South African surfers shine in World Qualifying Series

South Africans Matt McGillivray and Benji Brand posted impressive results in Australia and Hawaii respectively to move into the Top 30 on the latest World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) rankings, while Sarah Baum opened her 2017 season by reaching the last 16 down under.

McGillivray battled his way through three rounds of overhead waves in the 160 man field for QS1,000 Kommunity Project Great Lakes Pro at Boomerang Beach in New South Wales.

The 19 year-old from Jeffreys Bay was eliminated in the quarterfinals by defending event winner and eventual 2017 runner-up Wade Carmichael (AUS).

McGillivray pocketed R5,000 and 420 points for his season best 5th place finish, which saw him retain 29th spot in the latest QS rankings.

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Bevan Willis (Umdloti) was a Round 1 casualty while Shane Sykes (Salt Rock) and Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) each advanced through one round to finish 33rd and 25th respectively and Jordy Maree (Cape Town) progressed through two rounds for a 17th place result.

The event was won by former WSL Championship Tour (CT) campaigner Keanu Asing (HAW) who recorded an outstanding heat tally of 18.73 out of 20 when defeating Carmichael in the final.

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