Margies Kicks Off!

Taj Burrow of Australia (pictured) narrowly winning his Round 1 heat at the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro in Western Australia. PHOTO: WSL/ Sloane SOCIAL: @WSL @edsloanephoto  This image is the copyright of  the World Surf League and is provided royalty free for editorial use only, in all media now known or hereafter created. No commercial rights granted. Sale or license of the images is prohibited. This image is a factually accurate rendering of what it depicts and has not been modified or augmented except for standard cropping and toning. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

The Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, the third stop on the 2016 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour, kicked off this morning with Women’s Round 1 followed by Men’s Round 1 in 4 feet + (1.5 metre) clean waves at Main Break in Western Australia.

Matt Wilkinson (AUS), current Jeep Rankings Leader, continues to dominate on the 2016 CT as he defeat injury replacement Stuart Kennedy (AUS) and Dusty Payne (HAW) to advance to Round 3. Wilkinson came out the gates strong with a 7.17 point ride, and continued to better his two-wave score with a solid 5 point ride. Kennedy and Payne were not able to find big enough second scores to combat Wilkinson.

“This 6’1” board is feeling really awesome, but I just buckled it on my last ride, which is a bummer, but I am stoked to win that heat,” Wilkinson said. “I’ve got some other boards so I should be okay. Hopefully the lefts turn on a bit and I can find some barrels and do some big open face carves.”

Adriano De Souza (BRA), reigning WSL Champion, defeat Trails winner Jacob Willcox (AUS) and Keanu Asing (HAW) in Heat 7 of today’s competition. De Souza held the lead with two 6 point rides. Willcox fought hard to out surf De Souza, but was unable to find the 6.37 score required to beat the defending event Champion. De Souza will advance to Round 3, while Willcox and Asing will battle to avoid elimination in Round 2.

“I am so happy to make this heat especially because Willcox surfed so well and Keanu is a dangerous threat in any kind of conditions,” De Souza said. “I am happy to get these nerves out of my system and come back to the place that gave me a lot of happiness in the past. Now I am trying to find my rhythm and see if I can go far through this contest.”

Italo Ferreira (BRA), 2015 Rookie of the Year faced 2016 WSL rookie Kanoa Igarashi (USA) and event Wildcard Jack Robinson (AUS) in Round 1 Heat 4. Igarashi held control for a majority of the heat, but it was Ferreira who surged ahead of Igarashi by only 1.22 points in the last five minutes. Ferreira landed a massive air-rotation on his last wave, reminding the field of the innovative maneuvers in his arsenal.

“I am so happy that I got those last two waves,” said Ferreira after his heat. “In the first ten minutes I did not catch any good waves where Kanoa got two good waves. In the last few minutes I got two good waves and did a couple of turns and airs. It was ninja and then I was scared when I saw the rocks, but it was so fun.”

CT veteran Joel Parkinson (AUS) faced 2016 WSL rookies Conner Coffin (USA) and Ryan Callinan (AUS) in Heat 9. Coffin held control for most of the heat, but it was Parkinson who came back with a huge air that awarded him a 7.17 to win the heat and advance to Round 3. The rookies will compete in Round 2 to avoid elimination from the event.

“That was a really cool heat to surf against two rookies,” Parkinson said. “They are real eager and I was feeding off of their hunger. It was good to have two guys who are frothing on their first time on tour. I had about five different game plans going through my head and everything I tried to do I did the opposite. It’s one of those places where you have to adapt and surf to the conditions whatever way you can.”

Gabriel Medina of Brasil (pictured) winning his Round 1 heat at the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro in Western Australia. Italo Ferreira of Brasil (pictured) winning his Round 1 heat at the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro in Western Australia.  PHOTO: WSL/ Sloane SOCIAL: @WSL @edsloanephoto  This image is the copyright of  the World Surf League and is provided royalty free for editorial use only, in all media now known or hereafter created. No commercial rights granted. Sale or license of the images is prohibited. This image is a factually accurate rendering of what it depicts and has not been modified or augmented except for standard cropping and toning. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Presumed 2016 Title contenders Julian Wilson (AUS), Gabriel Medina (BRA) and Nat Young (USA) also won their Round 1 match-ups and will compete in Round 3.

Courtney Conlogue of the USA (pictured) winning her Round 1 heat at the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro in Western Australia on Friday April 8, 2016. PHOTO: © WSL/ Sloane SOCIAL MEDIA TAG: @wsl @edsloanephoto This image is the copyright of  the World Surf League and is provided royalty free for editorial use only, in all media now known or hereafter created. No commercial rights granted. Sale or license of the images is prohibited. This image is a factually accurate rendering of what it depicts and has not been modified or augmented except for standard cropping and toning. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Courtney Conlogue (USA), the current Jeep Ratings Leader, will advance straight to Round 3 after sending Alessa Quizon (HAW) and Trials winner Felicity Palmateer (AUS) to Round 2. Conlogue was able to find two solid waves to rack up a 13.40 two-wave combined score, earning her a 3.03 lead over Quizon.

“I have learned so much about my surfing and how to improve it at this wave,” Conlogue said. “I love how this venue is always changing. You never know what to expect coming here. You either get swell and amazing offshores or you get this wild, woolly condition. Everytime I come here is an adventure and you wake up and see what the day brings.”

Carissa Moore during Round 1  at the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro in Western Australia on Friday April 8, 2016. PHOTO: © WSL/ Sloane SOCIAL MEDIA TAG: @wsl @edsloanephoto This image is the copyright of  the World Surf League and is provided royalty free for editorial use only, in all media now known or hereafter created. No commercial rights granted. Sale or license of the images is prohibited. This image is a factually accurate rendering of what it depicts and has not been modified or augmented except for standard cropping and toning. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Carissa Moore (HAW), three-time WSL Champion and last year’s event runner-up, charged through her heat, showcasing power, variety and speed against Sage Erickson (USA) andLaura Enever (AUS). Enever tried to combat Moore’s 15.77 two-wave combined score, but was not able to challenge with her pair of 6 point rides. Moore will advance to Round 3, while Enever and Erickson battle in elimination Round 2.

“I am happy where I am at right now, but of course I would have liked to have gotten a few spots better in the first two contests,” Moore said. “I like coming from behind and having something to chase. Seeing that target is exciting. I am happy to be here at Margaret River, the waves are fun.”

Nikki Van Dijk of Australia winning her Round 1 heat at the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro in Western Australia on Friday April 8, 2016. PHOTO: © WSL/ Sloane SOCIAL MEDIA TAG: @wsl @edsloanephoto This image is the copyright of  the World Surf League and is provided royalty free for editorial use only, in all media now known or hereafter created. No commercial rights granted. Sale or license of the images is prohibited. This image is a factually accurate rendering of what it depicts and has not been modified or augmented except for standard cropping and toning. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) is off to a strong start in Western Australia, as she defeat Tyler Wright (AUS), current World No. 2, and Coco Ho (HAW) in Round 1. Van Dijk demonstrated strong performances in the last two events and continued the trend today by earning two 7 point rides. A dramatic finish left Wright under both Van Dijk and Ho’s priority. Needing a second solid score to defeat Van Dijk, Wright was tempted by a wave out the back. Van Dijk played defense and used her priority to also take off on the wave, leaving Wright with an interference call.

“That was the ultimate seal dive, I don’t even know what that was and want to go watch the replay,” Van Dijk said. “But other than that, I am happy to make the next round and I feel good out there. Margarets is definitely a really challenging wave, you never really know what it is going to do or what conditions you’ll get. I love that element, but I would love to win here and I will take it heat by heat.”

Local favorite Bronte Macaulay (AUS) defeat six-time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) and Johanne Defay (FRA) in the last heat of Round 1. Macaulay, who gained entry into the event as an injury replacement, charged Main Break to wrack up a 14.60 two-wave combined score, leaving Gilmore and Defay in a combination situation. Macaulay will advance to Round 3, while Gilmore and Defay will battle to avoid an early elimination.

“I am feeling more and more comfortable with every heat I surf,” Macaulay said. “Being a local here, I do not feel any pressure at all. I appreciate the support and when you walk down the beach and see all these familiar faces, it means a lot to me that they are taking time out of their day to come and watch, so I just want to put a good performance out in the water.”

Event organizers will convene tomorrow at 6:30am local time for a possible 7am start.

The Drug Aware Margaret River Pro will be webcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the WSL app.

The event is also being carried by our LIVE broadcast partners Fox Sports Australia, CBS Sports in the United States, ESPN Brasil, Globosat, Edgesport, Sky NZ, Sport TV, Canal + Deportes, Channel Nine, MCS, Starhub, and Oceanic Time Warner Cable 250 & 1250 in Hawaii.

For more information, log onto WorldSurfLeague.com

Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Women’s Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: 
Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 13.60, Keely Andrew (AUS) 13.43, Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 8.63
Heat 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.57, Malia Manuel (HAW) 13.67, Chelsea Tuach (BRB) 10.60
Heat 3: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.40, Alessa Quizon (HAW) 10.37, Felicity Palmateer (AUS) 9.43
Heat 4: Carissa Moore (HAW) 15.77, Laura Enever (AUS) 12.83, Sage Erickson (USA) 10.57
Heat 5: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 14.80, Coco Ho (HAW) 12.16, Tyler Wright (AUS) 8.77
Heat 6: Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 14.60, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 7.77, Johanne Defay (FRA) 7.00

Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Women’s Round 2 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: 
Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Keely Andrew (AUS)
Heat 2: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) vs. Chelsea Tuach (BRB)
Heat 3: Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Felicity Palmateer (AUS)
Heat 4: Johanne Defay (FRA) vs. Laura Enever (AUS)
Heat 5: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Coco Ho (HAW)
Heat 6: Sage Erickson (USA) vs. Alessa Quizon (HAW)

Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: 
Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.34, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 16.10, Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 5.43
Heat 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 17.10, Adam Melling (AUS) 15.47, Kai Otton (AUS) 12.06
Heat 3: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 12.67, Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 9.17, Dusty Payne (HAW) 7.60
Heat 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.67, Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 14.54, Jack Robinson (AUS) 9.70
Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.70, Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 12.27,  Davey Cathels (AUS) 10.16
Heat 6: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.10, Jacob Willcox (AUS) 12.40, Keanu Asing (HAW) 10.64
Heat 7: Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.14, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.04, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 13.13
Heat 8: Nat Young (USA) 15.93, Matt Banting (AUS) 15.53, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 14.60
Heat 9: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.84, Conner Coffin (USA) 11.26, Ryan Callinan (AUS) 10.50

Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Remaining Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 10:
 Kelly Slater (USA), Kolohe Andino (USA), Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 11: John John Florence (HAW), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Heat 12: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Josh Kerr (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA)

Wilko Goes Back To Back!

