Tyler Wright won the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, the fourth stop on the World Surf League 2022 Championship Tour.
After previous runner-up finishes at the event, it was the first win at the iconic Bells Beach for the surfer who adapted perfectly to the move from the Bells Bowl to Rincon in clean but dropping surf. The morning saw three-to-four foot conditions with competition finishing in two-to-three foot waves in the afternoon.
Tyler Wright Finally Adds Iconic Bell to Already Impressive Trophy Cabinet
Two-time WSL Champion Tyler Wright (AUS) claimed her 15th CT event win today and her maiden Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach title. Wright was the form surfer of the event, posting excellent scores throughout, with the Final being no different.
In the last heat of the event, Wright took on three-time Bells winner and reigning five-time WSL Champion, Carissa Moore (HAW), in what was their third Bells Final together. With Moore clinching wins over Wright in 2013 and 2014, Wright found redemption from the first exchange, as she posted an 8.93 (out of a possible 10) in the opening seconds of the heat then backed it up with an 8.00 and left Moore chasing for the remainder of the heat. It is Wright’s first CT victory since the opening event of the 2021 season and it has rocketed her to the second position on the world rankings.
“Honestly this means the world right now,” said Wright. “I want to start by thanking the Wadawurrung people for having us here on their country this week. This is an emotional win for me. I’ve won two World Titles but this win feels almost as big for me. I’ve been competing here and walking down those stairs for 12 years now and to get the win, with a lot of my family here, I’m over the moon and beyond stoked.”
“It’s been a long four years for me recovering from what I went through (post-viral syndrome) and I’m only just feeling like myself in the water again,” continued Wright. “There’s been multiple times where I just wanted to give up. I worked so hard to be here, and I’m just so beyond grateful to have the support I had, and the love and the care as well. It is more than a win, it’s the only event I ever really wanted to win and here I am and I’m pretty over the moon and beyond stoked.”
5x WSL Champion Moore Back to World No. 1
Five-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) headed into the Final looking to add to her three Bells titles and join the likes of Mick Fanning, Stephanie Gilmore, Kelly Slater, and Mark Richards as four-time Bells Winners. Unfortunately for Moore, she came up against a rampaging Wright in the Final and was unable to find the same rhythm as her opponent. From the second-place finish, Moore was able to find the positives as she leaves Victoria with the yellow leader jersey and heads to Margaret River, a location she has found much success at.
After the first five events of the 2022 CT season, the new Mid-season Cut reduces the CT fields to the Top 22 men and Top 10 women, in addition to two men’s and two women’s wildcards (one season wildcard and one event wildcard). All surfers who make the cut continue on the CT in an effort to make the WSL Final 5 and compete in the Rip Curl WSL Finals, as well as automatically requalify for the 2023 CT. Those who do not make the cut will need to compete on the 2022 Challenger Series in order to qualify for the 2023 CT.
Following the fourth stop on the 2022 CT, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, the first competitors to make the cut are officially locked. The next stop on the 2022 WSL CT, the Margaret River Pro, will be the final opportunity for the remaining CT surfers to make the Mid-season Cut. There are only six spots left on the women’s CT and only nine spots on the men’s CT to be decided at the Margaret River Pro.
Women’s Mid-season CT Qualifiers
Carissa Moore (HAW)
Tyler Wright (AUS)
Brisa Hennessy (CRI)
Lakey Peterson (USA)
Remaining six spots will be determined at upcoming Margaret River Pro
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Women’s Final Results:
1 – Tyler Wright (AUS) 16.93
2 – Carissa Moore (HAW) 10.57
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Women’s Semifinal Results:
HEAT 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) 14.23 DEF. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.90
HEAT 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.50 DEF. Brisa Hennessy (CRI) 13.77