In firing surf at Supertubes, Dale Staples from St Francis Bay won the 2017 edition of the JBU Supertrial by powering through some of the biggest and deepest barrels of the day. Staples was in rhythm with the ocean from the start, picking up all the best waves on his route to the final.
Former Tour surfer Greg Emslie was a surprise elimination from round one, after leading for most of the heat. Greg caught a particularly long wave that left him facing a huge set in front of the reef once he’d kicked out. “I got caught inside by a big set and pushed onto the reef,” said Greg. “By the time I surfaced from the first wave, there was another one and more behind it. I hit the reef again and eventually got washed all the way down and came in.”
Former event champion Dylan Lightfoot and defending champion Steven Sawyer did not disappoint, however, and both won their first round heats. With a wildcard into the Corona Open JBay as well as $10k (R127k) up for grabs, there were some determined performances in the breezy conditions with no one giving any quarter.
WQS competitor and perennial Supertubes standout Dale Staples from St Francis Bay was on fire during the first semifinal. With the swell still rising, Dale found some deep barrels, including one ridiculous 10-point barrel ride at the Impossibles section, emerging with a near-perfect heat score of 19.93. Staples was on such a roll that his throw away third wave score was a 9.7.
“It’s really good to get such great waves for a contest,” Dale said after his heat. “That ten-pointer was a nice set wave. It looked like it was going to run off away from me, but it actually held all the way to the end.”
Staples continued his form all the way through to the final, which turned into a barrel frenzy as Supertubes delivered wave after perfect wave throughout the afternoon. Staples jumped into the lead early on in the final with one incredible double tube ride, followed by a second high scoring ride, and his lead was unassailable from then on.
Cape Town’s Mikey February has been having an excellent season but couldn’t find the right ones out there, finishing in fourth place. Local surfer Matt McGillivray had been looking good all event and some had him touted for the win, but he couldn’t match Staples’ incredible tube riding. Former event champion, a fit and determined Dylan Lightfoot from JBay, found some of the biggest waves of the final, but was unable to string together enough combination moves to get close to Staples.
“After I got that early one I was feeling really good, and it’s always great to bank a good score in the beginning, ” said a jubilant Staples on the beach afterward. “Then I got that second nine, and I was stoked and hoping that it would just go flat.”
The Corona Open JBay has a waiting period from 12th – 23rd July and is part of the JBay Winterfest.
1. Dale Staples (St Francis Bay).
2. Dylan Lightfoot. (JBay).
3. Matt McGillivray (JBay).
4. Mikey February (Kommetjie).