Here's the latest regarding the upcoming JBay Open:
Michael February - IN
Other than his semi-final against Jordy, Mikey has won everything in South African surfing this year. He comes in hot and he knows the wave well. He'll most likely draw Jordy again in R1.
Caio Ibelli - IN
The 2016 ROTY looks to be out of his ankle brace and, by all reports, looks set to take his place in the draw at JBay. He's been out of the water (unless you include fishing) for a few weeks now, so his preparation will have been impacted, but we suggest you check the video posts close to the event date and make your own calls.
Dale Staples - IN as Trials Winner
The St Francis Bay local is ranked 228th on the QS going into Ballito Pro, so he's all but guaranteed to be the lowest seed. That said, he was ripping his way through the trials last week with some incendiary barrel work at the famed JBay . He beat former trials winners Steven Sawyer (2016) and Dylan Lightfoot (2014), as well as local challengers Michael February and Matt McGillivray, on his way to a resounding victory.
Interestingly, Dale beat JJF to make the quarters here while it was a QS 6 Star event in 2012. Ezekiel Lau made the semis and Joan Duru finished 2nd at the same event that year.
If that doesn't convince you of his credentials, then check out the JBay spot on the YouRiding app:
That's right, Dale is the local expert. You don't get better credentials than that: a hand-held surfing game with a photo and pre-written quote. Lock him in for the win!
Filipe Toledo - IN
Filipe has spent his time in WSL exile surfing Brazilian beachbreaks and doing tow-ats. It's not really a substitute for Cloudbreak, nor is it the perfect preparation for a reeling point. It looked fun though. Have the judges forgiven and moved on? Do they bear professional grudges?
Nat Young - OUT
Nat will miss his first event of the season now that all of the injury/suspension replacement spots have dried up. The WSL may give him a spot, although they seem to be loving Yago right now so who knows?
All updated and locked in: