By Shaun Gillham
THE 2012 Billabong Pro J-Bay has attracted a record number of entries and one of the largest international contingents in history, cementing Jeffreys Bay’s reputation as South Africa’s surfing mecca.
The unprecedented number of 144 entries – the largest ever since professional surfing started in Jeffreys Bay in 1981 – includes 120 international surfers who will contest the six-star ASP World Tour event between July 10 and 15.
It will include 13 of the World Championship Tour’s elite top 32 professional surfers, as well as the majority of South Africa’s top competitors.
The surfers will be going all out to claim the 2012 Billabong Pro J-Bay title and more than R1,2-million in total prize money.
Radio station 5FM, Nissan Juke and Weekend Post are among the headline sponsors of the new-look 2012 Billabong Pro J-Bay which has been elevated into a surfing and music extravaganza.
International surfers include the likes of Mark “Occy” Occhilupo, John John Florence, Kolohe Andino, Adam Melling, Adriano de Souza and the Hobgood brothers, CJ and Damien.
The local contingent includes seasoned campaigner Travis Logie, defending champion Jordy Smith, as well as SA stalwarts Royden Bryson and Davey Weare.
The action at the beach will be mirrored at Mentorskraal Country Estate outside the town where 5FM will host it three-day music festival from July 13.
Top local and international acts will include a host of leading DJs, Taxi Violence, Prime Circle, Jack Parow, Flash Republic and Crash Car Burn. Hard Fi, from the UK, will headline the international talent at the festival.
Festival tickets are at Computicket at R400 for a weekend pass and R200 for a day pass.
This is a shortened version of an article that first appeared in the print edition of Weekend Post on Saturday June 16 2012.