Surfers are some of the most environmentally-conscious people on the planet. They do their thing wrapped up in nature. They are floating on the ocean that is teeming with sea life, feeling the wind in their faces, and riding waves to the beach. They know that there is no excuse for wastage, for pollution, and for not opting for renewable and solar energy. Surfers’ houses often have solar panels installed, back up battery systems off solar, rain water tanks, solar geysers. They have stickers like Save The Whales, No Nukes, and Surfers for Cetaceans. They are an extremely small and somewhat insignificant segment of the population that lead the way in harnessing solar and renewable energy in their domestic set-ups.
Down in Jeffreys Bay the World Surf League Championship Tour event has rolled into town, and it’s a biggie. The biggest surfing event in the country, and one of the biggest in the world, with all the best surfers in town to compete for the $525,000 prize money, which is quite a healthy amount in good ole ZAR (R6,5 M).
The thing about JBay is that when the waves get good they are nearly always accompanied by bad weather. Cold front weather, strong to gale force south west winds, driving rain, and some of the best surf in the known world. With the wind and the extreme conditions, the water gets cold, and the wind chill factor make it all but freezing, even with the best in wetsuit technology available.
What does this all have to do with solar energy and the environmentally conscious surfer? A lot actually, let me tell you all about it.
The JBay Open contest organisers strive to keep their ecological footprint down. An ecological footprint is a measure of human demand on the Earth’s ecosystems. One of the ways that they do this is to install solar heated showers for the competitors to get some warmth back into their blood and bones after surfing in freezing water for their heats. The company that the JBay Open organisers employ to keep the best surfers warm without prejudicing their events ecological footprint is none other than Genergy.
“We’re proud of our association with the JBay Open,” said Genergy CEO Terry Billson. ‘The surfing competitors have unlimited hot water, pretty much, after their heats, and they’re always happy to warm up after a session in the cold water. It also helps to keep the event green.”
The inclusion of Genergy at the contest site is a great way for surfers to become more accustomed to the value and power of solar energy, and how it can help and work in every day use without anyone having to rely on Eskom.
The waiting period for the JBay Open is 8 – 19 July, and it takes place at Supertubes, Jeffreys Bay. The event can be watched live on the webcast here – JBay Open Live Webcast