Matthew McGillivray A Starter On The 2022 Championship Tour Season

According to the World Surf League website, South Africa’s Matthew McGillivray has been confirmed to start the 2022 Championship Tour. The WSL has assured that, after landing just below the cut line at the end of the 2021 Championship Tour season, McGillivray will receive the WSL Replacement spot for the Billabong Pro Pipeline event. In addition, the JBay surfer will also receive starting orders for the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach due to Brazilian surfer Yago Dora’s foot injury and withdrawal from the events.

Matt McGillivray © WSL/Tony Heff

“I stayed in Hawaii after the last Challenger Series event until just after Christmas,” McGillivray told the WSL. “The borders to South Africa were shut due to Omicron, so I was waiting to see if they would open. Sure enough, the borders opened up right before New Year, so I came home for two weeks to chill with the family.”

While home McGillivray scored several swells in JBay and surfed and trained and hung with the family, re-energising after an exciting year on tour in 2021.

“It was surreal to surf on tour in 2021. I traveled with Morgan Cibilic, and Jay Thompson coached us,” McGillivray explains. “There was so much I was working on in my surfing technically and in the way I surfed heats and made decisions under pressure.” 

Matty at Rottnest Island in Australia (Photo by Cait Miers/World Surf League via Getty Images)

McGillivray is very comfortable in Hawaii, with his South African training putting him in good stead. He finished 9th at Pipe last year and smashed it at Sunset, using the big wave arena to qualify for the tour back in 2019. 

“Hawaii is my favourite place to be, apart from back home,” McGillivray says. “I really enjoy surfing Sunset, and it gives me confidence knowing I have done well there in the past.” 

The Billabong Pro Pipeline waiting period starts on January 29th, and Matty will begin what could be his most important year on tour. The tour then moves down the road to Sunset for the Hurley Pro Sunset beach, a very exciting addition to the Championship Tour, before heading to Portugal for the MEO Portugal Pro in early March.