever have priority at J-Bay. I know it is fresh, a loss, but I feel like I’ve won. I am so thankful for all my family on the beach. I am really stoked for what this wave has done for me. The career I’ve had here, I am proud of myself for it.”

Current Jeep ranking leader Julian Wilson (AUS) won the second Round 4 heat and he and Smith, who have adversaries since they were in their early teens, will do battle when the event resumes with the winner of the clash progressing to the semi-finals.

Defending event winner Filipe Toledo (BRA) revelled in the outstanding surf pouring through the lineup. Finding one of the largest waves of the day, Toledo produced his own special brand of magic that the judges rewarded with a near-perfect 9.50 and the heat win

That set up an all-Brazilian quarterfinal against 2014 WSL champion Gabriel Medina, who was runner-up to an on-fire Kanoa Igarashi (JPN ). The Japanese surfer posted the highest heat total of the event so far, 18.04 out of 20, and will take on Sebastian Zietz (HAW) in the fourth quarterfinal.

The WSL Commissioner’s Office will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7:30 a.m. local time (SAST) to reassess conditions and make the next call on when to get the remainder of the event underway.

The Corona Open J-Bay will be broadcast LIVE on the WSL’s Facebook page. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.

For more information, please visit

Men’s Corona Open J-Bay Remaining Round 3 (H5-12) Results:

Heat 5: Wade Carmichael (AUS) 16.77 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 11.70
Heat 6: Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.80 def. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 12.23
Heat 7: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.60 def. Yago Dora (BRA) 7.94
Heat 8: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.77 def. Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 10.84
Heat 9: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) def. Owen Wright (AUS) INJ
Heat 10: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 15.83 def. Willian Cardoso (BRA) 7.67
Heat 11: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 17.70 def. Mikey Wright (AUS) 11.67
Heat 12: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.63 def. Connor O’Leary (AUS) 14.20

Men’s Corona Open J-Bay Round 4 Results:

Heat 1: Conner Coffin (USA) 16.03, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.56, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.20
Heat 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.66, Wade Carmichael (AUS) 13.00, Frederico Morais (PRT) 12.90
Heat 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 17.23, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 16.13, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.23
Heat 4: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 18.04, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.50, Griffin Colapinto (USA) 9.50

Men’s Corona Open J-Bay Quarterfinal Matchups

QF 1: Conner Coffin (USA) vs. Wade Carmichael (AUS)
QF 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Jordy Smith (ZAF)
QF 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Gabriel Medina (BRA)
QF 4: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)


The 2018 JBay Winterfest Opens

The 6th edition of the JBay Winterfest opened yesterday

Jordy Smith in action at the 2017 event – © WSL / Tostee

The 6th edition of the JBay Winterfest opened today, with the waiting period of the Corona Open JBay officially started yesterday in gale force  winds with  lashing rain but ideal surf. All the top Championship Tour (CT) surfers are in town, and expectations are high for a great event.

South Africa is well represented in this year’s edition of the Corona Open JBay, with both Jordy Smith and Mikey February representing as CT surfers, with local surfer Matt McGillivray in the event as a wildcard, along with former CT surfer Bianca Buitendag in as the wildcard in the women’s event.

“This is one of the few events that I’m able to surf in front of my friends and family, so I’m doing it for them,” said Jordy Smith of the upcoming event. “They don’t get to travel and see what my life looks like on a day to day basis. I just want to show them my love and what this is all about.”

The forecast is looking very promising for an excellent run of surf, starting to filter through this afternoon (Monday 2nd) and pouring through for the period Tuesday 3rd – Thursday 5th, with surf in the four to six-foot range in the forecast. For now, the contest is on, with fun three-foot sets starting off the day. Updates can be found on the World Surf League website,  and the webcast can be found on the WSL Facebook page. 

Corona Sunset Sessions

As part of the Corona Open JBay there will also be the free music sessions – the Corona Sunset Sessions – at the contest site on Pepper Street. Thursday 05 July will see Sean Koch and Sunset Sweatshop performing; on Friday 06 July it’ll be Rubber Duc and Money for Bali, while Saturday 07 July will feature Desmond & The Tutus and Nic Preen & The World of Birds. All shows are free of charge, so come down and enjoy the vibes.

Money for Bali

Funduro  – 7 July

On Saturday 7 July Slake Adventures will be hosting their fifth Funduro, hosted by the JBay Winterfest.

