Explosive performances for final day of the Rip Curl Gromsearch presented by Royal St Andrews Hotel and Sea Harvest

All the winners

All the winners © Louis Wulff

 While the Groms were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on Sunday morning for day three of the Rip Curl GromSearch, some parents were less bright-eyed after the massive Bands At The Beach music festival the night before. The Rip Curl GromSearch and the Rip Curl Cup are the anchor events of the Port Alfred Easter Festival presented by Sunshine Coast Tourism. They are both Surfing South Africa events.

The U14 Girls semis kicked off the day’s proceedings and were out at the backline by 7:30, as NRSI situated themselves just beyond where the surfers were sitting. The competitors were focused on getting to the podium in this prestigious event. Despite the challenging conditions, good scores dropped from the get-go. 

After a few rounds of semifinals, we were in the GromSearch Finals. In contestable two- to three-foot conditions, the best junior surfers in the country took to the surf with much excitement. There was an absolute flurry of activity around these final heats in the U12, U14 and U18 divisions, with the premier U16 Division final set to take place tomorrow, just before the Rip Curl Cup finals. 

The U12 Girls went out in what can only be described as demanding conditions, with a few different approaches by our youngest competitors. It didn’t matter which approach, though, as Maya Malherbe was head-and-shoulders above the pack with what turned out to be the day’s highest heat total. She banked an incredible 15.66 out of a possible 20 points, which included a massive 9.33 for a powerful backhand lip-soring re-entry on a set wave.



Maya Malherbe © Louis Wulff

Local surfer Carl Wiersma was also one of the most outstanding surfers of the day for his win in the U14 Boys division, beating some of the top U14 surfers in the country.

“It was tricky out there, and we couldn’t hear much due to the onshore wind,” said Wiersma. I wasn’t sure I had it, but I was so stoked when I heard I had the score and the win. The Rip Curl GromSearch in Port Alfred is by far the best surf contest of the year, and it’s right on my doorstep in a wave that I know so well, and my parents don’t have to drive anywhere.”


U14 Champ and local boy Carl Wiersma being carried off the beach. Picture: Louis Wulff

One of the most exciting elements of these final heats was seeing the new faces on the podiums, and there were some very happy first-time GromSearch winners. 

Final Results. 

U12 Girls

1st – Maya Malherbe

2nd – Brin Jarvis

3rd – Adiana Canning

4th – Summer Harding

U12 Boys

1st – Slayde Shooter

2nd – Lazaro de Bruyn

3rd – Levi Vosloo

4th – Tyler Balfour


Slayde Shooter © Louis Wulff


U14 Girls

1st – Leah Lepront

2nd – Camilla Heuer

3rd – Jasmine Venter

4th – Maya Malherbe

U14 Boys

1st – Carl Wiersma

2nd – Ben Esterhuyse

3rd – Owen Heny

4th – Slayde Shooter

U18 Girls 

1st – Anastasia Venter

2nd – Louise Lepront

3rd – Sara Scott

4th – Gemma Hanafey


Anastasia Venter © Louis Wulff

U18 Boys

1st – Simon Winter

2nd – Matt Canning

3rd – Loghann Tilsley

4th – Clayton Turrell

 Simon Winter © Louis Wulff


Rip Curl GromSearch Premier U16 Finalists to compete tomorrow. 


Leah Lepront, Taylor Emslie, Louis Lepront, Remi Fourie.


Rory Dace, Rylan Jarvis, Josh Malherbe, Kieren Murphy. 


Rip Curl Cup Opening Round

Immediately after the GromSearch prize-giving, it was time for the Rip Curl Cup Open Men’s Division Round One.

In still-contestable conditions, the best surfers in the country hit the water, and some brilliant surfing took place. All results of this round can be found on LIVEHEATS.

Don’t forget the Rosehill SPAR EXpression Session Monday1 April between the Rip Curl GromSearch U16 Finals and the Rip Curl Cup Finals

A SuperSport Film Crew is on-site, producing a show on these two surf contests and coverage of the other Port Alfred Easter Festival events for later viewing.