Cabarita, New South Wales, Australia – JBay's top professional surfer Matt McGillivray ended up a very impressive runner up in the first of the Australian Grand Slam of Surfing events, the Tweed Coast Pro. McGillivray was on a roll in the competition, eliminating highly rated surfers like Mikey Wright and Jack Robinson along the way, before eventually succumbing to Ethan Ewing in the final.

In the final heat, Ewing found a few rare bombs at Cabarita Beach. Despite a solid performance from McGillivray, Ewing defeated him with relative ease.

McGillivray has been in Australia for most of this year, choosing to remain there when the lockdown kicked in, as opposed to coming home to South Africa. The decision did him well, with an intense training program, a coach/trainer in his corner, and an invite into the Australian Grand Slam.

Back at home, however, JBay has had an epic season of waves, and McGillivray has found himself missing family, friends and waves. Still, a second-place finish is a good consolation, and entry into the entire Australian Grand Slam also will help to ease his homesickness.

"It was a big decision to stay here and not to go home when everything started locking down earlier this year, in March," said Rip Curl surfer McGillivray. "I miss my friends and my family and everyone back in JBay. I know everyone has been getting cooking waves, and it has been incredible watching it all on social media. It has been making me a bit homesick."

Next up in the Australian Grand Slam is the Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast, and then the Margaret River Pro.

"Although it has been tough, it was all made worth it when I was awarded a spot in the Australian Grand Slam of Surfing," said McGillivray. "It has been a good decision for my career."

For the full event results

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 events are not designed for spectators due to COVID. They 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.