Tue, 15 September 2020

JBay hero and WSL 2020 tour rookie Matthew McGillivray, who stayed in Australia during lockdown, has made the wait count with a runner-up finish at the Tweed Coast Pro.

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YOUNG GUNS: Ethan Ewing destroys a little wave in the first event post-Covid. Photo WSL / Dunbar

Having travelled to Australia to compete in the opening events of the Championship Tour (CT) before they were cancelled, McGillivray found himself stuck in Australia, which has eventually paid off behind winner Ethan Ewing, while Tyler Wright won the women's event.

Professional surfing’s return to the ocean for the first event since March is the first event of the Australian Grand Slam of Surfing. Ewing and Wright scooped their wins in fun 2-3ft waves at Cabarita Headland in New South Wales.

The men’s Final was an amazing glimpse into professional surfing’s future with CT comeback kid Ewing facing off with the only international competitor in the field, McGillivray.

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AUSSIE AUSSIE: McGillivray was the only international at the event. Photo WSL / Dunbar

McGillivray made the most of his opportunity, making it all the way to the Final, his second runner-up place to Ethan Ewing on Australia’s East Coast.

“I'm overwhelmed to make the finals here,” McGillivray said. “It's been a great event and to surf against Ethan was special because we've met in a final before and he beat me last time as well so I'll have to try and get one back on him soon.

"It was a big decision for me to stay on here and I miss my family and friends back in South Africa but I look forward to getting back there soon. Although it’s been tough the decision was made worth it with getting a spot in the Australian Grand slam of Surfing and has been a good decision for my career.”

Ewing was over the moon with his win: “It's been a great event and it all fell into place for me during that final. All-day there were really fun waves that allowed me to open up and post high scores. Matt McGillivray has been surfing fantastic so I knew I needed to score big in that final. I'm so happy WSL has been able to pull this together for us to all get back out there and compete. It’s good to be back competing.”

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SMALL WAVE TORQUE: McGillivray was one of the form surfers of the event. Photo WSL / Dunbar

All eyes will now be focussed on the forecast for the Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast as the Australian Grand Slam of Surfing continues for the coming weeks.

The Australian Grand Slam of Surfing, part of The WSL Countdown, will see 24 of Australia's best surfers (12 men and 12 women) go head to head in their respective divisions. 11 male CT competitors and 8 female CT competitors will be on standby for each stop, some looking to compete for the first time in 2020. The remaining spots in each field will be allocated to the highest ranked 2019 non-qualifying Australian surfers or selected wildcard surfers.

The broadcast-only ‘strike mission’ style event, not designed for spectators due to COVID, will see competitors given just four days’ notice within the competition window, to travel to each location to compete over two days. Surf conditions will determine which location is surfed and when to make sure surfers compete in the best conditions possible.

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BLACK LIVES MATTER: Tyler Wright is one of many athletes supporting BLM. Photo WSL / Dunbar

Adding to the high stakes, men's and women's overall series champions will each win $20,000AUD to donate to a charity of their choice.

The Australian Grand Slam of Surfing will run across the nation between September 13 and 14 and be broadcast live on worldsurfleague.com, Channel 7 (7Plus), Fox Sports Australia (Kayo) and Sky Sport NZ. For more information on this and the WSL Countdown Series, please visit www.worldsurfleague.com

Tweed Coast Pro Women's Final Results
 HEAT 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) 15.67 def. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 10.27

Tweed Coast Pro Men's Final Results
 HEAT 1: Ethan Ewing (AUS) 18.60 DEF. Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 13.90

Tweed Coast Pro Women's Semifinal Results
 HEAT 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 11.10 DEF. Macy Callaghan (AUS) 10.37
HEAT 2: Tyler Wright (AUS) 16.00 DEF. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 12.37

Tweed Coast Pro Men's Semifinal Results
HEAT 1: Ethan Ewing (AUS) 15.33 DEF. Connor O'Leary (AUS) 11.17
HEAT 2: Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 13.80 DEF. Jack Robinson (AUS) 13.37

Tweed Coast Pro Women's Quarterfinal Results
HEAT 1: Macy Callaghan (AUS) 13.27 DEF. Isabella Nichols (AUS) 5.50
HEAT 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.17 DEF. Zahli Kelly (AUS) 11.16
HEAT 3: Tyler Wright (AUS) 16.60 DEF. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 13.60
HEAT 4: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 12.00 DEF. Molly Picklum (AUS) 8.94

Tweed Coast Pro Men's Quarterfinal Results
HEAT 1: Connor O'Leary (AUS) 13.47 DEF. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.44
HEAT 2: Ethan Ewing (AUS) 15.37 DEF. Owen Wright (AUS) 12.80
HEAT 3: Jack Robinson (AUS) 14.33 DEF. Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.00
HEAT 4: Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 13.36 DEF. Mikey Wright (AUS) 11.20

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