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Eliminations Narrow Field at Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach for Final Two Days

Pumping Conditions Expected at Bells Tomorrow and Saturday

Women’s Quarterfinalists Determined at Bells Beach

Occy Wins Bells Heritage Heat Against Curren

 Three-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) surfing in the Round of 16 at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach. 
Credit: © WSL / Dunbar
BELLS BEACH, Victoria/AUS (Thursday, April 25, 2019) – The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach continued today in four-to-five foot (1.2 – 1.5 metre) waves at Bells Beach for the women’s Round of 16 (Round 3) and the first two heats of the men’s Round of 32 (Round 3), and then moved to Wikinipop for the next six heats (H3-8) of men’s Round 3.

With solid conditions pulsing, Stop No. 2 on the 2019 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) saw big eliminations get underway, narrowing the field for the final two days of competition. Today also saw the Bells Heritage Heat with surfing legends Mark Occhilupo and Tom Curren.

Tomorrow will feature another big day of competition as the swell continues to build overnight and throughout the day. The conditions over the final two days look likely to ignite the biggest waves the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach has seen in recent history. The next call will be tomorrow morning at 6:40 a.m. AEST for a possible 7:05 a.m. start.

Heritage Heat: Mark Occhilupo vs. Tom Curren
Two of the greatest surfers of the 1980s and 1990s, Mark ‘Occy’ Occhilupo(1999 World Champion) and Tom Curren (three-time World Champion in 1985, 1986, 1990), matched-up in the Heritage Heat today at Bells Beach.

Throughout their competitive careers, Occy and Curren were great rivals. Their competitiveness with each other was highlighted with a superheat at the 1986 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Semifinals with superb low tide conditions and a capacity crowd. Wave-for-wave, both surfers pushed each other in a battle that witnessed Curren take the narrowest of victories. Curren went on to win the World Title that year, while Occy drifted out of competitive surfing for almost a decade and made a great comeback to win at Bells and win the World Title in 1999.

Full Replay: Occy Wins Bells Heritage Heat
Both Occy and Curren are regarded as some of the greatest surfers at Bells and did not disappoint in their heat again today. Occy’s famed backhand sealed a big win for all his fellow Australians in attendance, overcoming Curren’s signature style. The three-time World Champion made an interesting board change midway through the highly-anticipated duel, giving him more flair, but it was not enough to defeat Occy.

“That was so epic and so much fun,” Occhilupo said. “Tom (Curren) and I have been waiting for that heat all week. There was a bit of anticipation building seeing each other in the water and around the place, and it felt good to take the heat. Before that heat, we had 10 wins each against each other and now it’s 11 to me and 10 to him, so I’m stoked.”

Former Event Winners Continue Campaigns for Another Bell
Three-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore’s (HAW) power surfing matched the pulsing swell on hand and dealt rookie Macy Callaghan (AUS) her second early loss of the 2019 season. Moore’s rail surfing impressed as she posted an excellent 15.50 two-wave total (out of a possible 20). Moore will progress into the Quarterfinals as she searches to join the likes of Mick Fanning, Stephanie Gilmore, Lisa Andersen, and Mark Richards as a four-time Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach winner.

11-time WSL World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) is in the hunt for fifth Bells Beach title and took a big confidence-building win over perennial title threat Julian Wilson (AUS). The two jousted for position early in the heat with Slater losing priority to Wilson. Wilson had a number of opportunities, but it was the veteran who found the best waves as conditions slowed and took his first heat win of 2019. Wilson exits Bells with his second equal 17th position of the season and a lot of work cut out for him if he wants to ignite his World Title campaign.

Watch: Kelly Slater on First Heat Win of 2019
“I was really treating that heat like a World Title heat,” Slater said. “Not because it was but because we both really need a good result here after the Gold Coast. We started that heat with a bit of a game of patience and eventually, he broke, which was the first sign that was good for me, and then he passed up that good wave, which was good for me. It felt like everything worked in my favor and I just went with it. It’s good to get back a bit of confidence. It looks like tomorrow is going to be really big. It could be a 20-year swell but who knows. I feel like the bigger it is the more of an advantage I have mainly because the wave does a lot of work for you so I’m looking forward to seeing what we have on offer, I just hope it isn’t too big for Bells.”

