From this year 2012 the Billabong Pro J-Bay is unwisely downgraded from a WCT event to a WQS event despite the fact that the quality of waves here is as great as ever before.
No detailed report is ever disclosed from main sponsor Billabong for this downgrade, but many South Africans suspect that it is due to Billabong's recent financial turmoil. Such a pity!
Meanwhile, Kyoko just flew from Brazil to South Africa and came straight to J-Bay to see the contest and to catch up with me. We first met in El Salvador in September last year, and here we are now.
It was great to catch up with her again! And thanks very much for cooking delicious Japanese curry, Kyoko!!
Regardless of the downgrade of the contest, waves in J-Bay are pumping now and all pros and amateurs have gathered here for this annual event.
It's ridiculously apparent in the water which guys are pros and which guys aren't. Pros are driving their boards like Formula Ones, ripping waves like Kung-Fu masters, and flying over waves like stealth fighters. Just insane to watch how they surf!
Combined with the beauty of waves in J-Bay, their surfing is almost like a piece of art.
Unfortunately (and fortunately, too), I will leave J-Bay for Durban tomorrow. I planned my departure date to be just before this WQS event would kick off simply because there are too many guys in the water and in town now. It's a little too hectic for my liking and I'd rather keep surfing somewhere else than just sitting on the beach and watching how the contest goes.
Anyway, I cannot thank J-Bay enough. It's such a magnetic spot for all surfers and I've learnt a lot from this legendary place. I'll definitely come back here in the near future!
By the way, the only true local of J-Bay is Mr.Bruce Gold.