• South Africans Joshe Faulkner and Matthew McGillivray Ready for Competition Start at Home Break

• World No. 2 Johanne Defay and No. 3 Lakey Peterson Eager to Lock into WSL Final 5 at Corona Open J-Bay

• More Available at WorldSurfLeague.com

The holding period for the Corona Open J-Bay, Stop No. 9 on the World Surf League (WSL) 2022 Championship Tour (CT), will open today, Tuesday, July 12 and will run through Thursday, July 21, 2022. As the second-to-last stop before the Rip Curl WSL Finals, this competition will be pivotal in the World Title race, as only the Top 5 men and Top 5 women on the CT rankings will be eligible to compete in the Rip Curl WSL Finals.

Jeffreys Bay is revered as one of the world’s best right-hand point breaks. Supertubes will play host to the world’s best surfers throughout the next 10 days with promising swell on the way for the first half of the competition window. Additionally, the Eastern Cape boasts unspoiled picturesque coastlines, rolling hills and valleys, incredible wildlife, and the traditional Xhosa culture.

South Africans Joshe Faulkner and Matthew McGillivray Ready for Competition Start at Home Break

Joshe Faulkner (RSA, above) grew up in Pellsrus, Jeffreys Bay, a stone’s throw away from the world-class Supertubes break. After being inspired by friends coming home with trophies from local surfing competitions, Faulkner learned to surf and instantaneously fell in love with the sport. This year he is competing on the Challenger Series to try and qualify for the 2023 CT, but this week Faulkner will realise his lifelong dream to compete at his home break in front of family and friends.

“I’m over the moon, I still can’t believe I got this wildcard,” said Faulkner. “I’m feeling amazing and ready, let’s do this! I’ve watched this event every year since I started surfing. It’s been a childhood dream for me and I’m super stoked to get this opportunity to be competing in this event. The response has been amazing, there’s so much support from the local crew. I’m excited to put on a show for the locals.”

Matthew McGillivray (RSA) first competed in the Corona Open J-Bay in 2018 as a wildcard and has been dreaming of coming back ever since.

“J-Bay has always been my dream event,” said McGillivray. “My family and I would come and watch the event every year. I was always so amazed by what everyone was doing, trying to get their autographs on the beach. I don’t think I even dreamed of being in the event one day, but it slowly became a reality when I got a wildcard entry back in 2018. Now we’re back and we have an amazing forecast, the setup is amazing and so many people from around the country are so excited to come to this competition.

“The forecast is looking promising, I can’t wait. Coming from Jeffreys Bay, it’s always been a dream to compete in this event. There was a big motivation for me to make the Mid-season Cut and it meant a lot to me when I made the cut. It means so much to surf at my home break in front of my home crowd and I’m really excited for this week.”

World No. 2 Johanne Defay and No. 3 Lakey Peterson Eager to Lock into WSL Final 5 at Corona Open J-Bay

Johanne Defay (FRA, above) sits at World No. 2 on the CT rankings and could clinch her spot in the WSL Final 5 in South Africa. The 28-year-old locked in the 5th spot last year, but a favorable result at the Corona Open J-Bay could afford her a higher seed this year and give her a better opportunity to claim her maiden World Title. Despite still missing her luggage and most of her surfboard bags, Defay is staying positive ahead of opening day.

“I’m super motivated,” said Defay. “I live in Reunion Island and it’s not that far from here, so being back in the Indian Ocean, I’m hoping it will give me some good luck! I’m super happy to be here. I’ve had some luggage issues, but it’s part of the journey. I’m happy to see the forecast and I look forward to enjoying it. When you get caught up in the rankings, it doesn’t really work for me, so I’m going to focus on surfing and enjoying it. I hope everyone gets good waves and that we can put on a good show.”

World No. 3 Lakey Peterson (USA) is looking to go all the way this year and lift the coveted trophy. The Californian has been runner-up at the Corona Open J-Bay twice before and has yet to take the win. Peterson’s love for right-hand point breaks shows through her CT success and after a runner-up finish in El Salvador, Peterson demonstrated how close she is to victory in 2022, with J-Bay possibly being her event to win.

“I’d love to get a great result here and solidify my spot to get into the WSL Final 5,” said Peterson. “I love a right-hand point break and J-Bay is not easy, but it feels familiar. The pace of the wave is incredible, it’s such a big open canvas, you can create whatever you want and I love that about it. Hopefully, third time’s the charm.”

Wildcard and Injury Updates for Corona Open J-Bay

Jeffreys Bay local Faulkner has been awarded the men’s event wildcard, and Tia Blanco (USA) will be the women’s wildcard, the last of three wildcards from her Ultimate Surfer prize. The 2019 Corona Open J-Bay winner, Gabriel Medina (BRA), will not be surfing in J-Bay after he injured his knee during the Oi Rio Pro pres. by Corona in Saquarema. He will be replaced by the 2023 wildcard and 2022 injury replacement, Yago Dora (BRA). John John Florence (HAW) also withdrew from this competition following his knee injury at the Quiksilver Pro G-Land and will be replaced by Luke Thompson (RSA), the highest-ranked male South African surfer on the Challenger Series rankings.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

Corona Open J-Bay Women’s Opening Round 1 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Brisa Hennessy (CRI), Courtney Conlogue (USA)
HEAT 2: Carissa Moore (HAW), Gabriela Bryan (HAW), Tia Blanco (USA)
HEAT 3: Johanne Defay (FRA), Isabella Nichols (AUS), Caroline Marks (USA)
HEAT 4: Lakey Peterson (USA), Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), Tyler Wright (AUS)

Corona Open J-Bay Men’s Opening Round 1 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Griffin Colapinto (USA), Matthew McGillivray (RSA), Jadson Andre (BRA)
HEAT 2: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Jordy Smith (RSA), Yago Dora (BRA)
HEAT 3: Jack Robinson (AUS), Kolohe Andino (USA), Luke Thompson (RSA)
HEAT 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Nat Young (USA), Joshe Faulkner (RSA)
HEAT 5: Ethan Ewing (AUS), Barron Mamiya (HAW), Jackson Baker (AUS)
HEAT 6: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Seth Moniz (HAW)
HEAT 7: Callum Robson (AUS), Samuel Pupo (BRA), Jake Marshall (USA)
HEAT 8: Miguel Pupo (BRA), Connor O’Leary (AUS), Kelly Slater (USA)

Watch LIVE
The Corona Open J-Bay opens on July 12 and holds a competition waiting period through July 21, 2022. The competition will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL app, and on WSL’s YouTube Channel. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.