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Matthew McGillivray ZAF 0011 Netanya18Masurel

- South African Wins Career-First WSL QS Event
- Charly Martin (FRA) Scores Back-To-Back Finals In QS3,000s
- More Information Available At Worldsurfleague.Com
Location: Kontiki Beach, Netanya, Israel
Event window: January 11-20, 2018
Today's call: Event Completed: Congratulations Matthew McGillivray (ZAF)
Conditions: Good 1.0 to 1.5 metre surf.

KONTIKI BEACH, Netanya / Israel (Saturday, January 20, 2018) - Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) has won the SEAT Pro Netanya pres. by Reef today in shifty 1.0 to 1.5 metre surf, defeating Charly Martin (FRA) in the event’s final. The last day of competition resumed in solid surf from the storm that hit the Israeli coast yesterday and conditions cleaned up to deliver great conditions for the finals.

The first World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 3,000 rated event of 2018 unfolded in great conditions over the ten days of the event’s waiting period, culminating today with McGillivray’s victory.

“This feels amazing,” McGillivray exclaimed. “This is my third year on the QS, I’ve put in a lot of hard work so it feels amazing to finally get a win. Yesterday the waves were huge with the big storm so we were wondering what was going to happen today, but it got better and better and there were some amazing waves in the final.”

The 20 year-old from Jeffreys Bay, South Africa, had an incredible run from Round One through to the final, scoring seven heat totals above 14 points, including a near-perfect 18.33 in the semis to eliminate one of the strongest surfers this week, California’s Kei Kobayashi. 

This victory today marks McGillivray’s first on the Qualifying Series and will see him take the number one spot on the QS rankings before the next leg of events, already underway in Australia.

“Israel’s an amazing country,” McGillivray continued. “Everyone we met here was so passionate about surfing. There are way more surfers that I could have ever expected and everyone was super friendly and very supportive on the beach. We’ve had great food every day, it’s really been a great trip!”

Charly Martin FRA0690 Netanya18Masurel

In the final, Martin opened with a little tube ride and a good turn for a 6.5 to turn an early lead on the heat. Ten minutes in, the surfers took off on back-to-back waves, each surfing a similar right breaking wave with a massive first turn and a couple of follow-up maneuvers. McGillivray got the nod with a 7.2 over Martin’s 6.9 (both out of 10).

The South African continued to build his tally with a big forehand rotation to post an excellent 8.33 and take the lead. Despite many efforts, Martin couldn’t come back from this blow and ended runner-up.

The surfer from Guadeloupe who finished his 2017 season with a win at a QS3,000 in China, opens his 2018 campaign with 2,250 points and a great confidence boost.

“Obviously I would have loved to win this one too,” Martin said. “I felt like I had done the hardest part, but I’m stoked to get a final at my first event of the season. Last year I didn’t get a good result until November so I’m definitely starting a lot better. I’ve had a blast, the past ten days just flew by and the people and the country are great.”

 Kei Kobayashi USA 9666 Netanya18Masurel

After a stellar run through the earlier rounds, Kei Kobayashi (USA) couldn’t quite find the same rhythm in his semi-final bout with McGillivray. The young Californian looked a little anxious in the semis and missed the landings of a couple of aerials, ultimately conceding the win to the South African.

Nelson Cloarec FRA 1010 Netanya18Masurel

In the second semi-final, Nelson Cloarec (FRA) had a strong lock on the heat with only minutes remaining on the clock, but Martin pulled a big maneuver to turn the situation. Losing his priority and needing a big number, Cloarec placed equal third to start his 2018 qualifying effort.

Miguel Pupo BRA 0140 Netanya18Masurel

In the quarterfinals, the surprise eliminations of Miguel Pupo (BRA) and Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) came at the hands of Cloarec and McGillivray respectively. Conditions early this morning were extremely difficult with shifting peaks and closeout sets across the beach.

Charly Martin FRA and Matthew McGillivray ZAF1489 Netanya18Masurel

Pictured: Charly Martin (FRA, blue) and Matthew McGillivray (ZAF, Jeffreys Bay, red) on the podium after the South African’s victory in the SEAT Pro Netanya in Israel on Saturday. • Photo: WSL / Masurel



1 - Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 15.53
2 - Charly Martin (FRA) 13.93

SF 1: Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 18.33 def. Kei Kobayashi (USA) 6.80
SF 2: Charly Martin (FRA) 15.30 def. Nelson Cloarec (FRA) 13.50

QF 1: Kei Kobayashi (USA) 14.50 def. Reo Inaba (JPN) 12.10
QF 2: Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 14.17 def. Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) 11.34
QF 3: Nelson Cloarec (FRA) 12.43 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 11.34
QF 4: Charly Martin (FRA) 13.26 def. Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 13.23


Stop No. 2 on the European Qualifying Series, the QS1,500 Las Americas Pro Tenerife will take surfers to the Canary Islands from January 29 to February 4, 2018.

The SEAT Pro Netanya pres. by Reef is supported by Israel Surfing Association (ISA), the City of Netanya, SEAT, Reef, Heineken, Macabi Israel, Otzma, the Olympic Committee of Israel, Ministry of Sport, Australian Embassy, Doctor Klain, GoPro, FCS Israel, Dan Marcovich Development and Tshuva Urban Renewal among others.


About the World Surf League 

The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world's best surfing since 1976, running in excess of 180 global events across the Men's and Women's Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport's rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels, and in doing so crowns the undisputed world champions in Men’s, Women’s across all divisions within the tour.

Showcasing the world's best surfing on its digital platform at as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Tyler Wright, John John Florence, Paige Alms, Grant Baker, Phil Rajzman, Tory Gilkerson, Mick Fanning, Stephanie Gilmore, Kelly Slater, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

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