Matt Wilkinson of Australia (pictured) celebrated his victory at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach on Sunday April 3, 2016.

Matt Wilkinson (AUS) has won the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach today, utilizing his electric backhand to best fellow Finalist Jordy Smith (ZAF) in solid six-to-ten foot (2 – 3 metre) waves at the iconic venue in the Australian State of Victoria.

The second stop on the 2016 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach is the longest-running professional surf event in the world and today proved nothing short of historic with Wilkinson’s victory being the first for a goofy-footer at Bells Beach in 17 years (last won by Mark Occhilupo in 1998).

Following a win at the opening stop of the season on the Gold Coast, the young Australian has gone back-to-back to start the year with today’s emphatic victory. Holding a stunning lead on the rest of the field, Wilkinson will spearhead the world’s best surfers at the next stop on the CT, the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, this coming week.
Matt Wilkinson of Australia celebrates his victory at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.
Today’s Final match-up witnessed Wilkinson and Smith exchange huge scores as each battled to hold the lead. Wilkinson unleashed his strong backhand to deliver vertical snaps, earning him a 9.20 and an 8.17, challenging Smith to find two new scores halfway through the Final. Smith finished with a 14.16 two-wave combined score, but it was not enough to beat the Australian’s 17.37 combined score.
Matt Wilkinson of Australia (pictured) securing a last minute victory during the Quarterfinals of the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach on Sunday April 3, 2016. PHOTO: © WSL / Sloane This image is the copyright of the World Surf League and is provided royalty free for editorial use only, in all media now known or hereafter created. No commercial rights granted. Sale or license of the images is prohibited. This image is a factually accurate rendering of what it depicts and has not been modified or augmented except for standard cropping and toning. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
“I have been trying to win everywhere forever and it has never happened, and this year I seem to keep picking up trophies, which is making me feel pretty good,” Wilkinson said, “I am so happy to be at Bells. I’ve been coming down to this event for so long, and I’ve always wanted to win it. I finally got my chance.”

“If you improve ten percent in ten different areas in your surfing, you are going to be one-hundred percent better,” continued Wilkinson. “I am on great boards, I feel fit, my surfing feels really good and I am making smarter decisions, such as keeping calm in tricky moments. I am just going to keep doing what I am doing and try to not make any mistakes and throw everything into every wave I catch.”
Jordy Smith of South Africa (pictured) winning his Semifinal heat to advance into the Final of the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach on Sunday April 3, 2016. PHOTO: © WSL/ Cestari SOCIAL: @wsl @kc80 This image is the copyright of the World Surf League and is provided royalty free for editorial use only, in all media now known or hereafter created. No commercial rights granted. Sale or license of the images is prohibited. This image is a factually accurate rendering of what it depicts and has not been modified or augmented except for standard cropping and toning. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
After suffering a string of injuries in 2015, Smith’s performance at Bells puts his WSL Title campaign back on track. Although Smith experienced an early Round 2 loss at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, he made a major comeback by taking out CT heavyweights to earn a second place win at Bells Beach.

“Last year I had a back injury and struggled through it, but I am glad to make the Final here today,” Smith said. “This year was a little different for me at Bells. I did not have my expectations so high, and I wanted to put on a good performance and surf my best. I am just trying to put my head down and do the best surfing I can and work as hard as I can.”

The second Semifinal witnessed an all out clash between Smith and Mick Fanning (AUS), three-time WSL Champion and four-time event winner. Fanning and Smith went wave-for-wave, but it was Smith who challenged Fanning with a 17.17. Fanning was not able to lock in solid completions on his massive finishing moves and will end his run at Bells Beach with a 3rd place finish. Fanning has stated that 2016 will be a ‘personal year’ for him, and he will take some time off following this event.

“It was great to go up against Jordy. We have had so many battles out here and it always goes one way or the other,” said Fanning. “We both left it all out there, but I had fun. I was laughing and had a good time. It actually felt really good coming up the beach knowing that I am going on holiday tomorrow. I just want to say thanks to everyone for all the support over the last eight months and throughout my career.”

Wilkinson blazed through Semifinal 1 against Italo Ferreira (BRA), the 2015 WSL Rookie of the Year. Wilkinson dropped a 17.27 two-wave combined score, including a huge 9.27, leaving Ferreira in a combination situation for the majority of the heat. Ferreira will end his run with his highest finish at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach event.

“That was a great heat and a great surf for me,” said Ferreira. “This is my best result at Bells. It was a great heat for Wilkinson. He was ripping. I am happy. It is a long year and I will continue to do my best.”

