Ana's Blog - Live from J-Bay !
Ana is our lucky winner of the Billabong Win a Trip competition that we did in Europe last year. Her name was drawn and we sent her last week on an 18 hours trip from her hometown San Sebastian in the Basque Country (Spain) to fly out to Jeffrey's Bay to have the full VIP experience at the Billabong Pro J-Bay,one of the most prestigious contests of the World Tour. But let's hear what the 19 year-old has to tell us about her trip to Jeffrey's Bay, South Africa.
here is my second blog post for you guys in Europe about my experience here at the Billabong Pro J-Bay. The last couple of days have been very quite here at Jeffrey's Bay. The swell has dropped drastically and all the surfers went out of town to do all the fun stuff that Africa and the area around J-Bay has to offer.
For example there is a fantastic surfmuseum where they have all sorts of history from the area here. There are all sorts of old articles from surfing magazines, old boards and even a surfboard from a guy that has been attacked by a shark around here.
On Sunday evening I went with a couple of people who are also staying at my guesthouse to the Billabong Music Festival at the Jolly Dolphin here in J-Bay. They had a couple of bands playing and even Jordy Smith came out with his girlfriend to keep himself entertained on the laydays. If you are into new and fresh music you should google or "like" a guy called Jeremy Loops on Facebook. This guy is amazing. He uses a recording machine to create all sorts of sounds and layers live on stage and keeps looping them to create his songs. It is amazing guitar music and with his MC rapping he had every single person in the audience dancing and singing along. Seriously make sure you check him out. He will be famous soon, I am sure!
The lady that owns the guesthouse invited us to the farm that her family owns to have a full African braai. That is the African way to have a BBQ. They have this huge dairy farm inland from J-Bay and beside myself there were a few other guest from the guesthouse as well as most of the ASP officials including the ASP World Tour Manager Renato Hickel. It was very interesting talking to these guys and get some insights on how the judging works and what it really takes to organize a contest of this size. Some of them are Portuguese and they could speak pretty good Spanish, which was fun as well. Seriously, I never expected to get to know all these people before I arrived here and they are all so nice and easy to talk to.
Mick Fanning and his crew are staying at the same guesthouse where I am staying, so we usually have a chat when everyone is preparing their dinner at night. Mick told me about this lion park where you can see all sorts of African animals and can also fundle the baby lions that they have. That's where I went yesterday and after a fun drive through the park where I saw zebras, antelopes, giraffes as well as Michel Bourez and Dusty Payne and his girlfriend who all had the same plan for the day, we came to the lion sanctuary where they shelter and feed baby lions. I had the choice to either "meet" a bunch of three 9-weeks old cubs or the two 6-months old lions. Despite their young age these 6 months old lions are pretty big already and they have sharp claws. Entering their cage was a bit frightening at the beginning because despite their calm nature they still are wild animals after all. But it all went well and with a lot of respect and caution I had a great time with these fantastic animals. The guards at the sanctuary told me that as soon as the lions turn 14 months it is too dangerous to enter their cage because by then you can't shove them away from you anymore even though they just want to play with you they can hurt you pretty bad by then!
On the way home I was in a really good mood and we were all joking and laughing in the car. Suddenly on the motorway there was a checkpoint by the police. Luckily we had to take the exit just before their checkpoint. So we thought we got away, but just behind the exit was another checkpoint were we had to show our IDs and Kathrin the driver had to show her driver's license. Well, nothing serious and we were not speeding or anything but being stopped by the police in another country is always a bit scatchy.
Last night I went out to have dinner just outside the contest area and the restaurant called Nina's was filled with surf pros. Local standout Jordy Smith was there with his girlfriend, as well as Owen Wilson and Matt Wilkinson and later also the Brasilian crew with Adriano de Souza and Jadson Andre came to the same place.
This morning the competition is on again and the boys are surfing the remaining heats of round 2. I will go check out the contest now! Unfortunately my flight back home is leaving on Sunday, so it will be unlikely that I see the final here at J-Bay, but you never know what the ocean will do. Anyway, I will try to write you some more lines from J-Bay before I go home. In the meantime check the live webcast from J-Bay at www.billabongpro.com.
Hasta Luego, Ana