Sharks have been a main theme this year on tour and we’re about to head to the original shark controversy contest that there is on tour. For those of you who have forgotten, the 2015 J-Bay event was called off during the final when Mick Fanning had what has been described as a “shark encounter”. Mick’s life took a dramatic turn, we questioned wether or not the event should even be held at J-Bay in the future, and shark monitoring became a thing we had to pay attention to during events.

Fast forward to today and the tour is just getting over another shark experience; this time in Margaret River. This time, the WSL pre-emptively cut the event short at Margaret River only to re-locate it to Uluwatu several weeks later. We are now asking the same questions regarding the Margaret River event as we did in 2015 for J-Bay.

With that in mind, here’s some stats to consider when selecting your Fantasy Surfer team for the 2018 Men’s AND Women’s Corona J-Bay Open.

-This is the first year that a women’s event has been included in the event. While years behind, this is a very welcome addition to the tour. However there aren’;t any women with a competitive advantage here over another as none of them have surfed a heat here.

-Goofyfoot surfers have a distinct disadvantage here as evidenced by the fact that no goofy has ever won the modern CT event at J-Bay. In fact, the last time a goofyfoot even made the final was in 2009.

-There are 4 former J-Bay winners competing in this years event. Kelly Slater (1996, 2003, 2005, 2008), Joel Parkinson (1999, 2009), Jordy Smith (2010, 2011), and Filipe Toledo (2017).

-Joel Parkinson’s win in 1999 came as a wildcard; not a full-time CT surfer.

-Mick Fanning, who retired earlier this year, was a four-time winner at this event and a seven-time finalist. He single-handedly created a log jam of surfers who have never won this event.

And now, on to the facts:

WHO: The WSL Men’s Top 34 + 2 wildcards

WHAT: Stop #6 of the Men’s & Women’s 2018 WSL Championship Tour

WHEN: July 2-13, 2018

WHERE: Jeffreys Bay, Eastern Cape, South Africa

DEFENDING CHAMPION: Filipe Toledo (Women’s event not held in 2017)

TIME ZONE: Jeffreys Bay, South Africa, is six hours ahead of the US East Coast and nine hours ahead of the US West Coast. It is also one hour ahead of the United Kingdom.

This means that 8:00 AM, July 2nd, in South Africa is:
8:00 AM, July 2nd, in France
7:00 AM, July 2nd, in the United Kingdom
2:00 AM, July 2nd, in New York
11:00 PM, July 1st, in Los Angeles
8:00 PM, July 1st, in Honolulu

Plan accordingly. If your time zone equivalent is not listed above, we recommend visiting www.TimeAndDate.com.

WILDCARDS / INJURIES / INJURY REPLACEMENTS: (Updated June 30, 2018) John John Florence and Caio Ibelli have both withdrawn from the event due to injury. They have been replaced by Wiggolly Dantas and Miguel Pupo. Mikey Wright has been given a wildcard into the main event. The final men’s wildcard is TBA.

On the women’s side, Paige Hareb has withdrawn due to injury. Bianca Buitendag replaces her in the draw. Macy Callaghan has secured the wildcard into the event.

EVENT WEBSITE: Tune into the WSL’s event live at http://www.worldsurfleague.com, but only if you’re at home on your desktop. If you’re not, you’ll be watching the event via Facebook. This is the first time the WSL has made this change, so we’ll see how it works.

HEAT DRAW:

Men’s 2018 Corona J-Bay Open
Round 1 Heat Draw:
Heat 1: Jordy Smith, Frederico Morais, Michael February
Heat 2: Michel Bourez, Sebastian Zietz, Ian Gouveia
Heat 3: Italo Ferreira, Kanoa Igarashi, Kelly Slater
Heat 4: Gabriel Medina, Tomas Hermes, Miguel Pupo
Heat 5: Filipe Toledo, Matt Wilkinson, Wiggolly Dantas
Heat 6: Julian Wilson, Joel Parkinson, TBA
Heat 7: Willian Cardoso, Ezekiel Lau, Keanu Asing
Heat 8: Owen Wright, Conner Coffin, Joan Duru
Heat 9: Kolohe Andino, Mikey Wright, Pat Gudauskas
Heat 10: Adrian Buchan, Adriano DeSouza, Yago Dora
Heat 11: Griffin Colapinto, Wade Carmichael, Jesse Mendes
Heat 12: Michael Rodrigues, Jeremy Flores, Connor O'Leary

Women’s 2018 Corona J-Bay Open
Round 1 Heat Draw:
Heat 1: Johanne Defay, Sally Fitzgibbons, Sage Erickson
Heat 2: Tyler Wright, Silvana Lima, Bronte Macauley
Heat 3: Lakey Peterson, Malia Manuel, Bianca Buitendag
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore, Nikki Van Dijk, Macy Callaghan
Heat 5: Tatiana Weston-Webb, Keely Andrew, Courtney Conlogue
Heat 6: Carissa Moore, Caroline Marks, Coco Ho

FANTASY: As always, Fantasy Surfer is ready for you to select your teams for the 2017 Corona Open. Select your teams NOW at FantasySurfer.com

And don’t forget the highlight of the 2017 Corona J-Bay Open; Filipe Toledo’s perfect 10 double alley oop: