Late start as Stormy Bells whips into men’s & women’s rounds

Photo: Joel Parkinson © WSL

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach

Samsung Galaxy World Surf League Men’s CT event
Samsung Galaxy World Surf League Women’s CT event
Bells Beach, Victoria Australia
1 – 12 April 2015

Delayed start sees action finally commence in windy surf

Surf News Network, 1 April, 2015.  Bells Beach – Action at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach continued today with remaining heats of Men’s Round 1 followed by Women’s Round 1. The world’s best surfers battled to avoid elimination Round 2 in stormy four-to-five foot surf at Bells Beach with Sally Fitzgibbons delivering the standout performance of the day.

Joel Parkinson (AUS) continued his love affair with Bells in Men’s Round 1, taking a solid lead over opponents Glenn Hall (IRL) and Miguel Pupo (BRA) with two mid-range scores. The three-time Rip Curl Pro winner looked fired up after a disappointing result on the Gold Coast and put on a display of rail surfing to stay on top. A wave from Pupo came just after the final buzzer so wasn’t scored, leaving the 2012 World Champion to take the win.

“You’ve got to go with your gut feeling,” Parkinson said. “On a normal day at Bells you can get in a flow but out here today there are waves breaking everywhere and anything could happen. I guess it’s a good result for me; I had a pretty bad one at home on the Gold Coast so I’m really looking for a solid result here”.

Julian Wilson © WSL

Ratings leader Filipe Toledo (BRA) opened his heat strong and was quick to post two scores. Owen Wright (AUS) answered back with an impressive ride for an excellent 8.90, the highest individual wave score of the men’s contest so far, and the lead. Jadson Andre (BRA) kept busy throughout the heat, searching hard for opportunities and securing a second-place finish for his efforts. Toledo couldn’t improve his position and Wright held the lead leaving the Brazilians to surf again in Round 2.

“I didn’t know I had an 8.90 because I couldn’t hear anything out there,” said Wright. “I was just looking for waves with scoring potential so I was lucky that I got that wave. I’ve got some new boards made for this event and I found one that feels amazing, I love it.”

An intense struggle played out it the final heat of Men’s Round 1 as Julian Wilson (AUS), Kolohe Andino (USA) and Matt Wilkinson (AUS) battled to avoid elimination Round 2. Current world no. 2, Wilson, and Andino both looked in form during the 30-minute bout, and delivered two of the highest heat totals of men’s competition today, a 14.47 and 14.37 respectively. Wilkinson wasn’t able to get into the mix and a third-place finish will see him join Andino in Round 2 while Wilson sails through to Round 3, building on his momentum from a runner-up finish at Snapper Rocks.

Nat Young © WSL

“During that heat I was just trying to feel and watch what the other guys were doing because I didn’t know my scores so I was waiting for good opportunities,” said Wilson. “It was a hard heat and hard to keep my strategy and keep control and positioning was difficult. My momentum is good, and last year I had a good result here getting a third, so I’m just hoping to build on that”.

Two-time Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach winner Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) was the standout of the day in Heat 2 of Women’s Round 1. Fitzgibbons came back strong from a disappointing result on the Gold Coast at the hands of opponent Silvana Lima (BRA), her worst CT finish since 2009, by posting the highest two-wave heat total of the competition so far, a near-perfect 18.37. Lima, 2009 Bells winner, didn’t go down easily and delivered the first Perfect 10 of the contest and her second of the year. Despite a strong showing from the Brazilian she will join Victorian Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) in elimination Round 2.

“The result on the Gold Coast was a little bit unfortunate,” Fitzgibbons said. “I lost to Silvana in Round 4 which was a little bit earlier than I would have liked. I feel like my surfing is in a really good place. I feel strong and confident and I just have to keep on that same track, have fun with it and enjoy my time here at Bells now”.

