Louise Lepront and Levi Epenetos Win The Premier Division At The Rip Curl GromSearch Victoria Bay

Levi Epenetos © Joel Gernetzky/Wedgepics

Victoria Bay, George – A solid pulse of surf on the final day of the Rip Curl GromSearch event #2 saw some excellent surfing going down from the country’s best groms. 


Three to four-foot and clean waves greeted the early contestants, along with a nice little puff of offshore winds. This wind, however, slowly started turning and, by mid-morning, turned into a fresh onshore breeze. 


Despite the slightly choppy conditions, the surfers showed some excellent moves, impressing the judges with their power turns, speed, and flow. 


In the U12 Girls, the youthful and diminutive Maya Malherbe impressed the most, flying along the walls of Vic Bay on her backhand to the cries of support from her friends and fans for her second win in a row.

Similarly, Marcello Zedde was impressive in the U12 Boys division, sneaking the win from Valdemar Gwenin for his second consecutive win.


All eyes were on Emily Jenkinson in the U14 Girls after her excellent results in Cape Town. She didn’t disappoint, banking a win ahead of Leah Lepront for her second U14 victory in a row. In the U14 Boys, Kai Stubbs also proved that his success at Kommetjie was no fluke by taking another win, with Ben Esterhuyse in second place. 


Louise Lepront was the star of the show in the U18 Girls division, mixing some red-hot backhand surfing with speed and flow to impress all. She won from Sarah Scott, with Chloe Ribbink and Anastasia Venter in the lesser positions. 

Maya Malherbe © Louis Wulff
Louise Lepront © Joel Gernetzky/Wedgepics


The U18 Boys was a thrilling final, with all surfers pushing as hard as possible. At the end of the 20-minute final, Blake Crankshaw was victorious over Levi Epenetos. Joshua Jefferis, who was on form throughout the contest, finished third, with David Emslie in fourth.  

Kai Stubbs © Louis Wulff
Blake Crankshaw © Joel Gernetzky/Wedgepics

In the premier U16 Girls final, Louis Lepront took top honours, making it a double whammy along with her U18 victory. She took the win from Emily Jenkinson, with Leah Lepront and Lily Heny in the minor places.  


Levi Epenetos was the Premier U16 Boys division champion and, combined with his U18 second place, was another star of the weekend. Rory Dace was in second place, with Cooper Smith and Clay Turrel third and fourth. 


The top male surfer of the contest was Josh Jefferis, who won a Rip Curl Rifles Tide watch valued at R2,500 for his efforts. The top female surfer of the event was Emily Jenkinson, who won a Rip Curl Maui Tide Watch, also valued at R2,500. 



All the results:

U12 Girls

  1. Maya Malherbe 
  2. Charlotte Copson
  3. Emma Loggenberg


U12 Boys

  1. Marcello Zedde
  2. Valdemar Gwenin
  3. Sean Taylor
  4. Zach Epenetos


U14 Girls

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


U14 Boys

  1. Kai Stubbs
  2. Ben Esterhuyse
  3. Nathan Tayler
  4. Loghann Tilsley


U18 Girls

  1. Louise Lepront
  2. Sarah Scott
  3. Chloe Ribbink
  4. Anastasia Venter


U18 Boys

  1. Blake Crankshaw
  2. Levi Epenetos
  3. Joshua Jefferis
  4. David Emslie



U16 Girls Premier Division 

  1. Louise Lepront
  2. Emily Jenkinson 
  3. Leah Lepront
  4. Lily Heny


U16 Boys Premier Division

  1. Levi Epenetos
  2. Rory Dace
  3. Cooper Smith
  4. Clayton Turrel



Best Male Surfer: Rip Curl Rifles Tide Watch: Joshua Jefferis


Best Female Surfer: Rip Curl Maui Tide Watch: Emily Jenkinson


Both Saturday and Sunday were streamed live, and you can find that stream on the Rip Curl South Africa YouTube page – https://www.youtube.com/@ripcurlsa/streams Thanks to George Municipality and George Tourism for the live streaming, which was produced by Eagle Media. 



Photos by Louis Wulff