Matthew McGillivray Wows Hometown Crowd at Corona Open J-Bay

South Africans Jordy Smith, Luke Thompson, and Joshe Faulkner relegated to Elimination Round 2

The Corona Open J-Bay, Stop No. 9 on the World Surf League (WSL) 2022 Championship Tour (CT), opened today with clean three-to-five foot waves at the world-famous Supertubes in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. The competition completed the women’s and men’s Opening Rounds, and eliminated the first four surfers in Women’s Elimination Round 2. 

The Corona Open J-Bay (Photo by Alan van Gysen/World Surf League)

Matthew McGillivray Wows Hometown Crowd at Jeffreys Bay

Loud cheers erupted from the beach whenever local hero Matthew McGillivray (RSA) took off on a wave. The South African had a quick start to post the first score on the board with a strong two-turn combination, wrapping carves and a short tube ride to set the tone for the heat. Griffin Colapinto (USA) was right behind McGillivray and it was game on. McGillivray caught a bigger set wave, unleashing huge turns in the most critical part of the wave to score an excellent 8.50 (out of a possible 10). He held onto the lead over Colapinto and Jadson Andre (BRA) to take the win with one of the highest heat totals of the day, 15.33 (out of a possible 20), and advance to the Round of 16.

Matthew McGillivray after surfing in Heat 1 of the Opening Round at the Corona Open J-Bay (Photo by Alan Van Gysen/World Surf League)

“It’s an incredible day here, the waves are getting better and better,” said McGillivray. “I couldn’t be happier to be here, it’s going to be such an exciting day of surfing. I feel like the Opening Round heat is just a warm-up to make sure you’re on the right equipment and picking the right waves. I’m happy to get a win under my belt and use that momentum going forward. It’s incredible to have so much support on the beach. I wasn’t expecting such a big crowd, all my friends and family are down here, it’s such a cool atmosphere.”

South Africans Jordy Smith, Luke Thompson and Joshe Faulkner Relegated to Elimination Round 2

Another fired-up South African was wildcard Luke Thompson (RSA) who earned the right to compete this week courtesy of a big result on the Challenger Series in Ballito. Thompson took the lineup by storm and threatened Jack Robinson (AUS) and Kolohe Andino (USA) of relegation to the Elimination Round with fast and sharp surfing, and an undeniable element of flow. 

Luke Thompson of South Africa surfs in Heat 3 of the Opening Round at the Corona Open J-Bay  (Photo by Beatriz Ryder/World Surf League)

The two-time winner this season and current World No.2 Robinson was able to catch up and overtake the young South African on his last wave but there is no doubt the wildcard will be dangerous to match up with in the Elimination Round.

Injury replacement Yago Dora (BRA) delivered the first upset of the day when he relegated CT veteran and two-time event winner Jordy Smith (RSA) and World No. 3 Italo Ferreira (BRA) to the Elimination Round. 

Jordy Smith © WSL/Van Gysen

“I knew I could get the score if I was on the right wave,” said Dora. “The best wave of the heat came at the perfect time for me and I just had to surf my best. It’s just a pleasure to surf waves like this against guys like Italo who has one of the best backhands, and you don’t even have to say anything about Jordy. He’s incredible and I’ve been a fan since I was a little kid so it was an honour to surf against them.”

World No.1 Filipe Toledo (BRA) and event wildcard Joshe Faulkner (RSA) also suffered an Opening Round loss against an in-form Nat Young (USA), and the list of surprise results continued with 11-Time World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) ‘s third place in the round’s last heat. 

Joshe Faulkner surfs in Heat 4 of the Opening Round at the Corona Open J-Bay o (Photo by Beatriz Ryder/World Surf League)

For more information, please visit 

Corona Open J-Bay Women’s Opening Round 1 Results:

HEAT 1: Brisa Hennessy (CRI) 10.33 DEF. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 9.03, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 9.03

HEAT 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.50 DEF. Gabriela Bryan (HAW) 14.17, Tia Blanco (USA) 7.24

HEAT 3: Caroline Marks (USA) 14.66 DEF. Johanne Defay (FRA) 12.17, Isabella Nichols (AUS) 11.67

HEAT 4: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 13.33 DEF. Lakey Peterson (USA) 12.97, Tyler Wright (AUS) 10.13

Corona Open J-Bay Women’s Elimination Round 2 Results:

HEAT 1: Johanne Defay (FRA) 13.10 DEF. Tia Blanco (USA) 6.64

HEAT 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 14.87 DEF. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 10.34

HEAT 3: Tyler Wright (AUS) 11.84 DEF. Lakey Peterson (USA) 5.50

HEAT 4: Gabriela Bryan (HAW) 10.94 DEF. Isabella Nichols (AUS) 10.83

Corona Open J-Bay Women’s Quarterfinal Matchups:

HEAT 1: Johanne Defay (FRA) vs. Tyler Wright (AUS)

HEAT 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Gabriela Bryan (HAW)

HEAT 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Caroline Marks (USA)

HEAT 4: Brisa Hennessy (CRI) vs. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA)

Corona Open J-Bay Men’s Opening Round 1 Results:

HEAT 1: Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 15.33 DEF. Griffin Colapinto (USA) 14.84, Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.83

HEAT 2: Yago Dora (BRA) 13.84 DEF. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.10, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 10.50

HEAT 3: Jack Robinson (AUS) 15.17 DEF. Luke Thompson (ZAF) 14.77, Kolohe Andino (USA) 6.64

HEAT 4: Nat Young (USA) 14.50 DEF. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 10.40, Joshe Faulkner (ZAF) 7.13

HEAT 5: Ethan Ewing (AUS) 14.34 DEF. Barron Mamiya (HAW) 12.50, Jackson Baker (AUS) 6.30

HEAT 6: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 11.54 DEF. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 9.93, Seth Moniz (HAW) 9.10

HEAT 7: Samuel Pupo (BRA) 12.57 DEF. Callum Robson (AUS) 9.77, Jake Marshall (USA) 9.43

HEAT 8: Connor O’Leary (AUS) 14.33 DEF. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 13.56, Kelly Slater (USA) 9.07

Corona Open J-Bay Men’s Elimination Round Matchups: 

HEAT 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Joshe Faulkner (ZAF)

HEAT 2: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Seth Moniz (HAW)

HEAT 3: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Luke Thompson (ZAF)

HEAT 4: Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Jake Marshall (USA)

HEAT 5: Griffin Colapinto (USA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)

HEAT 6: Barron Mamiya (HAW) vs. Kelly Slater (USA)

HEAT 7: Callum Robson (AUS) vs. Jackson Baker (AUS)

HEAT 8: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)

For highlights from today’s competition at the Corona Open J-Bay, please visit

Watch LIVE

The Corona Open J-Bay will be broadcast LIVE on, the WSL app, and on WSL’s YouTube Channel. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.