Emily Jenkinson and Levi Epenetos Win Premier Division At The Rip Curl GromSearch Cape Town

Levi Epenetos, Premier U16 Boys Winner © Louis Wulff
Long Beach, Kommetjie: The swell might have dropped off slightly for the final day of the Rip Curl GromSearch, but Long Beach continued to deliver high-performance waves and highly contestable conditions for the competitors.


A slight drizzle in the morning cooled things down a little, but not out in the lineup. Instead, it was red-hot surfing from the get-go, with all remaining surfers going all out for a spot in the finals. The Rip Curl GromSearch is a five-event series. This year, series winners will be based on the competitor’s best four of the five competition results.


The U12 Girls division took a bit of a beating yesterday in the large and somewhat unruly shorebreak at Long Beach. Still, for the Finals today, they were all surfing with tenacity and spirit. Maya Malherbe was the standout surfer and banked a massive 6.17 score for her highest-scoring wave, which saw her win from Emma Schermbrucker, Summer Barkhuisen and Charlotte Copson. Barkhuizen had impressed in the earlier rounds with some do-or-die heroics in the bigger waves, but Malherbe took her first crown in the end. 
Maya Malherbe © Louis Wulff
Maya Malherbe © Louis Wulff
Marcello Zedde was the popular winner in the competitive U12 Boys division, with his fans and supporters cheering his every wave from the beach. He won comfortably from Valdemar Gwenin in second, with Harry Walton and Ryder Bertish taking the minor slots. 


Emily Jenkinson was one of the standouts of the whole event, winning her U14 Girls final with relative ease. Camilla Heuer and Leah Lepront were starved of waves and finished second and third, with Jasmine Venter coming fourth. 


Kai Stubbs showed nerves of steel in his U14 Boys final, only catching two waves in the 20 minutes allocated. Still, he stuck to his game plan of waiting for the good lefts, and his two-wave tally was enough to see him to victory. Some powerful backhand off-the-tops and clean finishes saw him win his first victory in the Rip Curl series. Ashbjorn Gwenin (2nd), Loghann Tilsley (3rd) and Adam Faclier (4th) had been charging the entire contest but were all out surfed by Stubbs. 
“Finally, I got a win,” said a very stoked Stubbs, celebrating his victory. “I only got the two waves, but luckily they were enough.”
Kai Stubbs © Louis Wulff
Kai Stubbs © Louis Wulff
Sarah Scott, hot off a blistering semi-final win where she scored a 9.17 for her one wave, took the win in the U18 Girls from Louise Lepront, Anastasia Venter and Gemma Hanafey. In the U18 Boys division, Connor Slijpen got an edge over on-form Nate Colby, with Surprise Maphumulo and Joel Fowles in the minor slots. 


The Premier U16 Division had all eyes on it, and the two finals did not disappoint. Emily Jenkinson did the double and took her second win of the day, beating Anastasia Venter into second. Louise Lepront and Nina Bone were third and fourth. Jenkinson was impressive throughout the event for her impressively smooth and powerful surfing. She vindicated all the attention by winning the two divisions.
Emily Jenkinson © Louis Wulff
Emily Jenkinson © Louis Wulff
The Premier U16 Boys division was a close affair, with all surfers going full-tilt in the highly contestable two to three-foot lefts still pouring through. The heat shifted a few times until, eventually, the final siren went on what was most definitely the best Rip Curl GromSearch so far. In the end, Levi Epenetos took a narrow win from Levi Kolnik in second, with Josh Malherbe in third. Local surfer Massimo Bienz was fourth. 



The following Rip Curl GromSearch will take place at Victoria Bay on March 11/12.



Final Results


U12 Girls
  1. Maya Malherbe
  2. Emma Schermbrucker
  3. Summer Barkhuizen
  4. Charlotte Copson


U12 Boys
  1. Marcello Zedde
  2. Valdemar Gwenin
  3. Harry Walton
  4. Ryder Bertish


U14 Girls
  1. Emily Jenkinson
  2. Camilla Heuer
  3. Leah Lepront
  4. Jasmine Venter


U14 Boys
  1. Kai Stubbs
  2. Ashbjorn Gwenin
  3. Loghann Tilsley
  4. Adam Faclier


U18 Girls
  1. Sarah Scott
  2. Louise Lepront
  3. Anastasia Venter
  4. Gemma Hanafey


U18 Boys
  1. Connor Slijpen
  2. Nate Colby
  3. Surprise Maphumulo 
  4. Joel Fowles


Premier Division


U16 Girls
  1. Emily Jenkinson
  2. Anastasia Venter
  3. Louise Lepront
  4. Nina Bone


U16 Boys
  1. Levi Epenetos
  2. Levi Kolnik
  3. Josh Malherbe
  4. Massimo Bienz





All the contest results can be found on LiveHeats here –  https://liveheats.com/events/95153/schedule


Photos from the competition can be found on this google drive. Please tag @ripcurlsa and photographer @wedgepics



The Rip Curl GromSearch contests are all Premier SAST events, with 1,000 points going to the winners and prizemoney per Premier events.


Complimentary high-resolution images are available for media outlets on request.


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About Surfing South Africa
Surfing South Africa is the official National Federation for surfing in South Africa. SSA is a member of the South African Confederation of Sport and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and is recognised as the governing body by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture.


Surfing South Africa is responsible for developing the sport, hosting National tournaments, sanctioning International events and selecting the National teams. This is for all the disciplines that are part of SSA.


SSA is one of the 109 members of the International Surfing Association (ISA), the World governing body for
the sport. For more information about Surfing South Africa, go to www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za or find Surfing SA on Facebook.



Photos by Louis Wulff