Jenkinson and Dace Win Premier Division of Rip Curl GromSearch

A focused Rory Dace dominated the Premier U16 Boys Division at the Rip Curl GromSearch © Louis Wulff

Cape Town – due to unfavourable conditions at Long Beach, the final two days of the Rip Curl GromSearch were held at Witsands. After a good opening day at Long Beach, the dropping swell saw event organisers trek over the hill to set up camp at Witsands, where the waves were good and highly contestable.

The final day started small, windy and inconsistent. Still, by lunchtime, Cape Town was showing off again, with clear skies, blue water and the cheerful summer sun beating down on competitors and spectators alike.

The conditions were small, but there were fun left and right-handers as the best junior surfers in the country set the waves alight!

With four wildcard slots available for the SA Junior Surfing Team Selection Trial, there was an edge of seriousness amongst those surfers eligible for the slots in both the U16 and U18 divisions for boys and girls.

Still, it was a weekend of excellent surfing, an amazing family spirit., camaraderie and good vibes as the best junior surfers kicked off their competitive year with the first event. Everyone was in high spirits for the rest of the Rip Curl GromSearch series and the upcoming year of Surfing South Africa contests.

Now in its third year, the Rip Curl GromSearch is the most popular surfing series in the country, and the events are always full within days of entries opening.

The Rip Curl GromSearch is focused on the U16 division, which is deemed the Premier Division in these tournaments, and these two finals were intense. The series winners are chosen on the best four out of five events.

In the Premier U16 Girls division, Emily Jenkinson played a tactical game, catching only two waves in the 20-minute final but making both waves count. With a 5.33 and a 4.67, her heat total was 10 points, and she had a clear victory. Second-placed Leah Lepront needed a 6.33 to get into the lead but couldn’t find another good set wave as the time ran out. Remi Fourie and Louise Lepront were third and fourth.

The Premier U16 Boys division was all about Rory Dace, who showed dominance from the outset. Nathan Taylor wasn’t far behind but couldn’t find a second big score and was relegated to second place, with Ben Esterhuyse and Josh Malherbe third and fourth.

“Thanks to Rip Curl, Surfing South Africa and everyone behind the scenes for pulling off this event,” said a stoked Dace. “I’m happy to take this first win; I have been training really hard this year and am looking forward to the year ahead.”

The next Rip Curl GromSearch takes place at Port Alfred over Easter and is an anchor event of the Port Alfred Easter Festival, along with the Rip Curl Cup Open Specialty Surfing Event. More here: Easter Festival

Header Image:

A focused Rory Dace dominated the Premier U16 Boys Division at the

Rip Curl GromSearch © Louis Wulff


Rip Curl GromSearch Kommetjie Final Results:


U12 Boys

  1. Ethan Schermbrucker
  2. Levi Vosloo
  3. Slayde Shooter
  4. Ryder Bertish


U12 Girls

  1. Maya Malherbe
  2. Brin Jarvis
  3. Emma Loggenberg


U14 Boys

  1. Ben Esterhuyse
  2. Valdemar Gwenin
  3. Sebastion Copson
  4. Jedd Du Toit


U14 Girls

  1. Camilla Heuer
  2. Leah Lepront
  3. Maya Malherbe
  4. Gabriella Von Mollendorff


U18 Boys

  1. Levi Epenetos
  2. Luc Lepront
  3. Matt Canning
  4. Cooper Smith


U18 Girls

  1. Sarah Scott
  2. Anastasia Venter
  3. Louise Lepront
  4. Gabriella Herbst


U16 Boys

  1. Rory Dace
  2. Nathan Taylor
  3. Ben Esterhuyse
  4. Josh Malherbe


U16 Girls

  1. Emily Jenkinson
  2. Leah Lepront
  3. Remi Fourie
  4. Louise Lepront
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