Top seeds had a tough go in Round One. Brazilian Miguel Pupo went to town in challenging Supertubos surf, taking out World No. 3 Matt Wilkinson. Then, in one of the biggest upsets of Day 1, local MEO Rip Curl Pro wildcard Frederico Morais initiated his giant-killing campaign with a win over World No. 2 Gabriel Medina. Even John John Florence, the Jeep rankings leader, was relegated to Round Two when Brazilian Tour veteran Jadson Andre upped the ante.
A Round Two loss for Medina could crush his World Title hopes, but Florence, the World No. 1, needs to watch his back. An early exit for him may enable Medina to go on a tear in Portugal, and close the gap heading into Hawaii.
Far left: Fred Morais
Left: Filipe Toledo
Below: John John Florence
John John Florence maintains the Jeep Leaderboard yellow jersey, with a narrowing 2,700 point lead over world #2 Gabriel Medina. World Title chase watch will be in full effect as the CT’s top two surfers put everything on the line at the tour’s second-to-last stop of the season.
Above: Kai ‘Ottz’ Otton
Far left: Fred Morais
Left: John John Florence
Below: Matt Wilkinson
Above: Matt Banting
Right: John John Florence
Below: Miguel Blanco
A look at the contest site for the 2015 Moche Rip Curl Pro through the lens of event wildcard Frederico Morais. He beat Kelly the last time he was in the event 2 years ago and has got Adriano this year when comp kicks off. @fredericomorais
BELLS BEACH, VIC/Australia (Monday, April 21, 2014): Stop No. 3 on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach ran through Rounds 3 and 4 today and the field that started with 36 of the world’s best male surfers was reduced to just 12. Round 4 winners advanced directly into the Quarterfinals, while 2nd and 3rd will need to fight it out in Round 5. The Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach was called off for the day, and could potentially crown a winner tomorrow.
Tour veteran Taj Burrow (AUS) used his 16 years of ASP WCT experience to take out the first Heat of Round 4, finishing with a comfortable lead ahead of last year’s event winner Adriano De Souza (BRA) and fellow Australian Adam Melling. Burrow timed his wave selection perfectly, netting the two top scores of the Heat, 8.07 and 7.50 for a series of fins-free turns and cutbacks. De Souza and Melling made the most of what was being offered to them, but both failed to amass the scores needed to take first place. Burrow’s impressive Heat sees him fast track through to the Quarterfinals with De Souza and Melling being relegated to elimination Round 5.
“I love Bells, it feels great to be through to the Quarterfinals,” said Taj Burrow. “There are some really good waves at home in WA right now, but I wouldn’t be anywhere else right now. The waves here have been really good and I’ve managed to get on a bit of a roll that hopefully I can keep it going”.
In the most highly anticipated matchup of the day, John John Florence (HAW) was explosive in his win over 11-time ASP World Champion and 4-time event winner Kelly Slater (USA) and ASP World No.1 Gabriel Medina (BRA). Slater was first to enter the race with a powerhouse move that netted 8.93 on his first ride, but it was a short-lived lead for the American as John John secured his victory when he dished up a monster front-side 360 aerial, scoring a Perfect 10, the the first of the 2014 season. Slater and Medina will surf again in Round 5 with Florence heading straight to the Quarterfinals.
“It feels so good to win and I’m really happy. I was pretty nervous going into the Heat, it was scary to come up against those Kelly (Slater) and Gabriel (Medina),” said John John Florence. “I got that first wave and forgot about the nerves. I took off, I saw the section coming and just flew to the air, the wind caught and spun me around perfectly. I’m so happy to be making some Heats now and to be in the Quarterfinals.”
Joel Parkinson (AUS) faced a fierce battle in Round 4 Heat 3 against an on-fire Jordy Smith (ZAF) and fellow Australian Owen Wright. Parkinson was quiet for the first half of the Heat, letting Smith clock an 8.17 to take an early lead. It didn’t take long for Parkinson to answer back, maintaining his composure to show off his signature rail-work and net a pair of strong scores in the tricky conditions. With both Smith and Wright unable to produce any further magic for the judges, Parkinson emerged with the victory and a spot in the Quarterfinals.
“In most of the events I’ve surfed so far I’ve taken a while to get into the rhythm, but I love the Bell and I’m three Heats away from it,” said Joel Parkinson. “Three more wins, six more waves, I’m just going to keep it simple.”
Mick Fanning (AUS), three-time ASP World Champion, also advanced into the Quarterfinals with an outstanding Round 4 performance. Fanning won this event as an 18-year-old wildcard 14-years-ago and has been one of the most consistent and explosive surfers at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach ever since. In the last Heat of the day Fanning used his electric and lightning-fast brand of surfing to easily out score Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) and Julian Wilson (AUS), who will have to battle for a Quarterfinal berth in Round 5.