Smith took out Michel Bourez (PYF) in the last heat of the Quarterfinals. Smith gained an early lead against Bourez with a 9.27. Both competitors earned high scoring rides throughout the heat, but Smith’s 17.77 two-wave combined score edged out Bourez’s 17.26, giving Smith the slight 0.51 lead to enter the Semifinals.

Fanning narrowly defeated 2016 WSL rookie Conner Coffin (USA) in this morning’s Quarterfinal match-up. Fanning faced much adversity with a tweaked his back from his earlier heat and a broken board halfway through, but was able to eliminate Coffin by only 0.73 points. Coffin threw up major scores to earn him a 16.17 two-wave combined score, but it was not enough to beat Fanning.

“It was a good heat and I had a lot of fun the whole event,” Coffin said. “When Mick went on that first wave of that set I was stoked because I knew there was a wave behind it. I needed a 9.03, but it came in as an 8.33 and that is just the way it goes when you are up against Mick, who was ripping. But I was happy with my heat, I had a sixteen point total and I am stoked with that.”

Despite the loss, Coffin heads to Margaret River as No. 2 on the Jeep WSL Rankings.

2016 WSL rookies Davey Cathels (AUS) and Caio Ibelli (BRA) were eliminated from the competition in Round 5 by Mick Fanning (AUS) and Jordy Smith (ZAF), respectively.

The next stop on the 2016 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour will be the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro from April 8 – 19, 2016.
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach champion Matt Wilkinson of Australia (pictured yellow) and runner up Jordy Smith of South Africa (blue) celebrate during prizegiving at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach on Sunday April 3, 2016. Matt Wilkinson of Australia (pictured) hoists his bell after winning the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach on Sunday April 3, 2016. PHOTO: © WSL/ Sloane SOCIAL: @wsl @edsloanephoto This image is the copyright of the World Surf League and is provided royalty free for editorial use only, in all media now known or hereafter created. No commercial rights granted. Sale or license of the images is prohibited. This image is a factually accurate rendering of what it depicts and has not been modified or augmented except for standard cropping and toning. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

For more information, log onto WorldSurfLeague.com

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Final Results:

1 – Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 17.37
2 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.16

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 17.27 def. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 12.40
SF 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.17 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.90

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.30 def. Nat Young (USA) 12.33
QF 2: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 13.26 def. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 12.00
QF 3: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.90 def. Conner Coffin (USA) 16.17
QF 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.77 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 17.26

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Remaining Round 5 Results:
Heat 3: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.50 def. Davey Cathels (AUS) 6.33
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.80 def. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 16.33

2016 Samsung Galaxy WSL Top 5 (after Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach):
1. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 20,000 pts
2. Conner Coffin (USA) 9,200 pts
3. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 8,500 pts
3. Kolohe Andino (USA) 8,500 pts
5. Mick Fanning (AUS) 8,250 pts
5. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 8,250 pts
5. Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 8,250 pts
Matt Wilkinson of Australia (pictured) hoists his bell after winning the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach on Sunday April 3, 2016. PHOTO: © WSL/ Sloane SOCIAL: @wsl @edsloanephoto This image is the copyright of the World Surf League and is provided royalty free for editorial use only, in all media now known or hereafter created. No commercial rights granted. Sale or license of the images is prohibited. This image is a factually accurate rendering of what it depicts and has not been modified or augmented except for standard cropping and toning. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Courtney Rings The Bell!

Courtney Conlogue of the USA (pictured) winning the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach in Australia on Friday April 1, 2016. PHOTO: © WSL/ Sloane SOCIAL: @edsloanephoto This image is the copyright of the World Surf League and is provided royalty free for editorial use only, in all media now known or hereafter created. No commercial rights granted. Sale or license of the images is prohibited. This image is a factually accurate rendering of what it depicts and has not been modified or augmented except for standard cropping and toning. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Courtney Conlogue (USA) claimed victory today at the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach, defeating Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) in three-to-five foot (1 – 1.5 metre) waves at the world-renowned Bells Beach in the Australian state of Victoria.

The second stop on the 2016 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour, the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach enjoyed classic conditions today with world’s best female surfers pushing the boundaries of high-performance surfing once again.

The Final match-up witnessed Conlogue compete against Fitzgibbons, the two-time event winner, in an all out brawl for the opportunity to claim the second CT event win and ring the prestigious Bell. The women went wave for wave, throwing up massive scores, but it was the Californian who captured the win.

“I definitely wanted to get the score on that last wave, and I wanted to put a little more pressure on,” Conlogue said. “I knew I needed an eight, but I wanted a nine. I figured I might as well lose the event knowing that I threw everything I had into it.”
Courtney Conlogue of the USA (pictured) winning the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach in Australia on Friday April 1, 2016. PHOTO: © WSL/ Sloane SOCIAL: @edsloanephoto This image is the copyright of the World Surf League and is provided royalty free for editorial use only, in all media now known or hereafter created. No commercial rights granted. Sale or license of the images is prohibited. This image is a factually accurate rendering of what it depicts and has not been modified or augmented except for standard cropping and toning. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

A runner-up at the opening event of the season last week on the Gold Coast, Conlogue continued the momentum this week at Bells Beach, landing herself on the winner’s dais and atop the Jeep WSL Leaderboard heading into the third event of the year.