This is a Fun Ride and that no competitor licenses or club memberships are needed. Riders of all levels, together with family and friends are welcome. The event will take place at Seaview Vlakte, just above the Mondplaas petrol garage on the R102.

The loop consists of 15 km single track and is measured as easy-to-medium in difficulty. The terrain will consist of both flat and technical riding. The new unridden terrain will be super fun with some surprises on the way!

Funduro action © Kody McGregor

Cold Water Swim Classic – 8 July

The Coldwater Swim Classic takes place in the saltwater canals of Marina Martinique on 8 July. This swim features sub-15 C water, icy air temperatures. The Marina is renowned worldwide as an open water swim venue, and the Swim Classic has been promoted to be an official Robben Island qualifying event. There are three distances on offer during the JBay Winterfest – a Mile, Double Mile and a grueling Triple Mile. All races start at 9:30am.

Press Release – Craig Jarvis

Oakley, Kouga Municipality, Island Tribe and Bioplus proudly sponsor the JBay Winterfest.

The festival is anchored by the Corona Open JBay, and there is the JBay Windfarm MTB Classic event, the Cold Water Classic open water swim, the Endurade JBayX Trail Run, the Fishing Skins Tournament and the JBay Winterfest Funduro. More information can be found on the JBay Winterfest website.

Media enquiries: – Craig Jarvis – e. – t. 082 376 4443


Wind Farm MTB Classic

Firmly established as one of the top events on the Eastern Cape off-road calendar, the JBay Wind Farm MTB Classic promises to once again be a highlight of the JBay Winterfest.
Over the past five years, organisers of the JBay Wind Farm MTB Classic have worked each year to innovate and improve both the routes and rider experience, with the 2017 event featuring an almost entirely new route that included large sections of singletrack.

Big names are bound to be back in 2018 gunning for the top spot and equal men’s and women’s ultra marathon purse, however the main focus of the event is not on the racing snakes, but rather all levels of mountain biker.  The 2018 event will offer something for riders of a range of fitness and skill levels. With the start (and finish) at the ‘Kabeljous Hub’ there will be three routes, 25km, 50km and 85km.
All three route will of course traverse the spectacular JBay Wind Farm, from which the race derives its name. Riders will have the chance to ride along roads interspersed by 80m tall wind turbines towers, spread more than 500m apart.

Kids will be entertained with Sandart & facepainting as well as a jumping castle / JBay’s famous #InFoodDeli and #TampaBaySpur will provide refreshments / Lucky Draw Prizes as only JBay can provide / Awesome Goodie Bags to the first 300 entrants / Amazing routes

WHAT YOU’RE WAITING FOR – ENTER HERE:…/j-bay-wind-farm-mtb-classic/

Day One of Ballito Pro

Willard Beach Delivers for World’s Best Surfers on Day One of Ballito Pro

Willard Beach in KwaDukuza delivered a picture perfect day of world-class surfing in warm, windless midwinter sunshine and excellent 1.0 to 1.3 metre waves to kick off the historic 50th anniversary edition of the Ballito Pro presented Billabong, the world’s longest running professional surfing event.

The first World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 10,000 rated event of 2018 features an outstanding field of 112 of the world’s best surfers and the day was filled with spectacular performances and heart-breaking upsets.

Oney Anwar kept the Indonesian flag flying in Ballito, following his compatriot Rio Waida’s victory in the Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) event on Sunday with an impressive display of wave selection and radical manoeuvring that earned both the highest single ride score of 8.83 out of 10, and heat total of 16.76 out of 20.

“I just kept it simple, paddling out and sitting on the right . I made a few mistakes at the start, but I kept fighting for the one I was waiting for and then it came and I got that 8.83,” said Anwar of his heat strategy.

“I came last year with a really badly injured foot, and I never usually like a place when I’m injured, but I stayed until the contest finished and I loved it! This year I’m not injured and I’m enjoying it even more! But this is only the first round and I want to keep the good vibe rolling and keep enjoying my life.”

The eight Round One heats saw just two of the top seeds earn heat wins with powerhouse Australian Jackson Baker continuing the momentum he picked up from his victory in the QS 3,000 event in Port Elizabeth last Saturday to win his matchup.

