Jeffreys Bay Local now Highest Ranked South African on QS Leaderboard
- Misses Opportunity to Defend Title at Vans Surf Pro Classic in Lamberts Bay this Weekend
South Africa’s Matthew McGillivray earned an equal 3rd place at the QS3,000 rated Heroes de Mayo Iquique Pro in Chile on Sunday, collecting 1,680 precious points to jump 25 places to No. 33 on the latest World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) rankings.
The Jeffreys Bay local, who ended 2018 ranked No 30, the highest by a South African, was the country’s only representative in the event and progressed through four rounds before being defeated by eventual runner-up, Dean Bowen from Australia.
The event was won by Brazilian Joao Chianca who outpointed Bowen in a high-scoring final to claim his maiden QS event title.
McGillivray has stayed in Chile to compete in the QS3,000 Maui & Sons Arica Pro at the break known as El Gringo which is acknowledged as one of the most challenging venues on the QS with its powerful, hollow waves, shallow reef and proximity to the rocky shoreline.
He will therefore miss out on the opportunity to defend the title he won at the Vans Surf Pro Classic which gets underway in the high performance waves of YoYo’s in Lamberts Bay on Friday and runs until Sunday.
The fourth annual Vans Surf is Stop No. 5 of 8 on the 2019 WSL Africa QS Tour and features QS1,500 Men’s, QS1,000 Women’s and JQS1,000 Junior Men’s events which have attracted nearly 100 top South African and international competitors to the fishing village on the West Coast of South Africa
The likes of 2018 runner-up Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay), 2016 event winner Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga), perennial standout Davey van Zyl (Glenashley) and reigning WSL Africa Men’s Champion Adin Masencamp (Strand), who is currently ranked No. 38 on QS leaderboard, will be hoping to take advantage of McGillivray’s absence to boost their rankings with the 1,500 points awarded to the winner.
A strong contingent of international women will again make it difficult for their South Africans counterparts to clinch their first victory at Lamberts Bay. Basque surfer Ariane Ochoa showed her skills by winning the second stop on the WSL Africa Tour in Port Alfred last month, while Japan’s Ren Hashimoto, Nao Omura and Hinako Kurokawa are the top three seeds, followed by WSL Africa champ Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) at No. 4.
Eli Beukes (Kommetjie), who grew up in Lamberts Bay, will be hoping to make it back-to-back victories after winning the Junior Men’s title last year. He will be pushed all the way by fellow Capetonian Luke Slijpen (Hout Bay), Durban’s Luke Thompson (Durban) and emerging talent Thomas Lindhorst (East London), all four of whom are just 350 points apart on the regional rankings.
More information is available at www.worldsurfleague.com and where the scoring can be followed live during the event