“I am really happy to be starting the year with this momentum, a first place win here and a second place win at Snapper,” continued Conlogue. “It is a long season ahead and after experiencing last year’s rollercoaster of emotions, this is definitely a high, but I know it is going to be a grind. Obviously I want to win a World Title, but it is not going to be an easy feat. I know I had a good start, but there are still eight more contests ahead.”

Fitzgibbons opened up strong in the Final, showcasing her clean rail-to-rail surfing. After an early elimination at the Roxy Pro Gold Coast, Fitzgibbons charged through this event to make her way to the Finals. Fitzgibbons threw down an 8.10 and an 8.33, but Conlogue answered back with a 9.03, giving her the narrow 0.10 lead over Fitzgibbons.

“Running down those stairs after fourteen years of coming here never gets old,” Fitzgibbons said. “I just love it when my opponent is at their best. Courtney was in really great form this whole event and when my opponents are going out there and trying to better themselves, as a competitor I revel in that challenge. I cannot wait to push my level to get better and better.”

Semifinal 1 saw Carissa Moore (HAW), three-time World Champion and defending event Champion, eliminated by Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS). Moore, who has three consecutive wins at Bells, locked in a strong 8.17 right off the bat, but did not earn enough on her second ride to defeat Fitzgibbons’ 16.16 two-wave combined score, which included a massive 9.33 point ride.

“I still put up some good scores, but I think I made the mistake of letting priority go, but she just had a higher first wave,” Moore said. “If I would have kept priority, she would have gotten the last wave anyway. It was a weird rhythm. I tried to let go of the first heat of the day and enjoy this moment, but unfortunately it did not work out and it is okay.”

Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), 2015 Rookie of the Year, faced Conlogue in the second Semifinal of the day. Weston-Webb charged with a 15.67 two-wave combined score, but could not close the 1.16 point gap needed to advance.

The Women’s Quarterfinals witnessed Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), six-time World Champion, battle rival Carissa Moore (HAW), three-time World Champion, in Heat 2 for the opportunity to enter the Semifinals. With both athletes gunning for a fourth Bells victory, the two went all out to post major scores. The two CT superstars have faced-off multiple times, Moore with nine wins and Gilmore with six wins. Moore posted a near perfect 19.23 to earn a spot in the Semifinals.

“I think I freaked myself out in my heat at Winkipop where I just sat for so long, so the heat before us today started to slow up, so I thought that if a wave came I would catch it ” Gilmore said. “It was probably a bad idea because the first set had four decent waves in it, and I went on the first one, Carissa got the nine. From there on, I felt my rhythm was off. It never really came together for me. Carissa absolutely smoked me. She is Bells Champion, she is World Champion and I really admire the way she surfs. These things are okay though, it makes me just want to improve.”

Tyler Wright (AUS), current World No. 1, was eliminated from the competition by Conlogue in Heat 3 of the Quarterfinals. Conlogue controlled the heat with two solid seven point rides. Wright, who ended the heat with a 13.13 two-wave combined score, was not able to find the second wave to close the 1.87 point gap to continue to the Semifinals.

“When you see a bunch of sets, it is not really a good sign for your heat and it gives you a heads up that your heat might be a touch slower, but there was still ample opportunity,” Wright said. “Looking back I was a little eggy when I first walked up, but honestly I look at it now and know that I gave myself opportunity. There was one wave where I may not have capitalized as much as I could of, and the other I did great, so a lot of positives coming out of that.”
Courtney Conlogue of the USA (pictured) winning her Quarterfinal heat at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach on April 1, 2016. PHOTO: © WSL/ Cestari SOCIAL: @kc80 This image is the copyright of the World Surf League and is provided royalty free for editorial use only, in all media now known or hereafter created. No commercial rights granted. Sale or license of the images is prohibited. This image is a factually accurate rendering of what it depicts and has not been modified or augmented except for standard cropping and toning. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
In addition to the culmination of the women’s event, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach men’s event completed Round 4 and the opening half of Round 5 today, setting itself up for a potential finish this weekend.

The first half of Men’s Round 5 saw Matt Wilkinson (AUS), current World No. 1, defeat presumed 2016 Title contender Julian Wilson (AUS) in Round 5 Heat 2 to advance to the Quarterfinals. Trailing Wilson for a majority of the heat, Wilkinson answered back with two huge tail-drifts giving him a 9.57. Both competitors earned a 16.57 two-wave combined score, but because Wilkinson had the highest single scoring ride – the 9.57 – he was given the win.

In non-elimination Round 4, Mick Fanning (AUS), three-time World Champion and four-time event winner, faced Jordy Smith (ZAF) and 2016 WSL Rookie Conner Coffin (USA). Coffin posted a massive 9.13 point ride to control the heat and challenge the CT heavyweights. Coffin held onto the lead and will advance straight to the Quarterfinals.

“I was definitely the underdog,” Coffin said after his heat. “Those guys are surfing so well. To get to surf heat like that in waves like that is unreal. It is nice to have some clean offshore walls and get to land some turns. Those are the waves I love to surf. To surf them with two of my  favorite surfers – guys I’ve looked up to forever – is awesome.”

Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow at 7:30 am local time to assess conditions for a possible 8 am start tomorrow morning.

Courtney Conlogue of the USA (pictured) rings the bell at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach on Friday April 1, 2016. PHOTO: © WSL/ Cestari SOCIAL: @kc80 This image is the copyright of the World Surf League and is provided royalty free for editorial use only, in all media now known or hereafter created. No commercial rights granted. Sale or license of the images is prohibited. This image is a factually accurate rendering of what it depicts and has not been modified or augmented except for standard cropping and toning. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Highlights from the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach will be webcast LIVE atWorldSurfLeague.com.

Rip Curl Women’s Pro Final Results:
1 – 
Courtney Conlogue (USA) 16.53
2 – Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 16.43

Rip Curl Women’s Pro Semifinal Results:
SF 1: 
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 16.16 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 15.37
SF 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 16.83 def. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 15.67

Rip Curl Women’s Pro Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: 
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.60 def.  Alessa Quizon (HAW) 13.33
QF 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 19.23 def. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 13.26
QF 3: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 15.00 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 13.13
QF 4: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 12.67 def. Johanne Defay (FRA) 11.67

2016 Samsung Galaxy WSL Top 5 (after Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach):
1. 
Courtney Conlogue (USA) 18,000 pts
2. Tyler Wright (AUS) 15,200 pts
3. Carissa Moore (HAW) 13,000 pts
4. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 11,700 pts
5. Joanne Defay (FRA) 11,700 pts

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: 
Italo Ferreira (BRA) 14.00, Nat Young (USA) 10.93, Julian Wilson (AUS) 8.60
Heat 2: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 15.37, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 12.20, Mason Ho (HAW) 10.93
Heat 3: Conner Coffin (USA) 16.86, Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.44, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.30
Heat 4: Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.36, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 8.00, Davey Cathels (AUS) 6.43

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 5 Results:
Heat 1: 
Nat Young (USA) 16.83 def. Mason Ho (HAW) 11.67
Heat 2: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 16.57 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.57

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Remaining Round 5 Match-Ups:
Heat 3: 
Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Davey Cathels (AUS)
Heat 4: Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Jordy Smith (ZAF)

Which Is The Worst Wipeout?!?

Which Is The Worst Wipeout?!?

The wipeout of the year award is a hell of a battle. Watch the clip and try and make a call, it’s flipping hard.

Garrett’s Mav’s beasting damaged him, unsurprisingly, but will it be the winner on the night? All five contenders are brutal as hell…

Let us know your pick on the social: Twitter/Instagram/Facebook.

WSL PRESS RELEASE

The remaining nominations for the 2016 World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Awards have been released, with video of the five most spectacular wipeouts of the year leading the way along with the top overall performer lists for men and women. This year’s event features over $250,000 in total prize money, and with four categories already public, the highly anticipated TAG Heuer Wipeout of the Year, the Surfline Best Overall Performance, and the Women’s Best Overall Performance award nominees have been announced today.

The performance awards acknowledge the top ten men and top five women over the course of the last 12 months based on every ride captured on video or still images all around the world. Shortlisted surfers include big wave heavyweights Shane Dorian, Keala Kennelly and Mark Healey, as well as the 2015/16 Big Wave Tour Champion, Greg Long. The nominations also include up-and-comers Will Skudin, Kai Lenny and Emi Erickson. Photographs and motion pictures of all the Surfline Overall and Women’s Best Performance nominated surfers can be viewed at WorldSurfLeague.com/BigWave.

While the performance categories salute the most successful rides of the past year, the TAG Heuer Wipeout division presents the most amazing unsuccessful rides for online review. Video of the modern surfing’s greatest aquatic mishaps has become a popular viral staple among surfing fans worldwide, often attracting millions of views and taking its place as a good-natured fixture in the Big Wave Awards proceedings.

“Since the first surf movies of the 1950s, celebrating the best wipeouts of the year has been a time-honored tradition in the surfing community,” said Bill Sharp, event director for the WSL Big Wave Awards.  “It’s not a category anyone intentionally sets out to win, but at the end of the season the surfers themselves appreciate being honored for showing their mettle even if it went wrong along the way. This El Niño year produced the best big waves in history and you can probably say the same thing about the TAG Heuer Wipeout nominees — most of them have become internet sensations individually, but all five together are two minutes of magnificent mayhem and must be seen to be believed. It might be hard to fathom, but all the nominees came through their ordeals OK and will be happy to be joining us at the awards show.”

The 16th annual WSL Big Wave Awards competition window ran from March 21, 2015 through March 15, 2016. Every wave ridden at every big wave break around the world in this period was eligible for consideration across seven categories. Now that the nominees have been selected, several judging panels will review the photographic and video evidence and determine the final placings. This year, more magnitude than ever rides on the Surfline Overall Performance rankings as the four highest-placing surfers not already qualified will gain seeded spots on the 2016/17 WSL Big Wave Tour which spans six one-day events in locations around the globe.

The winners will be crowned at a gala awards show at the Grove Theater in Anaheim, California on April 23.