“John John’s air was truly amazing and he deserves to get the first Perfect 10 of the year,” said Mick Fanning. “It’s good to bounce back from a slow start and post some big scores. It feels great to be in the Quarterfinals, especially against the calibre of guys that are already there and in Round 5. There are some crazy match-ups and I’ll definitely be watching.”
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 5 Match-ups:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Gabriel Medina (BRA)
Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Julian Wilson (AUS)
Heat 4: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. Owen Wright (AUS)
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.57, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.10, Adam Melling (AUS) 10.90
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW) 18.00, Kelly Slater (USA) 16.53, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 11.17
Heat 3: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.66, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.00, Owen Wright (AUS) 12.20
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.34, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 12.17, Julian Wilson (AUS) 10.54
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.90 def Mitch Crews (AUS) 10.84
Heat 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 11.20 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 10.74
Heat 3: Adam Melling (AUS) 15.56 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.60
Heat 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.00 vs. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.13
Heat 5: John John Florence (HAW) 15.83 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 15.67
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.53 def. Glenn Hall (IRL) 14.40
Heat 7: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.10 def. Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 10.90
Heat 8: Owen Wright (AUS) 13.43 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 10.83
Heat 9: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.44 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 15.50
Heat 10: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 12.66 def. Nat Young (USA) 12.43
Heat 11: Julian Wilson (AUS) 17.03 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 9.34
Heat 12: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.94 vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.50
The third stop on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, is webcast LIVE via www.aspworldtour.com.
BELLS BEACH, VIC/Australia (Sunday, April 20, 2014): Stop No. 3 on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, was treated to classic conditions at the world renowned right-hand reef break today. The event ran through Round 2 of the men’s and Round 2 and 3 of the women’s in clean and pristine Bells Beach conditions.
In an explosive Heat Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) exerted her dominance at Bells Beach. Leading in spectacular fashion, Fitzgibbons posted the highest two-wave total of the event so far with a near perfect 18.37 for a series of ferocious carves and dazzling fin-wafts. Courtney Conlogue (USA) and Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) also impressed with excellent scores of their own for spectacular forehand displays, but were unable to upturn Fitzgibbons who will advance through to the Quarterfinals. Conlogue and Van Dijk will surf again again in Round 4.
“It was a really exciting Heat both to watch and compete in. When I heard I was getting those big scores it was such a great confidence booster and I’m really happy to move into the Quarterfinals,” said Sally Fitzgibbons. “It was a tough Heat having two competitors like Nikki (Van Dijk) and Courtney (Conologue), they both have big power games and I knew I had to have a point of difference”.
In the second all-Hawaiian Heat of the day, it was Coco Ho who took the free pass through to the Quarterfinals, relegating opponents Carissa Moore and Malia Manuel to Round 4. Ho commanded attention early, netting a 8.50 within minutes of jumping in the water. Reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion and defending event winner Carissa Moore struggled to produce the high-scoring waves she needed to take back the lead. Manuel also stepped up with consecutive mid-range scores but Ho added a 7.37 before emerging from the water with her hard-earned victory.
“Beating the World Champion just means that you have potential and that you know how to surf,” said Coco Ho. “Rincon really turned on today, we were so lucky. I think on my first wave I was a little tentative but I was able to get a few more, which helped me loosen up. It was a really fun Heat.”
In her second Heat of the afternoon 2013 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach runner-up Tyler Wright (AUS) faced off against fellow Australian Laura Enever and America’s Lakey Peterson. The in-form Wright led from start to finish despite Peterson’s impressive 7.07 ride. Enever fought hard to keep up, but was unable to break the 5-point score barrier. Wright, however, had no trouble in grooming the walls of Ricon with an impressive display of turns and cuts that saw her tally a two-wave Heat total of 16.93 and charge straight into the Quarterfinals.
“I’ve been coming down to Bells since I was eight years old, driving down here in a van with my whole family. I really enjoy it, it’s an interesting wave that I find very challenging,” said Tyler Wright. “The crowd’s great and it’s really cool to have that kind of support on the beach.”
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), five-time ASP Women’s World Champion and three-time Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach winner won through to the Quarterfinals in an explosive Round 3 match-up against Dimity Stoyle (AUS) and Bianca Buitendag (ZAF). Gilmore started slow, letting her rivals post some solid scores, but she finished with a bang as she dropped a near-perfect 9.17 for three critical turns, sending Stoyle and Buitendag into Round 4.
“I could tell that the judges have been holding back on the bigger scores this year,” said Stephanie Gilmore . “I always try to stay on the attack, the level of surfing in this Round has been really high so I knew I had to go hard to get a big score. I always try to imagine myself in the Finals and I’ve been thinking about ringing the Bell, but you can’t get too far ahead of yourself.”
Current ASP World No. 4 Michel Bourez (PYF) went head to head with injury replacement surfer Glen Hall (IRL) earlier in the day. Hall, who is competing in his first event since his back-breaking injury in Fiji last year, was first to put his hand up for a score linking a series of smooth backhands for a 6.67, but Bourez was quick to respond. With only five waves caught between them during the 30-minute melee Hall came out on top, securing another 6.53 set wave to take him through to Round 3 and putting an end to Bourez’s winning momentum.
