South Africa’s Matthew McGillivray will compete in the World Surf League Australian Grand Slam of Surfing series’ Tweed Coast Pro event on Sunday.
A moderate East swell is forecast for the region over the weekend and into next week. It should make for favourable conditions at Cabarita Beach for the event to run over two days on Sunday and Monday.
McGillivray, from Jeffrey’s Bay, decided to stay in Australia when the national Covid-19 lockdown kicked in back home. He subsequently earned a slot in the Tweed Coast Pro as one of the top-ranked 2019 non-Australian Qualifying Series surfers and will surf in Round 1, Heat 4 against Ryan Callinan and Morgan Cibilic.
‘I’m so happy to be included in this event. I was hoping that there would still be a few contests this year, and this is why I first decided to stay on in Australia. I’m really grateful WSL has given me this opportunity to surf in the Australian Grand Slam,’ said McGillivray.
Making excellent use of his time in Australia, Rip Curl surfer McGillivray has been training hard and fine-tuning his competitive act for the relaunch of the Championship Tour.
‘I’ve linked up with a good trainer here in Australia and feel like, in the end, things have worked out for the best for my career at this stage,’ said McGillivray. ‘It will be nice to compete again and get some more practice in.’
McGillivray agrees that he is definitely spoilt with great waves back home. ‘I’m trying to improve my physical strength and fitness as well as my surfing technique,’ said McGillivray. ‘The only difficult thing in Australia is that it’s not as spoilt with waves as South Africa is, so wave quality makes the actual surfing part more challenging.’
It has been a long time between surfing tournaments, and there is much excitement around these Grand Slam events. McGillivray, along with Jordy Smith, qualified for the 2020 Championship Tour, but it was cancelled as a result of the Covid-19 epidemic. The qualified surfers will commence the 2021 season from their 2019 end-of-year results.
Image courtesy: WSL/Keoki