You know all those boring, glamorous superlatives that you read about in all of the Supertubes articles? Longest. Best. Most perfect. Most exhilarating. When you see Supers going off like it was today for the JBU Supertrial powered by Monster Energy they all become true.

The JBU Supertrial is the trials event for the Corona Open JBay, and it dishes out a wildcard to a local deserving surfer who wins the event. It’s a club event – the JBU is a local surf club – but it has great grassroots appeal and the whole town and more always arrive to watch the drama unfolding.

After the massive storm that hit Cape Town and moved up the coast, there was much trepidation that today would be too big, too wild, out of control and just a series of rolling wash-through sets. Turns out it was perfect. Windy but perfect, with a 10 point ride the highlight of the day, as well as a whole bunch of excellent rides to up the ante. 

J-bay turning on the juice for defending Trials champ, Steven Sawyer. Photo: ©Van Gysen

For a local surfer – whether a WQS grinder or just a local competitor – a wildcard into the Corona open JBay is a big deal. It’s the biggest event in the country and it could make that surfer an instant hero in front of thousands of local fans, tv stations and international media. It also means a minimum prize money of US$10,000, and with the local currency crippled and the nation entering a recession due to the corrupt government who have sold our country off, a US$10,000 is a make or break type of prize purse.

Please be like this for the WCT event next month. Photo: ©Van Gysen

Dale Staples from St Francis Bay just down the drag was today’s champion and will be the surfer competing in the Corona Open JBay next month. He surfed a legendary contest, got the best barrels all day, including the 10-point-ride, and couldn't do a thing wrong in the grinding six-foot tubes that poured through the Supers line-up all day.

Dale pulled into some massive barrels over the Carpark section as well as over the Impossibles section, making some inconceivable barrels and getting rewarded for them with the event win. All the other three surfers in the final, Dylan Lightfoot in second, Matt McGillivray in third and Mikey February in fourth, are all WQS surfers battling it out to qualify, so the surfing was of the highest quality.

Michael February didn't win but he sure had a lot of fun with classic J-bay almost all to himself. Photo:©Van Gysen

“It was absolutely pumping out there the whole day,” said Staples after the event. “The waves were really good, and I was so happy to be out there getting such firing waves for an event.”

A couple of big sets moved in during the day, including a giant set that caught former CT surfer and invitee Greg Emslie down at Impossibles and mowed him down. “I hit the reef so hard on my arse,” said Emslie getting breath back on the beach. “Then I surfaced, got hit by another one and went back down and got pressed onto the reef.”

Trials winner Dale Staples will line up against the the top 34 when they come to town in July. ©Van Gysen

After that Emslie got washed down to Point and by the time he got back to Supers the heat was over and he was eliminated.

The wildcards at the Corona Open JBay have been known to wreak havoc at the contest due to their innate knowledge of the break. While Supers seems dreamily perfect, there are a whole slew of tricks to surfing the wave well. Wildcard Sean Holmes exploited his local knowledge to the fullest, beating Andy Irons three times over the years at Supers, and once defeating both AI and Kelly in one event, even though he was surfing with an injured back. That’s when he became known as The Nemesis as well as one of the favourite surfers to watch at Supers.

Either way, today Dale Staples was the man, with multiple barrels throughout the day, and will be representing South Africa and JBU as a wildcard in the Corona Open JBay.

The Corona Open JBay has a waiting period from 12th – 23rd July, and is part of the JBay Winterfest