And Brazilian prodigy Mateus Herdy used all of his aerial prowess to snatch victory over South African Adin Masencamp (Strand) as the pair of teenagers eliminated Timothee Bisso (FRA) and former Championship Tour (CT) member Raoni Monteiro (BRA).

The other two South African wildcards in the opening round were both ousted with Jordy Maree narrowly failing to advance when he finished third in his heat and Jake Elkington ended fourth in the first heat of the day.

The start of Round Two saw the level of competition step up to new heights with most of the heats closely contested as the competitors ripped the waves to shreds in the pristine conditions.

Rookie CT sensation Griffin Colapinto (USA) sneaked through his opening encounter by the narrowest of margins, finishing well behind winner Kalani Ball (AUS) and then hanging onto second place just three-hundredths of a point ahead of Kiron Jabour (HAW).

Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) won an exceptionally hard fought cosmopolitan clash where current QS rankings leader and 2015 Ballito Pro champion Alejo Muniz (BRA) finished fourth while former CT member Mitch Crews was pipped for second place by fellow Australian Mikey Wright, who reached the semi-finals at Ballito last year and has moved into the top 10 on the CT after stating 2018 as a wildcard.

While acknowledging that the first QS 10,000 of the year is an important event on the schedule, the Hawaiian took the victory in his stride and was just happy to be in Ballito.

“I’m not the most strategic surfer, I just want to ride a lot of waves because if I get too patient, wait too long, that’s not the surfer I am,” said Hendrickson. “So it’s all about riding a bunch of waves, the other guys don’t factor into my plans. The Ballito Pro is a big event on my schedule, it’s the first 10,000 of the year, and I’m fortunate to just keep going as a surfer. I don’t have that sponsor backing, so I’m just happy to be here.”

Umhlanga local Beyrick de Vries had the partisan hometown supporters hooting and was holding onto an advancing second place in his heat until Jacob Wilcox (AUS) found the best wave of the heat in the dying moments of the 30 minute clash and got the score he needed to earn a spot in Round Three

Soli Bailey (AUS) implemented his gameplan perfectly to ensure he progressed to the last 48 in the Ballito Pro, reading the conditions astutely and acting accordingly.

“Approaching the heat there were a few factors coming into play, it was high tide and it was always going to be quite a slow heat, so it was going to come down to a couple of good waves,” said Bailey. “I had 30 minutes, which is a long time if you can be patient, and I really wanted to consolidate with a good wave at the start and then back it up as quickly as possible.”

“I was pretty lucky I got that lefthander that gave me a good score and that was my gameplan – just to make sure I put myself a decent wave to start the heat with, to set me up for the heat – and then I built on that and it worked out. The first big event of the year is always cutthroat, it means everything in qualification process, so it was a pretty nervous heat for me. I’ve had a couple of tough heats and some bad losses, so I just wanted to get one under my belt and it will be good to keep going.”

The penultimate heat of the day saw the return of 2017 semi-finalist Mikey February (ZAF), who is now a full time member of the elite CT. Despite holding his own through most of the heat, the Capetonian was overtaken in the dying moments, much to disappointment of his legions of fans.

Organisers completed all eight heats in Round One and eight of 24 heats in Round Two on the opening day of the event. They will meet at first light and make a decision soon after 7am on when to get the action started, and when to get the QS1,000 rated Ballito Women’s Pro pres. by Billabong underway.

Full results from the opening day, along with news, images, video clips and more will be available at

Alongside the surfing, visitors will be spoiled for choice with non-stop activities providing even more entertainment throughout the Ballito festival site. South Africa’s hottest musical acts appealing to all tastes – rock, pop, hip hop, kwaito, electro and dance – will be performing live on Salt Rock Beach over the last weekend. Beach and extreme sports, culinary contests as well as quality retail and food stalls will captivate visitors at this coastal holiday highlight.

The Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong is proudly supported by the KwaDukuza Municipality, Billabong, Capitec Bank, Casio G-Shock, Ballito Junction Regional Mall, Coco Der Mer, 5FM, SMG Rocks, Monster Energy, Zigzag Surfing Magazine, World Surf League (WSL) and Surfing South Africa (SSA).

Adin Masencamp was the only South African to advance to the next round on the opening day of the Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong at Willard Beach in KwaDukuza on Monday
Photo: WSL / Cestari

Press  Reslease issued by
WSL Africa – Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager – Tel:  021 534 5738 – Email: