- WSL / Pierre Tostee

DURBAN, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (Saturday, June 8, 2024) - The eThekwini Surf Pro World Surf League (WSL) Africa Regional Qualifying Series (QS) 1,000 completed the men's Round of 16 and women's Quarterfinals today in clean, two-to-three foot waves with offshore wind.

There was an electrifying buzz on the Durban promenade on Saturday morning. Surfers were itching to get in the water and enjoy the fun conditions, while thousands of runners ran past in preparation for for the upcoming Comrades Marathon taking place in the city this weekend.

Field Narrowed Down, Finals Day Locked In

Durban locals Tide-Lee Ireland and Karl Steen suffered an early elimination in their Round of 16 heats at the hands of Scottburgh's Luc Lepront and Morocco's Redouane Regragui respectively. Regragui was eliminated from the LQS 1,000 earlier in the morning, but it allowed him to understand the slow conditions and surfed a smarter heat against Steen in the QS 1,000.

"The waves were good this morning, but with only one wave sets my adversary caught the best one and that's competition for you," Regragui reflected. "So in my QS heat I tried to be more patient and select the right wave that had the potential to allow me to do my best surfing to advance to the Quarterfinal. I'm grateful to the Moroccan Federation for affording me the opportunity to compete and to all the people supporting me."

Jordy Maree Jordy Maree - WSL / Pierre Tostee

The top ranked African surfer on the WSL Challenger Series, Jordy Maree from Cape Town won his Round of 16 heat against Simo Mkhize with an excellent 8.33 and 6.83 for a total of 15.16.

"The conditions are really fun and clean with the offshore wind, and we had a few more options with the low tide," Maree said. "I found a really nice wave out the back and managed to get that 8.33. I was in the perfect spot for the set, ending up doing three decent turns and I got the score so I'm stoked."

Other notable performances included Joshe Faulkner and James Ribbink who also won their heats to advance to the next round.

Louise Lepront Louise Lepront - WSL / Pierre Tostee

Continuing her rhythm in Durban, Louise Lepront secured her spot in the Semifinals after defeating Natasha van Greunen from Cape Town. Lepront will come up against Jessie van Niekerk who recently returned from Australia after competing in the Challenger Series.

"I'm feeling pretty good, I actually got a few nice waves out there," Lepront said. "It's a bit tricky to get the right waves, but once you get a wave that runs all the way to the beach you can get a good score. If the waves are smaller tomorrow it will be a bit more challenging, but I'm feeling confident."

Anastasia Venter Anastasia Venter - WSL / Pierre Tostee

Fresh off the back of the Challenger Series in Australia, Anastasia Venter made the most of the small but fun conditions on offer to defeat Danielle Powis in the last heat of the day. Venter will face WSL Africa top ranked QS competitor Sarah Scott who eliminated Leah Lepront.

"I had so much fun, it's so cool to surf two-person heats and we got lots of waves," Venter reacted. "I'm super stoked to make it to Finals Day, the Semifinals are going to be really cool and hopefully we get more good waves."

The next call will be on Sunday, 9 June at 7:00 AM for a possible 7:30 AM start local time.

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

The eThekwini Surf Pro is supported by eThekwini Municipality, Durban Tourism, KwaZulu-Natal Surfing Association and Surfing South Africa.

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