JBay surfer Matt McGillivray is currently the highest ranked South African surfer on the World Surf League’s (WSL) Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) rankings.
Rated at number 14 in the world, McGillivray is within striking distance to qualify for the 2020 Championship Tour. The top 10 on the QS make the cut for the following year’s 2020 tour.
Currently competing in the Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa on Oahu, Rip Curl teamrider McGillivray has been showing his prowess, garnered from many a winter’s surfing at Supertubes and at Boneyards in JBay.
McGillivray thrives when the waves get a bit bigger and more serious, and he is not scared to go on the outside sets and do the big moves when the waves get scary.
McGillivray displayed his skills in his second round heat of the contest. Seeded into this round, McGillivray had a tough encounter against former Championship Tour surfer Mitch Crews from Australia, fellow South African Jordy Maree from Cape Town, and local surfer Logan Bediamol from Hawaii.
It was a close tussle between McGillivray and Crews for first place, with both finding good set waves and doing tight and critical turns.
McGillivray surfed with confidence and style, banking some big and critical moves on the end section of the Haleiwa bowl, racking up a 6.33 and 7.33 as his two highest scoring waves, but was narrowly outpointed by Crews.
At the end of the heat it was Crews followed by McGillivray who advanced into round three at the expense of goofy-footer Maree and the somewhat unlucky Bediamol.
It was clear that McGillivray was finding the powerful right-handers to his liking, and he matched power with power on all of the waves that he caught, eliciting the necessary high scores from the assembled judges.
McGillivray has had a good competitive year so far, with some consistent results on the QS resulting in him placed 14th at this final leg of the tour. He was also a wildcard entry into the Corona Open JBay, where he was defeated by Australian start Julian Wilson.
A solid result in this event at Haleiwa will see him in contention, and a final good result at the Vans World Cup at Sunset Beach next week could see him land securely on the Championship Tour.
He will come up against Connor Coffin from USA, Ricardo Christie from New Zealand and Brazilian Luel Filipe in heat 12 of round three.