PORT ELIZABETH- Matthew McGillivray was sent packing in the first round of the World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) SA Open of Surfing in Port Elizabeth on Thursday.
McGillivray is currently ranked tenth on the WSL QS and on track to possibly join Jordy Smith and Michael February on the Championship Tour in 2019.
Top seed Vasco Ribeiro from Portugal – currently ranked sixth on the WSL QS – showed his mettle, dropping the highest heat score of the day with a 9.00 effort, supplemented by a solid 7.67 in round two.
Ribeiro found a wave that did not look like it had much to offer but very critical top-to-bottom surfing, displacing lots of water with every turn and connecting five strong vertical manoeuvres in an extremely short time earned him the highest wave score of the contest so far.
In the same heat, Jeffreys Bay local Joshe Faulkner showed some impressive big match temperament, ousting Pedro Nogueira (Portugal) and fellow South African, Jake Elkington (Cape Town) to take second place after Ribeiro.
Faulkner was sitting in third behind Nogueira and seemed to be on his way home when he pocketed a sneaky 6.27 in the dying minutes of the heat to switch places with Nogueira and progress to the round of 16 in this QS1500 event.
African News Agency