Ranking leaders Filipe Toledo (BRA) and Carissa Moore (HAW) will look to carry their momentum into the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, which begins tonight. Image: WSL / Cestari
The second stop on the 2015 Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach gets underway tonight with a competitive window of April 1 – 12, 2015. The world’s best male and female surfers will battle the elements and adapt their approaches in hunting for waves, scores and the honor of ringing the coveted Bell.
Carissa Moore (HAW), two-time world champion and back-to-back Bells winner, tops the women’s ratings following an impressive showing on the Gold Coast. Moore will take on Dimity Stoyle (AUS) and trials winner Pauline Ado (FRA) in the opening round of competition.
“I’m feeling really good and I’m so happy to be back at Bells, it’s a truly magical place,” Moore said. “Snapper was awesome and I’m super stoked to start off my year like that. I know every event is a clean slate but I’m ready to give it my best shot and I really like it here. Bells is such a historic place and the best of the best have won here. The wave is iconic and it’s all about big, beautiful carves and I love the simple traditional surfing.”
Reigning six-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) has been victorious here three times (2007, 2008 and 2010) and will be looking to reclaim the yellow leader jersey with a strong showing at Bells.
“I love Bells and I love surfing these waves,” said Gilmore. “It’s a really iconic Australian event so I think that’s where the prestige comes from. Also, all of the winners of the event have been the most incredible, iconic surfers. The most talented surfers to ever walk the planet have all rung the bell.”
Pauline Ado (FRA) will join the WSL Top 17 and complete the lineup for the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach. Former Championship Tour surfer Ado won the event trials to earn her place amongst the world’s best and will face Moore and Dimity Stoyle (AUS) in Round 1 Heat 3.
“I am stoked to get into the event,” said Ado. “Thank you to Rip Curl for allowing me the chance to surf in the trials and make it into the main event.”
Phillip Island’s Joe Van Dijk (AUS), brother of CT surfer Nikki Van Dijk, also won through the event trials yesterday. Bells Beach will mark his first CT event and he will match-up against reigning WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) and rookie Matt Banting (AUS) in Round 1.
“It’s going to be so good to compete in the Rip Curl Pro with my sister,” Van Dijk said. “I have been watching her compete over the past few years and it is what I have been aspiring to do. It’s nice to get the chance to surf in the main event.”
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), Pauline Ado (FRA)
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)
Surfline, official forecasters for the World Surf League, are calling for:
SW swell in the chest-head high range will prevail on Wednesday, although on an easing trend through the day. The SW groundswell fades further on Thursday as some shorter period southerly windswell joins in, as well as unfavorable southerly wind. Into the medium and long range, nothing major is currently on the radar, but we could see a series of modest/ contestable SW swells over the weekend and the first part of the new week if a series of storms behave as forecast. More of the same is possible over the final few days of the waiting period.
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