Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay), Cannelle Bulard (Reunion Island) and Eli Beukes (Kommetjie) took the Men’s, Women’s and Junior Men’s titles respectively at the 2018 Vans Surf Pro Classic in Lamberts Bay on Sunday.
The final day produced incredible high-scoring encounters as YoYos delivered pumping 1.5 to 2 metre waves in clean offshore conditions and even though the wind freshened into a Southerly crosswind later in the day, the final heat of the day saw the event’s highest score.
The men’s event was upgraded to a World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 1,500 rating for 2018 and the 64-man field was whittled down to the last eight all of whom had hopes of taking home the R40,000 prize purse and the precious 1,500 points on the international leaderboard.
The final saw Jeffreys Bay buddies and training partners Dylan Lightfoot and Matt McGillivray go head to head with Lightfoot starting the stronger, leaving McGillivray needing to better 14 points before he’d even caught a good wave.
But once McGillivray did get his first lined up righthander, he went ballistic with a couple of strong turns on the outside and then going for broke with a high risk aerial on the inside.
The country’s highest QS rated surfer then went from strength to strength, overtaking Lightfoot with a 7.5 and then slamming the door with another gigantic aerial that the judges rewarded with a 9.65
Although Lightfoot was surfing really well, the 19.16 requirement was a bridge too far and it was McGillivray who claimed the title and moved back into the top 10 spot on the QS rankings he has held since winning the first QS3,000 event of the year in Israel.
“The final went really well, the waves were pulsing which gave us plenty of opportunities,” said McGillivray. “Dylan started really well and got two good waves, but I just tried to block that out and focused on my own performance.
“This is another keeper result to help my seeding for the second half of the year and hopefully it will get me a wildcard for the Ballito Pro and then I can work towards the wildcard for the Corona Open JBay.
The Corona Open JBay takes place from 2 – 16 July and forms part of the annual JBay Winterfest.
Men’s QS1,500 Final Results
1. Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) 19.15 R40,000 1,500 pts
2. Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) 15.70 R20,000 1,125 pts
Women’s QS1,000 Final Results
1. Cannelle Bulard (Reunion Island) 11.75 R8,000 1,000 pts
2. Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) 8.40 R4000 750 pts
Junior Men’s JQS1,000 Final Results
1. Eli Beukes (Kommetjie) 12.40 R8,000 1,000 pts
2. Dylan Groen (Germany) 9.80 R4,000 750 pts