North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii: After a year of COVID-related stops and starts, specialty events and controlled environment scenarios, the World Surf League is set to restart again in Hawaii in less than a month.

The first event is a Women’s Championship Tour event in Maui, November 25, before proceeding directly to Oahu for the Pipe Masters for the men. There might also be a Qualifying Series event at Sunset Beach, although no details are available.

After this start, the professional contingent will need to remain in Hawaii before heading over to the next event in Portugal. New protocols also mean each surfer’s entourage will be restricted to one member only.

JBay surfer Matt McGillivray qualified for the 2020 Championship Tour after an excellent run of competitive surfing during the 2019 season, including a scintillating finish in Hawaii. Matt showed great skill and Big Match Temperament when it counted most, at events at Haleiwa and Sunset Beach. The waves were huge, and Matt’s hard-earned experience from surfing all those solid, cold days at Boneyards in JBay paid off.

The only difference is that he will be surfing the Pipe Masters this year, at the most dangerous wave in the world – the Banzai Pipeline.

Surfers who are highly skilled at Pipe have a massive advantage over lesser experienced surfers out there, as the wave itself is so scary. Matt is no slouch at Pipe. He might have grown up on the perfect right-hand point-break waves of Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay, but he knows what he wants in life and is a determined surfer and competitor.

At the beginning of this year, before the pandemic hit, Matt competed in the Volcom Pipe Pro, a QS event, and surfed all the way to the semi-finals. The waves were heavy water, and Matt showed utter conviction and courage to beat many local and visiting surfers en route to his semi-final berth. The event was eventually won by Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) from Joao Chianca (BRA).

So Matt goes into the Pipe Masters as a surfer who knows his way around the Pipe lineup, who is not scared, and who knows how to get through big heats. Our local JBay surfer might be that one guy turning heads as the Championship Tour starts again.

Distributed by Truth Collective

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