JBay local Matt McGillivray nabs first QS Victory in Israel

Matthew McGillivray has won the SEAT Pro Netanya presented by Reef, in shifty 1.0 to 1.5 metre surf, defeating Charly Martin (FRA) in the event’s final.

The last day of competition resumed in solid surf on 20 January 2018 from the storm that hit the Israeli coast  and conditions cleaned up to deliver great conditions for the finals.

The first World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 3,000 rated event of 2018 unfolded in great conditions over the ten days of the event’s waiting period, culminating today with McGillivray’s victory.

“This feels amazing,” McGillivray exclaimed. “This is my third year on the QS, I’ve put in a lot of hard work so it feels amazing to finally get a win.

Yesterday the waves were huge with the big storm so we were wondering what was going to happen today, but it got better and better and there were some amazing waves in the final.”

The 20 year-old from Jeffreys Bay had an incredible run from Round One through to the final, scoring seven heat totals above 14 points, including a near-perfect 18.33 in the semis to eliminate one of the strongest surfers this week, California’s Kei Kobayashi.

This victory today marks McGillivray’s first on the Qualifying Series and will see him take the number one spot on the QS rankings before the next leg of events, already underway in Australia.

“Israel’s an amazing country,” McGillivray continued. “Everyone we met here was so passionate about surfing.

There are way more surfers that I could have ever expected and everyone was super friendly and very supportive on the beach. We’ve had great food every day, it’s really been a great trip!”


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1 – Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 15.53

2 – Charly Martin (FRA) 13.93


SF 1: Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 18.33 def. Kei Kobayashi (USA) 6.80

SF 2: Charly Martin (FRA) 15.30 def. Nelson Cloarec (FRA) 13.50


QF 1: Kei Kobayashi (USA) 14.50 def. Reo Inaba (JPN) 12.10

QF 2: Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 14.17 def. Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) 11.34

QF 3: Nelson Cloarec (FRA) 12.43 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 11.34

QF 4: Charly Martin (FRA) 13.26 def. Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 13.23

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