Louise Lepront and Crystal Hulett Claim Inaugural eThekwini Surf Pro Titles in Durban on Sunday

The women’s QS 1,000 Final saw top seed Sarah Scott from Cape Town come up against Louise Lepront (in photo), and it was the Scottburgh surfer who won the battle in the tough conditions to find waves. Photo: © WSL / Tostee

Louise Lepront won the World Surf League (WSL) Africa Regional Qualifying Series (QS) 1,000, and Crystal Hulett top-performed to take the Longboard Qualifying Series title, at the inaugural eThekwini Surf Pro in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, on Sunday, 9 June, 2024.

The morning started with clean, small waves before the onshore winds picked up in the afternoon to create testing conditions for all competitors.

The women’s QS 1,000 Final saw top seed Sarah Scott from Cape Town come up against Scottburgh’s Louise Lepront, and it was a battle in the tough conditions to find waves that could offer a decent scoring potential.

Lepront stayed busy and somehow picked the best waves that linked right through to the shore, to fit in multiple turns and ride out successfully. Since her third place finish at the World Junior Championships in El Salvador, Lepront’s surfing is packed with more confidence and maturity. 

“I’ve been on a go lately, I’m super stoked to win this event!” Lepront said. “Coming back from El Salvador, this win back home means so much to me. I didn’t really have a strategy out there. You just have to go for any wave that has a lip and just hope it goes all the way to the shore. I want to thank my parents, brother, sister and QJ, my coach, who really put in a lot of work over the past three days.”

The women’s LQS 1,000 Final saw two of South Africa’s most experienced longboarders, Tarryn King and Crystal Hulett, go toe-to-toe in Durban. Hulett jumped into the lead by reading the waves really well, finding the opportunities in between the bumps to cross-step and get to the nose of her board.

King seemed frustrated in the tricky conditions, waiting for better waves to roll through and finally found one with five minutes left on the clock. King was on one of the bigger waves of the heat, walking across the board before committing to a closeout turn for a 6.83, but it was a little too late. Hulett stayed busy and improved on her backup score to secure the win with a total of 10.40.

“I just have so much stoke, so much happiness right now,” Hulett reacted. “I’m just grateful for everyone’s support and the presence of the community here. It’s been the best event and I’m so grateful to be a part of it. Taking out the win is just number one!”

“It wasn’t easy out there, just so much white water moving around,” Hulett reflected. “I tried to look for the sets, but then I decided to just stay busy, looking for anything where I could get the work done.”

With this win, Hulett qualified for the World Longboard Tour (WLT) that kicks off next month in Australia. 

“It’s such an honour, I’m stoked. All these women are amazing and I’m grateful to compete against them. Women’s longboarding is growing and I’m so happy to be part of it.”

The eThekwini Surf Pro is supported by eThekwini Municipality, Durban Tourism, KwaZulu-Natal Surfing Association and Surfing South Africa. For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com. 

eThekwini Surf Pro QS 1,000 Women’s Final Results

1 – Louise Lepront (RSA) 9.16
2 – Sarah Scott (RSA) 5.10

eThekwini Surf Pro QS 1,000 Women’s Semifinal Results

Heat 1: Louise Lepront (RSA) 10.07 DEF. Jessie van Niekerk (RSA) 7.74
Heat 2: Sarah Scott (RSA) 12.33 DEF. Anastasia Venter (RSA) 6.77

eThekwini Surf Pro LQS 1,000 Women’s Final Results

1 – Crystal Hulett (RSA) 10.40
2 – Tarryn King (RSA) 9.83

eThekwini Surf Pro LQS 1,000 Women’s Semifinal Results

Heat 1: Tarryn King (RSA) 13.83 DEF. Cara Stubbs (RSA) 11.77
Heat 2: Crystal Hulett (RSA) 13.10 DEF. Josie Middleton (RSA) 9.00


Original Copy: World Surf League Africa, with editing by gsport

Main Photo Caption: The women’s QS 1,000 Final saw top seed Sarah Scott from Cape Town come up against Louise Lepront (in photo), and it was the Scottburgh surfer who won the battle in the tough conditions to find waves. Photo: © WSL / Tostee

Photo 2 Caption: Louise Lepront (RSA) won the eThekwini Surf Pro LQS 1,000, and qualifies for the World Longboard Tour. Photo: © WSL / Tostee

Photo 3 Caption: Crystal Hulett (RSA) won the eThekwini Surf Pro LQS 1,000, and qualifies for the World Longboard Tour. Photo: © WSL / Tostee

Photo 4 Caption: Crystal Hulett pictured in action during the eThekwini Surf Pro LQS 1,000. Photo: © WSL / Tostee

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