|Wildcards and Injury Replacements Build Momentum at Rip Curl Pro
A slow heat on the Bells Bowl yesterday saw Mick Fanning (AUS) relegated into today’s Elimination Round. The four-time Bells winner found redemption on Day 2 as the competition shifted to Winkipop. Fanning showed flashes of brilliance on the way to claiming the second progressing spot behind CT sophomore Morgan Cibilic (AUS). The three-time World Champion will now have the tough task of taking on World No. 1 Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) in Heat 9 of the Round of 32 when competition resumes.
“Yesterday was a bit embarrassing on my behalf, so it was nice to go out to go out and get some waves,” Fanning said. “It was cool coming up against Morgan (Cibilic) and Seth (Moniz)–two kids I absolutely love and cheer for on Tour. But, I’m stoked to click into gear. Winki is good, it’s different to Bells, but I love it just as much and always have fun surfing heats out there.”
Wildcard Barron Mamiya (HAW) out-performed the two Australians Ethan Ewing and Morgan Cibilic in Heat 12. Earning a 6.0 and 7.0 (out of a possible 10) early in the heat, Mamiya set himself up well to claim victory in his opening heat on Day 2 of the Rip Curl Pro.
Current World No. 2 Mamiya said he was excited with his first-round win on his first-ever visit to Bells Beach: “I’ve been surfing out at Winki for the last couple of days since I got here. The waves have been pretty small but it was super fun out there, so I’m stoked with the heat.”
“After Sunset everything kind of moves super fast for me,” Mamiya continued. “I got some time back at home after Portugal to reset and focus on the new goal. I’m super stoked to be here and I’m stoked to hopefully make some more heats.”
It was a mixed day of results for Rip Curl Trials winners with local favorite Tully Wylie (AUS) being eliminated from competition while Californian Alyssa Spencer (USA) found herself a progressing spot into the Round of 16. Spencer’s backhand was in good rhythm with the Winki walls and she’ll be hoping to carry that form into her heat with reigning WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW).