7 December, 2018 7 December, 2018

Graduation Day

The University of the North Shore hath spoken and decided upon its 2018 graduates. The University of the North Shore is different though because unlike most universities that release a couple thousand graduates into the working world, UNS (University of the North Shore) only allows 10 people to graduate to its elite ranks. Yes, that’s 10 graduates from one thousand three hundred and sixty-four students on the qualifying series. Those are some damn slim odds (Find out who qualified here).

And yet some people, like Kanoa Igarashi are able to re-qualify through the QS multiple years in a row, while guys like Willian Cardoso surfed the QS for 10 years before graduating to the elite ranks. Imagine surfing the QS for 10 years, and missing graduation by one spot twice! That’s enough to drive someone completely batty! Most mense would’ve thrown in the towel and started a surf school on Muizenberg Beach years ago.

Anyway, here’s how the two best South African’s faired at the final QS event of the 2018 season; the Vans World Cup of Surfing.
Matthew McGillivray:
Nobody made too much noise about Matty Mc G coming into the North Shore season. Perhaps it was because we’ve seen it all before. Many a South African has entered the North Shore season within striking distance of qualification unable to seal the deal. Even though Matt didn’t ‘seal the deal’ per se, he surfed incredibly well! Like he could’ve taken out the whole event! From all accounts (his Instagram account that is) Matty seems to love Hawaii and Sunset Beach. If he could marry the place, he’d probably resort to bodyboarding for a few months in preparation for the drop-knee proposal.
In round 4 of the Sunset Pro, Matty made his intentions clear. He introduced himself by slapping the lip on a solid eight to ten-foot wave, free-falling out of the lip for what felt like an eternity, before (cleanly) landing on the open face. In fact, he free-fell for so long, one of my guests who I had invited over for a Thai Green Curry, got up, poured himself a glass of milk to wash away the heat, and returned to witness Matty, still mid-free-fall. The judges, acknowledging the elevator-style-drop, awarded him an 8.83. Mc G quickly paddled back out and found himself another bomb, drawing out one of the dirtiest most sinful down carves of the entire event – G-force had made Matty a bunch of boards with ‘crosses’ on the top deck, and luckily so because he needed forgiveness after a turn like that. The judges again awarded Matty an excellent score for a single manoeuvre on a wave, and the highest heat score total of the round. Unfortunately, Matty fell shy of the semifinals by 0.01 of a decimal point. 
We worked out that if Matty had finished second at Sunset (which by the way Matty was surfing wasn’t an unrealistic result) he would’ve had enough points to qualify for the 2019 CT season. A first full year on the QS and one good result away from qualification. That’s not bad going. Not bad at all. We can’t wait to see what Matty does next year!

Jordy Smith
The camera panned to Jordy, and Jords looked like he had just rolled out of bed, sleep still in his (Asian like) eyes and hair wild like a tropical jungle. He looked like a lion with a giant golden mane that casually wandered out the shade of an acacia tree to asses the situation and maybe give a king-of-the-jungle like a roar… if he felt so inclined. And that’s how he treated Sunset Beach and his round 4 heat. He casually strolled his way to a heat win, barely breaking a sweat at 10-12 foot sunset. His timing was impeccable. And his choice of turn complimented his superior timing like a cheeky Shiraz compliments a fat piece of rare steak. Jordy was eventually knocked out of competition in the semifinals, one heat before the final.
Next year South Africa will once again go back to having one person on the WCT; Jordy Smith. In Jordy’s round 4 post heat interview he mentioned that he has always believed in our surfers and that the talent has always been there. It’s time that the South Africans stepped it up, and made some serious moves at qualification. After such an incredible season on the North Shore; Slade and Beyrick final’ing at the HIC Pro, Adin’s incredible North Shore debut and Matty Mc G making the quarterfinals at maxing Sunset Beach, it’s clear that the South African contingent has the ability to ‘seal the deal’ come year end. And if there’s one place you wanna know how to do well when you’re sitting on the bubble of qualification, it’s the North Shore. Now it’s all about connecting the dots.

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