According to the guys in lab coats, this year is shaping up to be the biggest and best El Niño year in recorded history. Big rains, warm water, and a huge possibility for some truly mind altering surf. Each year at about this time we normally get reports on how minimal the el niño affects are going to be. Not this year, oh baby not this year.
For anyone unfamiliar with what el niño is or is just new to surfing in general. El Niño is the warm phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Basically the ENSO is a water temperature variation that takes place in the central pacific and affects the weather conditions in the tropics and subtropics. The Warm phase (El Niño) brings about a shift in warmer water temperatures which helps develop stronger tropical storms and a slew of other effects.
Scientists over at NOAA’s Analysis and Monitoring say, “There is a greater than 90% chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere winter 2015-16, and around an 80% chance it will last through early spring 2016.” Full Report Here
What that means for you: Warmer water during the winter and a massive increase in swell along the west coast. Now, you might be thinking “I’m in Florida, Why should I care about the surf in SoCal?” Well you should, because a big El Niño happening in the pacific brings some of the best wind swell for the southeastern US.
It might not be as awesome as the knee-buckling swell the west coast is going to see, but it is better than nothing! Start saving up your sick time at work because this year could be a good time to call in.
The J-Bay Open in South Africa has been called off for the time being in light of an incident that took place this morning, July 19th. During a finalist heat with Julian Wilson (AUS), Mick Fanning (AUS) was attacked by two great white sharks.
Watch the attack below.
Both surfers got out of the water safely and will meet with the World Surf League commissioner to determine the next steps. The WSL released an official announcement about the incident.
"We are incredibly grateful that no one was seriously injured today. Mick's composure and quick acting in the face of a terrifying situation was nothing short of heroic and the rapid response of our Water Safety personnel was commendable -- they are truly world class at what they do.
"The safety of our athletes is a priority for the WSL and, after discussions with both Finalists, we have decided to cancel the remainder of competition at the J-Bay Open. We appreciate the ongoing support we have in South Africa and once again want to express our gratitude to the Water Safety Team."
Round 4 Heat 3 of the Jeffrey Bay Open in South Africa is shaping up to be an exhilarating display of some serious surfing. With the three competitors having 15 world championships between them, Round 4 is going to be a great show for the fans.
Medina started J-Bay with creative and precise surfing that has been uncharacterstic of his season so far. Being the reigning world champion Medina was expected to continue the momentum and stay on top. He is currently sitting at NO. 20 on the leaderboards and has a lot to prove in this competition. Despite his uninspired season, Medina pulled off three 9 point rides in Round 3 with more expected to follow.
Fanning on the other hand is slated as the clear frontrunner. With three World Championships under his belt and sitting at NO. 3 on the Jeep leaderboards, Fanning is expected to do big things in this competition. We haven't seen anything to flashy from Fanning this season but he has been pushing out some consistently good surfing.
Slater, very uncharacteristically of himself, has been having a very rough season. Despite sitting at NO. 11 on the leaderboards Slater won round 1 in the first two waves. He has kept that momentum through the rest of the tournament so far and we know that 11 World Championships count for something.
Round 4 of the J-Bay Open continues at 7:30 am local time.
Keep your eyes PEELed we will post the recap tomorrow.
Check out some of the Heat recaps for day 3 of the Jeffrey Bay Open in South Africa, Courtesy of the World Surf League. Day 1 and 2 also below in case you missed it!
Day 3 Heat Recap
Day 2 Heat Recap
Day 1 Heat Recap
Plus an additional shot of Gabriel Medina stomping some sick airs!
Subscribe and check out the news daily we will be following J-Bay and giving you some daily highlights of the events.
The Men's Championship Tour continues in Jeffrey's Bay, South Africa this week with several early injuries that have only extended the Tour's injury list.
First of which was Matt Banting, (AUS) who withdrew from the competition shorty before his heat due to a free-surf incident. Banting posted a video on his Instagram that we reposted below.
"Because it's bruised bone you never know how bad it is and in that same session I still caught about six or eight waves so I kept trying to tell myself it's all good," Banting mentioned. "But it was hurting pretty bad and once it got cold it swelled up and we knew something happened for sure."
John John Florence (HAW) was the next to withdraw from the J-Bay Open. This marks his second withdrawal from a competition due to an injury. John John has been suffering from an on-going ankle injury he experienced during a surf-trip.
WSL Deputy Commissioner, Renato Hickel commented that John John was letting his foot rest in order to be ready for Tahiti.
Up next is Jeremy Flores, who had withdrawn from the J-Bay Open due to a head injury he sustained while surfing in Indonesia.
"I just did some last MRI and the doctors are saying I won't be able to surf in the J-Bay event," said Flores. "I have two fractures in my face and a contusion in my brain."
Flores is an addition to the list of injured CT athletes this season, including Michel Bourez (PYF), John John Florence (HAW), Jordy Smith (ZAF) and Brett Simpson (USA). Each surfer had withdrawn from the Fiji Pro prior.
Keep your eyes PEELed, More News from J-Bay incoming.
But you'll have to be nice and patient. Things are coming along swimmingly and we can't wait to share, but for now, check out the surf report courtesy of SurfLine and check back shortly!