Long Boards Set the Tone as QS1000 Competition Sets the Standard at eThekwini Surf Pro in Durban

Crystal Hulett sets the tone in the Longboard Qualifying Series, mixed it up with WSL Africa QS surfing, on day 1 of the eThekwini Surf Pro at the iconic New Pier beach in Durban on Friday, 7 June, 2024. Photo: © WSL / Tostee

The eThekwini Surf Pro, the first stop of the 2024/2025 World Surf League (WSL) Africa Regional Qualifying Series (QS) and the only Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) 1,000 for 2024 completed the Opening Rounds of competition in two-to-three foot surf at Durban’s iconic New Pier beach in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, on Friday, June 7, 2024.

The day started with South Africa’s top women longboarders taking to the water for the Opening Round of the LQS 1,000. 

Muizenberg’s Cara Stubbs held her composure to find a wave and get the required score to move from third place into first, taking the heat win over Jeffreys Bay’s Crystal Hulett who got bumped to second, eliminating Durban locals Christy Gilmour and Noa-Grace Garnett.

“It was a bit nerve-wracking, but I’m super stoked I got the small score that I needed,” Stubbs reacted. “I got a nice first wave so it’s always good to have that in the bank. 

“The conditions are super fun and perfect for longboarding, especially today. There are loads of waves so it’s very contestable.”

Durban’s Josie Middleton took out her heat ahead of 2023 South African Longboard Champion Tarryn King, who showed her experience when she managed to hold on to second place to advance to the next round, eliminating Hayley Hansen.

Scottburgh’s Louise Lepront took the lead in the first heat of the WSL Africa Regional Qualifying Series opening round, putting pressure on her competitors and ran away with the win in the end, with Gabriella Herbst advancing in second.

“It was actually quite fun,” Lepront said. “From the beach it looked slow and small, but once I got out there I saw a couple bombs, and just smacked it. 

“It’s good to be back in Durban, this is the first competition of three in the next month so I’m amped to compete. I come to surf here in Durban almost every week so I feel quite comfortable.”

WSL Africa Regional QS Opening Round First Heat Leader, Louise Lepront

With conditions deteriorating in the strong offshore wind, Lepront’s younger sister, Leah Lepront held on to win the last heat of the day ahead of Cape Town’s Danielle Powis.

The next call will be on Saturday, 8 June at 7:30 AM for a possible 8:30 AM start local time.

The eThekwini Surf Pro Finals Day will be streamed live Sunday, 9 June 2024 on worldsurfleague.com, the WSL YouTube and WSL free app.


Main Photo Caption: Crystal Hulett sets the tone in the Longboard Qualifying Series, mixed it up with WSL Africa QS surfing, on day 1 of the eThekwini Surf Pro at the iconic New Pier beach in Durban on Friday, 7 June, 2024. Photo: © WSL / Tostee

Photo 2 Caption: First round Longboard leader Cara Stubbs: “It was a bit nerve-wracking, but I’m super stoked I got the small score that I needed!” Photo: © WSL / Tostee

Photo 3 Caption: Durban’s Josie Middleton (pictured) took out her heat ahead of Longboard champ, Tarryn King, who managed to advance to round 2. Photo: © WSL / Tostee

Photo 4 Caption: Scottburgh’s Louise Lepront took the lead in the first heat of the WSL Africa Regional Qualifying Series opening round. Photo: © WSL / Tostee

Photo 5 Caption: Leah Lepront held on to win the last heat of the day ahead of Cape Town’s Danielle Powis (pictured). Photo: © WSL / Tostee

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