The TAG Heuer Wipeout of the Year Award goes to the surfer who displays the most committed — yet least successful — wave of the event window. Truly epitomizing the courage needed for big wave surfing, the surfers nominated for this accolade show no shortage of heart and commitment. The winner of this award will receive $3,000 and the videographer who captured the wipeout will receive $2,000. Two of the five wipeouts took place at the Maverick’s California during some of the most massive El Niño winter swells, including Matt Becker, the young charger from Santa Barbara, California, and Garrett McNamara from Hawaii. Pedro Calado joins this year’s shortlist with a massive nosedive at Puerto Escondido, Mexico, as well as Niccolo Porcella for his over-the-falls drop at Teahupoo, Tahiti. Rounding out the nominations is Tom Dosland for his must-watch-tethered-dangle at Jaws, Maui.

TAG HEUER WIPEOUT OF THE YEAR AWARD NOMINEES:
(Surfer prize $3,000  –  Videographer prize $2,000)
Matt Becker (Santa Barbara, California, USA) at Maverick’s, California  on February 4, 2016. (Video by Dan Norkunas.)
Pedro Calado (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) at Puerto Escondido, Mexico on May 3, 2015. (Video by Daniel Balbuena.)
Tom Dosland (Honolulu, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 27, 2016. (Video by Bruno Lemos.)
Garrett McNamara (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Maverick’s, California on January 7, 2016. (Video by Chris Wilson)
Niccolo Porcella (Sardegna, Italy) at Teahupoo, Tahiti on July 22, 2015. (Video by Tim Pruvost.)

xxl_logo_final

 

For more information, log onto WorldSurfLeague.com.

Slater, Parko, JJ and Medina exit Rip Curl Pro Bells


The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach witnessed high drama today as a bevy of top seeds were knocked out of the competition in the back half of Men’s Round 3.
The second stop on the World Surf League (WSL) Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour (CT), the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, saw massive scores and hard-fought match-ups go down in four-to-six foot (1.5 – 2 metre) waves at the world renowned Bells Beach.

Mick Fanning (AUS), three-time WSL Champion and four-time event winner, blazed through Round 3 to eliminate event wildcard Dusty Payne (HAW). Fanning and Payne charged for waves in the opening heat of the day, but it was Fanning who solidified the win with two eight-point rides. The Australian will continue to chase a fifth Bells Title.

“Down here at Bells you can see the huge crowd and it’s amazing, and you hear everything out there, which is really cool,” Fanning said. “Just looking back on this whole grandstand and this natural amphitheater, it is such a beautiful place. This is one of my favorite events. I am just wanting to put on a performance and enjoy my time here.”

The 2016 WSL rookie class came out swinging today with huge upsets in elimination Round 3 with Conner Coffin (USA), Caio Ibelli (BRA) and Davey Cathels (AUS) eliminating Joel Parkinson (AUS), John John Florence (HAW) and Gabriel Medina (BRA), respectively.

Conner Coffin (USA) knocked out CT veteran and three-time event winner, Joel Parkinson (AUS) in Heat 9. Parkinson unleashed a variety of clean maneuvers to earn a 14.56 two-wave combined score, but the Californian rookie turned on his power game to defeat the CT veteran with two eight-point rides.

“The waves are really fun when you get the right one, but you have to pick them,” Coffin said. “That was my goal against Joel, just to pick the right waves and give my best. The last time I surfed against Joel, man-on-man, was at Trestles a couple of years ago when I had a wildcard from Hurley, and he smoked me. I learned a lot from surfing against him that time, so it is nice to have had those opportunities in the past and use that going forward.”

Caio Ibelli (BRA) charged against John John Florence (HAW) to defeat the CT superstar by only 0.04 points. Florence locked in a 15.50 two-wave combined score, but Ibelli chased to better his situation right until the final buzzer to secure the win.

“I found those last two waves halfway through the heat,” said Ibelli. “I decided to trade my board for a bigger board than I was riding yesterday and it worked. I am really happy to make it through this heat.”

Davey Cathels (AUS) defeat Gabriel Medina (BRA) to end his run for a Bells victory with a 15.40 two-wave combined score. Medina, the 2014 WSL Champion, experienced a slight hiccup with a lost board in the last ten minutes of the heat and was not able to find the waves for a comeback against the rookie.

“When I’m up against those good guys, I am not worried I am going to get beat because it can happen,” said Cathels. “I am excited to come up here and take out some big names. I am happy the way I surfed that heat. I had a gameplan and stuck to it. I was trying to sell Gabriel on some bad waves and I just tried to pick smart with bigger ones.”

Heat 10 saw Kelly Slater (USA), eleven-time WSL Champion and four-time event winner, eliminated from the competition by Michel Bourez (PYF). Although Slater dropped the highest scoring ride of the heat, an 8.37, he could not find the 6.46 required to close the gap on Bourez.

The day’s action was capped off with the WSL Heritage Series heat between 1988 World Champion Barton Lynch (AUS) and two-time World Champion (1987, 1991) Damien Hardman (AUS). Despite the challenging lineup, but icons surgically dismantled the tricky Bells conditions on their backhand, with Lynch walking away the victory.

