Kouga Council strives to save Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay

Saving the prestigious Billabong Pro J’Bay will be on the agenda when Kouga Executive Mayor, Booi Koerat, meets with Billabong SA this week.

In a television interview on Tuesday, Mayoral Committee member, Vernon Stuurman, said the Kouga Council would be doing all in its power to help Billabong SA reclaim Africa’s biggest surfing competition. “The Billabong Pro J’Bay is the only World Championship Tour (WCT) event on the African continent,” he said.

Kouga Mayoral committee member, Vernon Stuurman, being interviewed by SATV

Kouga Mayoral committee member, Vernon Stuurman, with Chad from Billabong SA

Another shot of Kouga Mayoral committee member, Vernon Stuurman, being interviewed at Supertubes

Stuurman’s interview followed the announcement by Billabong International last week that the J’Bay leg of the WCT would be downgraded to an ASP qualifying event for 2012 as part of the company’s cost-cutting measures.  The official statement by Billabong International reads: “The change in event status follows a broader review in which we are seeking to identify cost-savings throughout the business.”

Stuurman said the Council would decide on an action plan after its meeting with Billabong SA but that they were ready to lobby both provincial and national government for assistance to save the contest.

He added that the Billabong Pro J’Bay had become part of the very fibre that makes up the town and that the Kouga Council was not willing to sit back and do nothing to try and save it.