In the fourth edition of the popular celebrity crossover sports event – the Oakley #XOver2017 powered by Sharp – which took place in JBay at the weekend, Greg Minnaar was the one to take the title! The Oakley X-Over was a highlight of the JBay Winterfest, since the high-profile sporting celebrities added much excitement to the festival.
As part of the One Obsession movement, the Oakley X Over comprises three disciplines, and the athletes are put through their paces in their hunt for the coveted title. It The golf tournament took place at The Links Golf Course in St. Francis, the mountain bike race headed off from the Fountains Mall in JBay, and the much-heralded surfing contest venue is the Lower Point in JBay.
One Obsession: For every athlete, professional or amateur, their sport isn’t just a hobby, but an obsession that they wear proudly, 24/7 #CantStop movement – an invitation to the obsession that never ends.
After a huge day of competition, it was the legendary Greg Minnaar who was crowned the 2017 Oakley X-Over Champion. After a win at the Mountain Bike Race, and a third at the Surf Contest, he went on to score enough points at the Golf Tournament to edge Butch James into second place in the overall tally.
Friday morning started with a very different sort of challenge for the tournament organisers however, as the original venue for the surfing division – Lower Point in JBay, was deemed too large and unruly for the gathered athletes, forcing a move down to Kitchen Windows where the waves were more orderly and well-formed.
Raynard Tissink was a standout in the early surf heats, and despite his modesty, the defending Oakley X-Over champion had his match face on from the get-go. “I think the obvious danger person here is our Australian wildcard Tom Whitaker,” said Tissink. “I’m not that good a surfer, but it’s great fun and I have a shorter board than last year, so I was able to do some nice turns out there.”
In the end it was the Australian wildcard Tom Whitaker who took the win in the surf with a fine display of innovative surfing in the clean three-foot waves. Whitaker, a former full time professional Championship Tour surfer, put on a display of innovative surfing for the judges, including air moves, barrel rides and big carves on the waves of Kitchen Windows.
Dale Steyn was runner-up in the surfing, ahead of Greg Minnaar and Butch James.
“I think it was the best surfing we’ve had so far in Oakley X Over contests,” said Minnaar. “It was unreal. The conditions were great, and it was so much fun being out there. I wish I could get surf like that more often.”
Then it was into the X-Over Golf Tournament that took place at the Links Golf Course. In an exciting finish, Ruan De Smidtwon this from Butch James, and an on-form Garreth McLellan.
When the final tally was all added up, the eventual winner of the 2017 Oakley X-Over was none other than the Downhill Mountain Bike World Champ Greg Minnaar. Butch James was runner up, with John Smit in third position, and the Australian Tom Whitaker in fourth.