High Res Images from this event available for editorial use via Reuters

Highlights from the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach will be webcast LIVE at WorldSurfLeague.com.

For more information, log onto WorldSurfLeague.com
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Remaining Round 3 Results:
Heat 7: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.60 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 11.57
Heat 8: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.33 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 13.26
Heat 9: Conner Coffin (USA) 16.27 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.26
Heat 10: Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.83 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 13.70
Heat 11: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 15.54 def. John def. John Florence (HAW) 15.50
Heat 12: Davey Cathels (AUS) 15.40 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.07

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 4 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Nat Young (USA), Julian Wilson (AUS)
Heat 2: Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Mason Ho (HAW)
Heat 3: Mick Fanning (AUS), Jordy Smith (ZAF), Conner Coffin (USA)
Heat 4: Michel Bourez (PYF), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Davey Cathels (AUS)

Rookies Destroy!


The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach witnessed high drama today as a bevy of top seeds were knocked out of the competition in the back half of Men’s Round 3.
The second stop on the World Surf League (WSL) Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour (CT), the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, saw massive scores and hard-fought match-ups go down in four-to-six foot (1.5 – 2 metre) waves at the world renowned Bells Beach.

Mick Fanning (AUS), three-time WSL Champion and four-time event winner, blazed through Round 3 to eliminate event wildcard Dusty Payne (HAW). Fanning and Payne charged for waves in the opening heat of the day, but it was Fanning who solidified the win with two eight-point rides. The Australian will continue to chase a fifth Bells Title.

“Down here at Bells you can see the huge crowd and it’s amazing, and you hear everything out there, which is really cool,” Fanning said. “Just looking back on this whole grandstand and this natural amphitheater, it is such a beautiful place. This is one of my favorite events. I am just wanting to put on a performance and enjoy my time here.”

The 2016 WSL rookie class came out swinging today with huge upsets in elimination Round 3 with Conner Coffin (USA), Caio Ibelli (BRA) and Davey Cathels (AUS) eliminating Joel Parkinson (AUS), John John Florence (HAW) and Gabriel Medina (BRA), respectively.

Conner Coffin (USA) knocked out CT veteran and three-time event winner, Joel Parkinson (AUS) in Heat 9. Parkinson unleashed a variety of clean maneuvers to earn a 14.56 two-wave combined score, but the Californian rookie turned on his power game to defeat the CT veteran with two eight-point rides.

“The waves are really fun when you get the right one, but you have to pick them,” Coffin said. “That was my goal against Joel, just to pick the right waves and give my best. The last time I surfed against Joel, man-on-man, was at Trestles a couple of years ago when I had a wildcard from Hurley, and he smoked me. I learned a lot from surfing against him that time, so it is nice to have had those opportunities in the past and use that going forward.”

Caio Ibelli (BRA) charged against John John Florence (HAW) to defeat the CT superstar by only 0.04 points. Florence locked in a 15.50 two-wave combined score, but Ibelli chased to better his situation right until the final buzzer to secure the win.

“I found those last two waves halfway through the heat,” said Ibelli. “I decided to trade my board for a bigger board than I was riding yesterday and it worked. I am really happy to make it through this heat.”

Davey Cathels (AUS) defeat Gabriel Medina (BRA) to end his run for a Bells victory with a 15.40 two-wave combined score. Medina, the 2014 WSL Champion, experienced a slight hiccup with a lost board in the last ten minutes of the heat and was not able to find the waves for a comeback against the rookie.

“When I’m up against those good guys, I am not worried I am going to get beat because it can happen,” said Cathels. “I am excited to come up here and take out some big names. I am happy the way I surfed that heat. I had a gameplan and stuck to it. I was trying to sell Gabriel on some bad waves and I just tried to pick smart with bigger ones.”

Heat 10 saw Kelly Slater (USA), eleven-time WSL Champion and four-time event winner, eliminated from the competition by Michel Bourez (PYF). Although Slater dropped the highest scoring ride of the heat, an 8.37, he could not find the 6.46 required to close the gap on Bourez.

The day’s action was capped off with the WSL Heritage Series heat between 1988 World Champion Barton Lynch (AUS) and two-time World Champion (1987, 1991) Damien Hardman (AUS). Despite the challenging lineup, but icons surgically dismantled the tricky Bells conditions on their backhand, with Lynch walking away the victory.

High Res Images from this event available for editorial use via Reuters

Highlights from the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach will be webcast LIVE at WorldSurfLeague.com.

For more information, log onto WorldSurfLeague.com
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Remaining Round 3 Results:
Heat 7: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.60 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 11.57
Heat 8: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.33 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 13.26
Heat 9: Conner Coffin (USA) 16.27 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.26
Heat 10: Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.83 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 13.70
Heat 11: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 15.54 def. John def. John Florence (HAW) 15.50
Heat 12: Davey Cathels (AUS) 15.40 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.07

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 4 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Nat Young (USA), Julian Wilson (AUS)
Heat 2: Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Mason Ho (HAW)
Heat 3: Mick Fanning (AUS), Jordy Smith (ZAF), Conner Coffin (USA)
Heat 4: Michel Bourez (PYF), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Davey Cathels (AUS)