Meet Kirsty McGillivray – JBay’s SA Surf Champion

JBay News caught up with Kirsty McGillivray, who dominated the Billabong SA Junior Surf Champs held in Jeffreys Bay last week.

Kirsty won her age group and has received her national colours for surfing.

kirsty mcgillivray sa champ


Family: I live with my Dad (Don) and Mum (Kathy) and brother, Matt, who is 18 years old and who has won the U15 and U17 SA Junior Championships previously, and who was also selected for the SA Junior team.

I also have 2 other older brothers who are now out of the house and living in Port Elizabeth. They love to surf but only for fun and not competitively.

Age: 14

Pets: I love animals and have 3 dogs and a cat. I also love horses and do horseriding twice a week at Featherfoot Horseriding at Kabeljous.

School: Global Leadership Academy in Jeffreys Bay and I am in Grade 8.

Local Surf Break: I am very fortunate to live on the beachfront at Point, and so I surf Point almost every day.

Surfboard Shaper: I am a team-rider for Spider Surfboards which are made in Durban by shaper Spider Murphy.

Wetsuit: Billabong, who sponsor me. I prefer to wear a 3.2 wetsuit rather than a 4.3 so that I can move more freely. I love it when the water is warm enough to surf in just my Billabong surf capsule.

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Kirsty and her brother Matt, who is also a national team surfer.
Kirsty and her brother Matt, who is also a national team surfer.

How long have you been surfing: I started surfing 3 and a half years ago when I moved to Jeffreys Bay from Port Elizabeth.

Best Surf Break ever ridden: We live at one of the best surf breaks in the world
and I love to surf Point. I have also surfed Supertubes a few times but prefer Point. I also enjoy Tofhino in Mozambique.

Role Models: One of my favourite role models is Bethany Hamilton who, as a young girl, lost her arm while surfing due to a shark attack, but who did not let that stop her from surfing and from living her life to the full,and who has a strong faith in the Lord Jesus.

Core Surf

Where will the National Team compete: The venue and dates for the 2016 ISA World Championships still need to be confirmed. There will be many countries participating with teams composed of their top surfers to compete for the award of being the top country in the world.

It will give the SA surfers a chance to perform among the best in the world, and will be very good experience for those who want to continue competing internationally.

Goals: I wanted to win the U15 Girls division of the Billabong SA Junior Championships, and I am thrilled to have achieved that goal and to have received my South African blazer to surf for my country overseas.

Anything you want to tell us: I love the sea and love surfing with my brothers and friends. Its really cool being a Billabong team rider and representing the brand.

The Billabong Women’s team manager, Vangie Boettger, is a wonderful mentor and leader for the Billabong girls.

I also spend a lot of time with the Smith girls, Zoe, Emma and Gina and we all surf together.

Thanks to everyone for their support during the SA Junior Champs. It was very special to win the event in my home town and I appreciate everyone who backed me all the way!

Kirsty at her favourite surf break - Point. Photo: Billabong/Ian Thurtell
Kirsty at her favourite surf break – Point. Photo: Billabong/Ian Thurtell

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