Top Seed Natasha van Greunen and Jessie van Niekerk into Cape Town Surf Pro Semifinals

Reigning WSL Africa Regional QS champion Natasha van Greunen (RSA) stormed into the Semifinals, taking out the first women’s Quarterfinal heat of the day. Photo: Kody McGregor/World Surf League

The Cape Town Surf Pro semifinalists were determined in two-to-three foot waves and strong offshore winds in a massive day of competition to start the World Surf League (WSL) Cape Town Surf Pro Qualifying Series (QS) 1,000 at Long Beach, Kommetjie, Cape Town on Saturday, 16 March 2024.

Reigning WSL Africa Regional QS champion Natasha van Greunen (RSA) stormed into the Semifinals, taking out the first women’s Quarterfinal heat of the day. 

Van Greunen got off to a good start, opting to go right and cranking out a strong bottom turn to set up her next maneuver, driving into the oncoming section and riding it out for a 7-point ride (out of a possible 10). Biding her time to find a decent wall in the shifty conditions, van Greunen found a great backup of 6.33 for a total of 13.33 (out of a possible 20).

“It feels good to build some confidence with a heat win,” van Greunen reacted. “There’s always some nerves with the first event of the season. It was actually tricky out there today with a lot of shifty waves. 

Sometimes it looks like the wave is approaching you and then it just disappears underneath you, so I just concentrated on picking the right waves. I’ve had a lot of training days out here. It’s a very consistent break so I’m happy to be home and competing in this event.”

Among van Greunen’s fiercest competition is Jessie van Niekerk (RSA), who took control of her Quarterfinal heat against the dynamic youngster Louise Lepront (RSA) and Kommetjie-local Emily Winter (RSA) from the buzzer, squeezing in a two-turn combo and navigating the unforgiving shorebreak for a 6.67. 

After struggling to find a decent wave, Lepront was rewarded with a 6.17 for one huge turn into a meaty section and hanging on to ride it out cleanly. Sparks were flying in the dying minutes when Lepront, only needing a small score, found a wave to speed down the line and throw down a big layback hack. 

However, van Niekerk was up and riding right behind her with a big wall ahead, completing three powerful carves and committing to the end section to ride it out for a 6.23 to take out the win.

“The conditions really turned on today, it was a lot of fun,” van Niekerk said. “I’m really glad we could get going with an event this year and I’m excited to take out my first heat win. It feels like we’ve been preparing for ages and then you just get so antsy just to get started, so it feels great to be here today.”

Quarterfinal Results at the Cape Town Surf Pro in Cape Town  

HEAT 1: Natasha van Greunen (RSA) 13.33 DEF. Aimee du Preez (RSA) 9.43; Tanika Hoffman (RSA) 4.74
HEAT 2: Sarah Scott (RSA) 10.33 DEF. Lily Heny (RSA) 7.23, Danielle Powis (RSA) 3.24
HEAT 3: Anastasia Venter (RSA) 11.83 DEF. Kira Hofmeyr (RSA) 8.40; Katie Winter (RSA) 6.66
HEAT 4: Jessie van Niekerk (RSA) 12.90 DEF. Louise Lepront (RSA) 11.00; Emily Winter (RSA) 3.17

Cape Town Surf Pro Semifinal Matchups on Sunday, 17 March, 2024

HEAT 1: Natasha van Greunen (RSA) vs. Aimee du Preez (RSA) vs. Sarah Scott (RSA) vs. Lily Heny (RSA)
HEAT 2: Anastasia Venter (RSA) vs. Kira Hofmeyr (RSA) vs. Jessie van Niekerk (RSA) vs. Louise Lepront (RSA)

Click to Visit visit WorldSurfLeague.com for more information


Original Copy: WSL Africa, with editing by gsport

Main Photo Caption: Reigning WSL Africa Regional QS champion Natasha van Greunen (RSA) stormed into the Semifinals, taking out the first women’s Quarterfinal heat of the day. Photo: Kody McGregor/World Surf League

Photo 2 Caption: Jessie van Niekerk surfs in Heat 4 of the Quarterfinals at the Cape Town Surf Pro on March 16, 2024 at Long Beach, Cape Town, South Africa Photo: Kody McGregor/World Surf League

Photo 3 Caption: Louise Lepront surfs in Heat 4 at the Cape Town Surf Pro. Photo: Kody McGregor/World Surf League

Photo 4 Caption: Aimee du Preez of South Africa surfs in the Quarterfinals. Photo: Kody McGregor/World Surf League

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