Mick Fanning vs Great White: Ocean Kings Clash

Words and Photographs by Gero Lilleike

We awoke to a perfect Sunday in Jeffreys Bay, a surfer’s wet dream. The sun edged over the horizon, lighting the most beautiful scene. Crisp clean waves rolled down the point, a gentle wind kissing them on their way. We paddled out, caught a few waves and had a laugh. This is the surfing way.

Kelly Slater

Kelly Slater hooking it. Photo: Gero Lilleike

Further up the point, the final day of the the J-Bay Open had begun . Today, a king would be crowned. Last year, Mick Fanning dominated J-Bay in what I call epistellar surf, an event that will be remembered for a long time. This year, the King of J-Bay was back to defend his title, to dominate once more.

We watched a heat you don’t get to see everyday, or ever, if you live in South Africa. Mick Fanning, Kelly Slater and Gabriel Medina, clashing horns for a guaranteed spot in the quarter finals. What made this particular heat special, for me at least, was watching Kelly Slater surf in front of my eyes for the very first time. It was surreal. Just to watch and photograph him drawing lines at J-Bay put a smile on my face. That was my highlight of this year’s event.

Kelly Slater

Kelly Slater draws a fine line. Photo: Gero Lilleike

Kelly Slater

Kelly Slater locks in. Photo: Gero Lilleike

Ocean Kings Clash

Sitting in the surf on that Sunday was just magical. The vibe was good, we were sharing waves, literally having a blast on one of the best waves in the world. What a pleasure! Somewhere out to sea, a Great White, the King of the Deep, was going about its business, slowly making its way to the speed lines at J-Bay.

Mick Fanning

Mick Fanning dominates once more: Photo: Gero Lilleike

For any surfer, a shark, whatever species it may be, is ever present, whether it be in the back of your mind or lurking beneath you when you stroke into your next wave. It’s there when you paddle into the ocean and it’s there when you dream.

When Mick Fanning and Julian Wilson paddled out at Supertubes on Sunday, a shark was present. A mighty clash of ocean kings ensued and so the King of J-Bay was crowned.

 

 

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Adriano De Souza Wins 2012 Billabong Pro J-Bay

Adriano De Souza wins the 2012 Billabong Pro J-Bay Photo: Alan Van Gysen

Words by Gero Lilleike
Photos by Alan Van Gysen

Word on the street has it that the 2012 Billabong Pro J-Bay was one of the best, if not the best event held in Jeffreys Bay to date. Last year saw a lack in swell and the surfers had a tough time competing in the small conditions. This year, J-Bay lit up and provided world class surf almost right through to the end of the event and for those who were there, excluding myself, must have been treated to some phenomenal surfing and I’m pretty sure people will remember this one for years to come.

Adriano De Souza digs in deep to win the 2012 Billabong Pro J-Bay Photo: Alan Van Gysen

Two-time J-Bay winner Jordy Smith, despite his best efforts, fell to the sword of Frenchman Joan Duru in the round of 16 who went on to face Brazilian Adriano De Souza in the final. But it was local boy Dale Staples who carried the hopes of South African spectators with an epic battle against Hawaiian John John Florence in the round of 16. Staples laid down the law to advance to the quarter finals, leaving Florence with his tale between his legs. Dale Staples then came up against Aritz Aranburu in the quarters and unfortunately struggled to catch the right waves, giving Aranburu an easy win.

Adriano De Souza and Joan Duru both came out on top in the semi’s and set the stage for the final showdown.  The two battled it out in the onshore conditions and at the end of the day,  Adriano De Souza was crowned the Billabong Pro J-Bay winner for 2012 with a 16 – 13.60 defeat over Duru. De Souza had this to say of his win, “I’ve come to South Africa and to Jeffreys Bay for so many years, and have always seen the guys win the Billabong Pro, and now it’s my turn, I’m just so happy, and I’m going to remember this win for my whole life. J-Bay is a special place for me and hopefully see you again next year.”

Dale Staples shows John John Florence who’s boss at the 2012 Billabong Pro J-Bay Photo: Alan Van Gysen

 

 

The Spirit of Ubuntu

Words by Gero Lilleike
Photos: Ubuntu Backpackers

 

Ubuntu Backpackers


Like a bright star shining in the night sky, this place lights up for one reason and one reason only, surfing. Once a year, Jeffrey’s Bay in the Eastern Cape of South Africa becomes the focal point in the surfing world with the Billabong Pro being South Africa’s most anticipated surfing event held at the world famous Supertubes.

Ubuntu Entertainment Lounge

Surprisingly, I’ve never stayed in Jeffrey’s Bay and witnessed it in full swing but I was excited to witness it myself and booked into Ubuntu Backpackers. I decided to put the luxury of a bed aside and pitch a tent instead. The facilities at Ubuntu Backpackers are more than comfortable with everything you could possibly need at your disposal. Apart from camping, Ubuntu Backpackers offers ample accommodation in the form of five double rooms, one four sleeper mini-dorm and a ten sleeper dormitory.

Ubuntu Jazz

 

Ubuntu Backpackers is a friendly place filled with friendly people and owner Daryn Sinclair, with his cool, relaxed attitude is no exception and the vibe seems to rub off on everyone here. With a spacious, upstairs entertainment area, lounge and deck area, there is always time to socialise and meet new people in a warm atmosphere. The layout and artwork of Ubuntu Backpackers creates a warm homely feel and it certainly lives up to its name meaning ‘humanity to others’.

Ubuntu Artwork

 
With a world class surf break in sight, it’s easy to climb into the sea. Ubuntu Backpackers is ideally situated near Supertubes and the waves can be seen from the balconies. When the Billabong Pro is running, Jeffrey’s Bay turns into a buzz of activity with people from all walks of life descending on the town to feast their eyes on the great waves and the brave men who ride them. Parties are held throughout the town for the duration of the contest with bands and DJ’s rocking into the early hours of the morning, every night. If you are seeking peace and quite, go surfing, or escape into the surrounding garden, you will be pleasantly surprised to find hammocks and couches to keep you chilling for hours.

Ubuntu Quiver

So if you ever in Jeffrey’s Bay, surfer or not and find yourself in need of accommodation with a sweet vibe, pull into Ubuntu Backpackers, a fun experience is waiting for you here and you might just catch the wave of your life too.

Surf Of Your Life

For more information visit www.jaybay.co.za