“It’s been a long road to get here but surfing in the first heat of the day with great waves and ACDC’s Hell’s Bells playing in the background has made it all worth it,” said Glenn Hall. “A month ago it just didn’t feel right picturing myself surfing waves like the Box and Margaret River but I was hoping that I could compete here at Bells Beach. I still have a long way to go, but hopefully I’ll just keep improving.”
Adriana Souza (BRA) showed Brett Simpson (USA) why he is the defending event winner in Round 2 Heat 4. De Souza wasted little time in capitalizing on the conditions, surging into the Bells walls with a 7.67 and backing it up with a dazzling, running, right-hander and the highest score of the men’s competition so far, a 9.17. A missed opportunity by Simpson late in the Heat saw De Souza secure the win and move one step closer to defending his Bells Title.
“My surfing definitely fits this wave,” said Adriano de Souza. “My confidence is high and I really want to try and do well because last year I won this event. I know it is the past but I just want to try and bring some of last year’s form back here.”
Hawaii’s John John Florence snatched a win over powerful Portuguese surfer Tiago Pires in Round 2 Heat 6. Pires was absent from the Margaret River Drug Aware Pro due to a knee injury, but today showed no signs of discomfort, breezing through a 7.33 wave to take an early lead. Despite putting up a solid score of his own, Florence struggled to find a back-up score to help overturn Pires’ lead. It wasn’t until the final moments that the Hawaiian was able to unload a series of high-velocity maneuvers and notch a 7.53 that saw him steal the win and advance through to Round 3.
“I was feeling pretty good and really psyched to be out there on my first wave,” said John John Florence. “I think I got a little bit too excited and I fell. I got a couple of good waves though. The one that really threw me off was when I did that turn and tried to get barreled and I fell, I was so mad at that one. It’s firing out there, it’s like what you see in the photos of Bells Beach.”
Close friends and Central Coast, NSW surfers Matt Wilkinson (AUS) and Adrian Buchan (AUS) squared off in Round 2 Heat 9. The lead swung back and forth between the pair but it was Wilkinson who provided the fireworks, dishing up a crucial backhand attack that would earn him an 8.13. Buchan clocked some impressive scores of his own, but Wilkinson answered with another set wave, combining a big carve, tail-drift turn, and additional snap to take his first Heat win of 2014.
“The pressure’s not off at all, I’ve got to make a few more Heats until I start feeling comfortable,” said Matt Wilkinson. “I surfed fairly well but I could have put on an extra 15 or 20 percent more energy on those two big waves I caught for higher scores. Hopefully I make it to the end stages of the competition when I will have to put in that extra.”
Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach Round 4 Match-ups:
Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) vs. Malia Manuel (HAW)
Heat 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
Heat 3: Lakey Peterson (USA) vs. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF)
Heat 4: Dimity Stoyle (AUS) vs. Laura Enever (AUS)
Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 18.37, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 17.00, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 15.93
Heat 2: Coco Ho (HAW) 15.87, Carissa Moore (HAW) 15.56, Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.70
Heat 3: Tyler Wright (AUS) 16.93, Lakey Peterson (AUS) 14.27, Laura Enever (AUS) 8.83
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 17.44, Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 15.57, Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 11.30
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 3 Match-ups:
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Mitch Crews (AUS)
Heat 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Filipe Toledo (BRA)
Heat 3: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Bede Durbidge (AUS)
Heat 5: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. John John Florence (HAW)
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 7: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Aritz Aranburu (ESP)
Heat 8: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Owen Wright (AUS)
Heat 9: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Sebastian Zeitz (HAW)
Heat 10: Nat Young (USA) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 11: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 12: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Josh Kerr (AUS) 7.97 def. Jacob Willcox (AUS) 7.93
Heat 2: Nat Young (USA) 10.34 def. Cahill Bell-Warren (AUS) 8.27
Heat 3: Glenn Hall (IRL) 13.20 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 9.34
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 16.84 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 13.76
Heat 5: Kai Otton (AUS) 14.84 def. Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 11.54
Heat 6: John John Florence (HAW) 14.80 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 13.16
Heat 7: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 14.23 def. Dion Atkinson (AUS) 10.53
Heat 8: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.10 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 13.66
Heat 9: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 15.63 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 14.16
Heat 10: Mitch Crews (AUS) 14.70 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 11.10
Heat 11: Fred Patacchia (HAW) 14.83 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 11.84
Heat 12: Adam Melling (AUS) 14.17 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 9.70
Images from the event are available from Getty Images. In addition a small number of hand-out images, as well as daily news feeds, will be made available for editorial use via our email distribution lists. Please contact [email protected] (images) and [email protected] (news feeds) to be added to the lists.
The third stop on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, is webcast LIVE via www.aspworldtour.com.
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