South African Matthew McGillivray Up Against Australia’s Best
The World Surf League (WSL) Australian Grand Slam of Surfing series has issued a Green Alert for the Tweed Coast Pro, Tweed Coast NSW, to run this Sunday, September 13 from 7:00 a.m. AEST (11pm SAST). A moderate East swell is forecast for the region over the weekend and into next week and should make for favourable conditions at Cabarita Beach for the event to run over two days on Sunday and Monday.
This will kick off the global series of pre-season events, The WSL Countdown, with upcoming competitions in Australia, France, Portugal and Brazil. These contests will continue to bring world-class competitive surfing to fans during a time of restricted international travel and will feature a selection of the world’s best surfers, including Olympic qualifiers Kanoa Igarashi and Johanne Defay alongside WSL Champions Stephanie Gilmore and Tyler Wright.
Tweed Coast will play host to one of three Australian Grand Slam events, part of The WSL Countdown. Image: WSL
Matt McGillivray Back In The Jersey
South Africa’s Matthew McGillivray (Jeffrey’s Bay), who decided to stay in Australia when a national lockdown was imposed back home due to COVID-19, earned a slot in the Tweed Coast Pro as one of the top ranked 2019 non-Australian Qualifying Series surfers. He 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.
“It was really motivating watching the Rumble At The Ranch last month and was a reminder of what we’ve missed this year. Over the last few months I’ve had some good consistency with training so these contests will serve as a gauge for me and I know I’ll learn a lot. It’s humbling seeing the heat draw and seeing surfers who I’ve looked up to that I’m now able to compete against. I’m really excited and hope we get some good waves to showcase what we’ve been working on.”
McGillivray plans to compete in all three of the events that will make up the Australian Grand Slam of Surfing.
“I’ve been enjoying my time in Australia, but it is difficult being away from my family. Also, the waves back home have been pumping non-stop so firing J-Bay is always on my Instagram feed!”
Australian Grand Slam of Surfing
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.
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.
Tweed Coast Pro Women’s Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Isabella Nichols, Macy Callaghan, Philippa Anderson
Heat 2: Stephanie Gilmore, Zahli Kelly, Tweed Coast Wildcard (TBC)
Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons, Tyler Wright, Molly Picklum
Heat 4: Nikki van Dijk, Keely Andrew, Holly Wawn
Tweed Coast Pro Men’s Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Wade Carmichael, Adrian Buchan, Conor O’Leary
Heat 2: Owen Wright, Ethan Ewing, Tweed Coast Wildcard (TBC)
Heat 3: Julian Wilson, Jack Robinson, Mikey Wright
Heat 4: Ryan Callinan, Matthew McGilivray, Morgan Cibilic
About the WSL
The World Surf League (WSL), established in 1976, is the home of surfing. The WSL is dedicated to changing the world through the inspirational power of surfing by creating authentic events, experiences, and storytelling to inspire a growing, global community to live with purpose, originality, and stoke.
The WSL is a global organization, headquartered in Santa Monica and with regional offices in North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and EMEA. The WSL possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation, and performance at the highest levels.
The WSL is comprised of Tours & Events, celebrating the world’s best surfers across all disciplines and annually running more than 180 global contests and crowning the undisputed World Champions across all divisions; WSL WaveCo, where innovation meets experience; and WSL Studios, which offers best in class storytelling across competition, lifestyle, and conservation.
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com