Mon, 25 November 2019

Once his qualification has been made official, JBay's Matt McGillivray will be joining fellow South African surfer Jordy Smith on the elite Championship Tour of Surfing next year, writes Spike.

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UPWARD CURVE: Matt McGillivray is on the cusp of qualification for the 2020 CT. Photo WSL / Heff

McGillivray placed third in the Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa over the weekend, rocketing to 6th on the QS rankings. A win would have got him the official spot on the CT, but it looks like his third has done the same, only they can't announce it until the permutations have all settled after the last event on the QS, which is the VANS World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach (the window period starts tomorrow).

He rockets eight spots up the QS food chain, and now sits at a pretty unsassailable 6th spot. According to my maths, he will be announced as a 2020 CT surfer because he can't numerically get knocked out of the top 10. Remember that the top ten qualify. However, the cutoff line in the WSL rankings includes number 11 because Deivid Silva, a CT surfer who already qualifies via the CT, is not counted. Remember also, your top five results on the QS count.

Even if someone out of the top 10 wins at Sunset he could jump into the top 10, but the allocated points for any results for anyone out of the top 10 who finish well is still not enough to push McGillivray out. This means that McGillivray is effectively in for 2020.

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3-in-1: Frederico Morais is QS #1, 2020 CT surfer, and Triple Crown leader. Photo WSL / Heff

The 22-year-old from Jeffrey’s Bay took on a veteran field in the Semifinals and eliminated two-time Hawaiian Pro winner Michel Bourez (PYF) and eleven-time World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) en route to the Final.

Stealthily stacking the results, McGillivray has already got a quarter-final finish at the Vans World Cup of Surfing in 2018. He is always a standout at this venue, and it will be the final event of the year for him to bank one more good result to underline the worthiness of his berth on the CT next year.

Beyrick de Vries bagged a 9th place at Haleiwa, and jumps 15 spots to number 27. By my reckoning, even Beyrick can bag the berth next year if he smashes it at Sunset. Ten thousand points are a huge step forward.

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