Cape Town Surfriders conquer J Bay to win the Freedom Cup at the 2023 Sea Harvest SA Junior Championships presented by SMTH Shapes and supported by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture and the National Lotteries Commission

Cape Town Surfriders win Freedom Cup at Sea Harvest SA Junior Surfing Championships presented by SMTH Shapes.

The 27th edition of the Sea Harvest SA Junior Surfing Championships presented by SMTH Shapes and supported by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture and the National Lotteries Commission was completed at Lower Point in Jeffreys Bay in perfect conditions on Sunday October 8th.

After five days of tough competition, the Western Cape based Cape Town Surfriders team reclaimed the coveted Freedom Cup from the 2022 winners, Buffalo City. The Freedom Cup is awarded to the team accumulating the highest points across all divisions at the five day tournament.

Their victory margin over runners up, event hosts Nelson Mandela Bay, was 45375 points to 38506 points.The Capetonians claimed three of the eight individual national titles at stake while Nelson Mandela Bay and Ugu took home two championship titles each. Winelands Surfriders scored 36986 points and came third, their best result at the national junior championships in 27 years while 2022 champions Buffalo City were fourth with 36704 points.

The spirited and enthusiastic eThekweni from Durban came fifth with 36217 points but went back to KZN as the deserving winners of the Loud and Proud Trophy. eThekweni’s northern neighbours, Ilembe posted 35814 points to finish sixth and Ugu, from the southern part of KZN, scored 30391 points to end seventh. Garden Route based Eden Surfriders came eighth with 27604 points.

The 2023 champions are national junior team member Luc Lepront (Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders) who claimed the U18 Boys Title and Sarah Scott (Cape Town Surfriders), who along with fellow Kommetjie surfer Max Elkington, is only the second individual to win every age group, from U12 to U18 at this event.

A stoked Clayton Turrell (Ugu Surfriders) added his name to the U16 Boys trophy and was named Surfer of the Contest, while golden girl and 2023 national junior team member, Louise Lepront (Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders) took the U16 Girls title.

2022 U12 Champion Ben Esterhuyse (Cape Town Surfriders) did the double and won the U14 Boys Final in style while teammate, Emily Jenkinson completed an excellent competitive year to become the U14 Girls Champion.

In the U12 Boys final Marcello Zedde (Ilembe Surfriders) underlined his talent to become the SA Champion while tiny Maya Malherbe (Buffalo City Surfriders), who was the only surfer to score a 10 point ride in the contest, took honours in the U12 Girls Division.

In addition to crowning the 2023 South African age group champions, Surfing South Africa also announced the names of the surfers who claimed the top spots on the U12, U14 and U16 Sea Harvest SA Junior Surf Tour. The 2023 SAST Champions are Levi Epenetos and Louise Lepront ( U16 Boys & Girls), Nathan Tayler and Emily Jenkinson (U14 Boys & Girls) and Marcello Zedde and Maya Malherbe ( U12 Boys & Girls). The U18 Champions will be announced on completion of the Reef Classic in Victoria Bay in two weeks time.

Results of the 2023 SAST in these divisions can be viewed under Rankings on

The 27th edition of the national junior championships didn’t provide the best conditions until the final day when the sun came out and the surf looked like J Bay waves should. However, hungry surfers were able to enjoy the newly launched Sea Harvest Hake Burgers from the Sea Harvest Food Truck during the championships. The Hake Burgers were launched with surfers in mind and every pack of Sea Harvest Hake Burgers sold will result in R5 being donated to Surfing South Africa

Despite the tough conditions on the first four days the 180 or so surfers from all parts of South Africa had plenty of fun and the team spirit throughout the event was high.

All the individual Heat Results from Round One to the Finals can be found on

Photos from all five days of competition are posted on the Surfing SA Facebook page. .

The 2023 SA Junior Surfing Championships was sponsored by Sea Harvest, presented by SMTH shapes and supported by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture and the National Lotteries Commision. The event was streamed live by True Technologies. Kouga Municipality played host to this premier junior tournament for the tenth year in a row.

Surfing South Africa is the recognised governing body for the sport in South Africa and is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC). SSA is a member of the African Surfing Confederation (ASC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).

Maya Malherbe © Louis Wulff
Luc Lepront of Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders, U18 Boys Champion. Photo Matthew Anderson


Kai Stubbs © Louis Wulff
Sarah Scott of Cape Town Surfriders, U18 Girls Champion. Photo Matthew Anderson



Photos by Matt Anderson