Sally Fitzgibbons © WSL

Defending back-to-back Bells champion, Carissa Moore (HAW), had her opponents in a combination situation by the halfway mark with two scores in the excellent range (8.00 and above). Dimity Stoyle (AUS) and trials winner Pauline Ado (FRA) were left trailing. The world no. 1 looked untouchable and storms through to Round 3 while Stoyle and Ado will fight to avoid elimination in Round 2.

“Before the heat I was looking at it from the beach thinking it looked pretty tricky,” Moore said. “When I got out there I just tried to simplify things and luckily found a couple and had such a blast”.

Reigning six-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) started off slow in her first heat at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach today. 2015 Rookie Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) came out strong with a 7.10 putting the pressure on Gilmore and Alessa Quizon (HAW). Gilmore bounced back and showed why she’s a former three-time event champion posting an 8.43 and a 7.07 to steal the win and spot in Round 3.

“I really only caught two waves, which I guess is really all you need in a heat,” Gilmore said. “You really had to be patient out there and stay productive, it was a difficult heat. It’s been awhile since I’ve rung the bell. It’s a very prestigious trophy so I would love to do it again, it will be hard but I will try my best”.

Stephanie Gilmore © WSL

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 1 Results (1st to R3, 2nd & 3rd to R2):
Heat 1: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.33, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 11.73, Taj Burrow (AUS) 10.63
Heat 2: Brett Simpson (USA) 15.00, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.33, Kai Otton (AUS) 6.00
Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA) 16.67, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 9.06, Ricardo Christie (NZL) 7.73
Heat 4: John John Florence (HAW) 15.33, Italo Ferreira (BRA) 11.47, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 10.17
Heat 5: Mason Ho (HAW) 13.13, Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.10, Freddy Patacchia Jr. (HAW) 13.00
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.76, Matt Banting (AUS) 11.83, Joe Van Dijk (AUS) 8.23
Heat 7: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.33, Keanu Asing (HAW) 13.44, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.20
Heat 8: Nat Young (USA) 11.50, Michel Bourez (PYF) 9.50, Dusty Payne (HAW) 6.20
Heat 9: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.33, Glenn Hall (IRL) 8.74, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 7.67
Heat 10: Josh Kerr (AUS) 14.80, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.77, Adam Melling (AUS) 9.94
Heat 11: Owen Wright (AUS) 13.90, Jadson Andre (BRA) 11.63, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 9.86
Heat 12: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.47, Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.37, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 8.57

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 2 Match-ups (1st to R2, 2nd =25th):
Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Joe Van Dijk (AUS)
Heat 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Ricardo Christie (NZL)
Heat 4: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 6: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 7: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 8: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 9: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 10: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) vs. Matt Banting (AUS)
Heat 11: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Freddy Patacchia Jr. (HAW)
Heat 12: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Italo Ferreira (BRA)

Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach Round 1 Results (1st to R3, 2nd & 3rd to R2):
Heat 1: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 10.76, Malia Manuel (HAW) 10.33, Laura Enever (AUS) 8.57
Heat 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 18.37, Silvana Lima (BRA) 17.67, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 11.93
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) 17.67, Pauline Ado (FRA) 11.10, Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 8.00
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.50, Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 12.50, Alessa Quizon (HAW) 8.24
Heat 5: Johanne Defay (FRA) 14.50, Tyler Wright (AUS) 11.57, Sage Erickson (USA) 9.33
Heat 6: Lakey Peterson (USA) 15.90, Coco Ho (HAW) 11.77, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 10.84

Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach Round 2 Match-ups (1st to R3, 2nd = 13th):
Heat 1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) vs. Laura Enever (AUS)
Heat 2: Silvana Lima (BRA) vs. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
Heat 3: Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Pauline Ado (FRA)
Heat 4: Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Alessa Quizon (HAW)
Heat 5: Courtney Conlogue (USA) vs. Sage Erickson (USA)
Heat 6: Dimity Stoyle (AUS) vs. Coco Ho (HAW)

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