Jeffreys Bay local Matthew McGillivray posted the only perfect 10 point score and went on to finish runner-up in the Papara Pro Surf, a World Surf League (WSL) event that ended in Tahiti on March 17.
Competing in the punchy 3-4 foot beach break conditions at Taharu‘u Beach, McGillivray completed two frontside air reverses on the same wave in his semi-final match-up against Shane Holmes (AUS) before battling through a see-saw final with eventual winner Dimitri Ouvre, the only professional surfer from the small Caribbean island of Saint Barthelemy.
“I’ve been working on my air reverses tons at home,” says McGillivray of his perfect score. “The wind was perfect for airs, it was blowing to the wave face.
That wave had a bit of power so I managed to build up a nice bit of speed. I already had two scores, so I just wanted to try to go for broke and get a better one.”
In the final, McGillivray had a good start with a 6.25 on his first wave to take an early lead. Ouvre started with a 5.25 and added a 7.75 to take the lead.
The two surfers then exchanged rides with a 7.9 for Ouvre followed by a 7.6 for the South African, with Ouvre ultimately securing the title by 15.65 points to McGillivray’s 13.85 (both out of 20).
Slade Prestwich (Durban) and Shane Sykes (Salt Rock) were the only other Saffas in Tahiti and finished 33rd and 25th respectively.