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Two 12-year-old surfers make folks proud by winning contest

MIKEY Todd won first place in the U-12 boys surfing competition. l SUPPLIED

MIKEY Todd won first place in the U-12 boys surfing competition. l SUPPLIED

Published Apr 24, 2022


FORTUNE favours the brave and that rings true for the 12-year-old surfing champions, Mikey Todd and Leah Lepront.

The pair recently won first place in the Rip Curl GromSearch competition, in the U-12 boys and girls categories respectively.

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Hosted in Victoria Bay this month, the competition allows children to compete for their country against the best surfers in the same age category.

Cape Town’s Mikey is a sports enthusiast who dabbles in rugby, water polo, skating and surfing. He said winning the championship was such an amazing feeling.

“I got such good waves while competing, got into a rhythm and it feels amazing to win the first Rip Curl GromSearch competition."

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He learnt how to surf when his dad, Murray, who took him to Llandudno beach as a toddler.

“I remember catching the first wave. I nosedived and the board hit me. I didn’t like surfing for a while,” he said.

“I started to enjoy it again when I was seven.”

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Mikey said being in the water was the best form of escapism.

“It’s a place where I can get away from school and I feel free when I am in the water. You feel so in tune with the ocean,” he said.

“When you get a really good wave, there’s so much adrenaline pumping in your body. It’s the best feeling.”

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In preparing for the competition, Mikey said he trained with his coach, Liam Wood, two to three times a week.

“I do exercises with my dad and with my coach, I surf for two hours at a time.”

Although Mikey does not know what career he wants to pursue, he knows his future includes surfing.

“Right now my main goal is to make the Western Province team. When I am older, I definitely want to continue doing surfing competitions.

“I would love to travel to great surfing destinations like Hawaii or Indonesia,” he added.

His mother, Ashleigh, said seeing her son in the water is amazing.

“He’s so young and I keep asking myself how he does it? It’s mind-blowing. There’s no fear in him,” she said.

“There are so many young kids and they’re all so fearless in achieving their goals.”

LEAH Lepront won first place in the U-12 girls surfing competition. l SUPPLIED

Leah hails from Warner Beach in KwaZulu-Natal and is a surfing enthusiast who is ecstatic about her win at a national level.

“It makes me want to try harder so that I can hopefully win a lot of other competitions,” she said.

Leah was introduced to surfing by her brother, Luc, when she was seven.

“When I saw him surfing, I really wanted to learn how to do it. I found it fun even though I kept falling,” she said.

“I kept trying until I got it right. During this time I made a lot of new friends,” she added.

“There’s a lot of speed in surfing and it’s also a social game because you get to meet so many people.”

“Being able to surf freely in nature is so beautiful and I love it.”

Aside from training for a competition, Leah loves to surf every day.

“I don’t have a specific way of training, I just love surfing and I will surf for four to six hours a day if I can,” she said.

“When I am older, I would like to either be a professional surfer or a veterinarian because I love animals. Whatever I do, I will never stop surfing.”

Her mother, Catherine said she is “super stoked” to see her youngest daughter join her two siblings, Louise and Luc, in the sport.

“She's a very social young girl, loves competing and making new friends all over South Africa's beautiful coastline,” she said.

“She does amaze me at times with her sheer strength of mind and bravery. As her mom, I'm very proud.”

Related Topics:

Cape TownSurfing