The second stop on the Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, is one of the most coveted titles on Tour.
The longest-running professional surfing contest in the world, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach has been taking place each year since 1962 with the 53rd iteration getting underway in two weeks time. The WSL will showcase the unparalleled adventure, competitive drama and athleticism of professional surfing as the world’s best surfers battle stair runs, long paddles, cold water and leg-burning waves to earn the right to ‘ring the bell’.
The 11-stop CT, the international series featuring the world’s best surfers in the world’s best waves, continues in Bells Beach after a thrilling opening event on Australia’s Gold Coast, won by Filipe Toledo (BRA). The second stop on professional surfing’s elite tour is one of the most prestigious and the world’s best surfers are turning their attention to the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, eager to begin their respective campaigns in Victoria.
Winning at Bells is a sure sign that you should be considered a serious title contender. The many variables thrown at competitors, from waves to winds to weather, pose physical, psychological and emotional hurdles, and serve as an indicator of season-long strength.
11-time World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) has earned the right to ring the bell four separate times, Gold Coast talent Joel Parkinson (AUS) notched his third Bells victory in 2011, Adriano de Souza (BRA) became the first Brazilian male to ring the Bell in 2013 and, most recently three-time World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS) secured his third win in 2014 (he previously won as a wildcard in 2001 and again in 2012). After a Quarterfinal finish at Snapper Rocks, Fanning is eager to defend his title at Bells. Fanning will face Freddy Patacchia Jr. (HAW) and one of the wildcards in Round 1.
Reigning 6-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) has been victorious here three times. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) posted back-to-back wins in 2011 and 2012 and two-time World Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) will be looking for a third consecutive opportunity to ring the bell after wins in 2013 and 2014. Fresh from a first-place on the Gold Coast, Moore will don the yellow jersey at Bells Beach and match-up against Dimity Stoyle (AUS) and winner of the Trials in Round 1.
The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach will be held from Wednesday April 1 to Sunday April 12, 2015. Watch the unparalleled adventure, competitive drama and athleticism of professional surfing showcased live at WorldSurfLeague.com.
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Kai Otton (AUS), Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Ricardo Christie (NZL)
Heat 4: John John Florence (HAW), Italo Ferreira (BRA), C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 5: Mick Fanning (AUS), Freddy Patacchia Jr. (HAW), TBD
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Matt Banting (AUS), TBD
Heat 7: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 8: Michel Bourez (PYF), Nat Young (USA), Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 9: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 10: Josh Kerr (AUS), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 11: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Owen Wright (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 12: Julian Wilson (AUS), Kolohe Andino (USA), Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Malia Manuel (HAW), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Laura Enever (AUS)
Heat 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Silvana Lima (BRA), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW), Dimity Stoyle (AUS), TBD
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), Alessa Quizon (HAW)
Heat 5: Tyler Wright (AUS), Johanne Defay (FRA), Sage Erickson (USA)
Heat 6: Lakey Peterson (USA), Courtney Conlogue (USA), Coco Ho (HAW)