“That was a slow heat for sure, so I’m pretty disappointed especially now they can see it’s slow and are moving competition to Winkipop,” Wilson said. “I just need to go away and reset before the next events. I’m really bummed to have another bad result, especially after coming here early and putting some time in surfing the Bowl. I was feeling good and my boards were feeling good, then just one bad decision can be the deciding factor but it’s always tough when we don’t get a heap of opportunity.”

Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) is also hunting down her fifth Bell. The seven-time Champion put on a dominating performance in the Bells Bowl to once again take down Rip Curl Trials winner Kobie Enright (AUS). Gilmore’s experience at Bells showed as she posted a number of solid scores on the open walls of the Bowl. Gilmore hopes to keep building momentum into the Quarterfinals where she will come up against an in-form Malia Manuel (HAW).

“That heat actually felt really nice,” Gilmore said. “Between Bells and the Gold Coast, I haven’t had a wave that’s allowed me to really open up in a while. I found a good rhythm, which was nice to have. It sounds like tomorrow it’s going to get really big – I keep hearing 50-year storm – which sounds terrifying. The good thing is I’ve got a couple of boards I can use. My shaper Darren Handley actually went back down to the Gold Coast and I’m sure he’ll come back with a bunch of things for me to try.”

Watch: The 50-Year Storm Is Coming
Americans Find Rhythm in Round 3
Pictured (Left): Caroline Marks (USA) Credit: © WSL / Cestari
Pictured (Right): Conner Coffin (USA) 
Credit: © WSL / Dunbar
Jeep Rankings Leader Caroline Marks (USA) will advance to her second consecutive Bells Beach Quarterfinal after eliminating fellow goofy-footerBronte Macaulay (AUS) in a wave-starved Round 3 matchup. Marks was lucky to sneak through with Macaulay only needing a small score but was left waiting for a wave that failed to arrive in time.

“I’m feeling super inspired at the moment,” Marks said. “There are always nerves when you paddle out regardless of the color of jersey you’re in. I’m mostly focused on myself and my surfing and not getting too far ahead of myself and when I do that, that’s when I surf my best. I’m stoked to be back in the Quarterfinals at Bells and can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.”

Conner Coffin (USA) took inspiration from the Heritage Heat and matched the rail-game of his hero, Tom Curren. Against rookie Soli Bailey (AUS), Coffin secured two six-point rides in Heat 3 of Round 3, the first heat after the move to Winkipop, the event’s backup site.

2018 World Title contender Lakey Peterson (USA) felt right at home with the long walls of Bells Beach suiting her powerful approach against fellow Californian Sage Erickson (USA). Peterson put an exclamation point on her heat with an excellent 8.33 (out of a possible 10) and left Erickson in a combination situation, meaning she needed two new waves to equal Peterson’s heat total, when the horn sounded.

Hawaii’s Malia Manuel (HAW) and Coco Ho (HAW) will also move to the next round after taking down two-time Bells winner Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) and Johanne Defay (FRA), respectively.

Fresh off a runner-up finish at CT Stop No. 1 on the Gold Coast, Kolohe Andino (USA) was unable to continue his run of form as he went down to Rip Curl Trials Winner Jacob Willcox (AUS).

Success for Rookies Hennessy, Crisanto, Moniz, and Silva
Pictured: Left – Brisa Hennessy (CRI), Right – Peterson Crisanto (BRA)
Credit: © WSL / Cestari
Brisa Hennessy (CRI) delivered the day’s upset after taking down last year’s Bell Beach runner-up Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) with brilliant wave selection. Weston-Webb looked out of sorts as Hennessy got in sync with the Bells Bowl to guarantee her best finish yet in the 2019 season.

Peterson Crisanto (BRA) kept his form from the Gold Coast intact and eliminated fellow Brasilian Michael Rodrigues in a tight battle. But, fellow rookie Bailey fell to an in-form Coffin.

Seth Moniz (HAW) continued to strengthen his campaign for 2019 CT Rookie of the Year, taking down fellow rookie Mikey Wright (AUS). Wright opted to sit up the top of Winiki, while Moniz got busy at Lowers, even posting an excellent single-wave score to put Wright in a combination situation (needing two scores) and take the win.

The open walls of Bells and Winkipop suit 2018 CT Rookie of the Year Wade Carmichael (AUS) better than most, positioning him as a possible favorite to take the event as the swell begins to rise. Unfortunately for Carmichael, rookie Deivid Silva (BRA) had other ideas as the exciting goofy-footer dominated the Australian to progress into Round 4.

The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.comand .
Spectrum 20
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Women’s Round 3 Results: 
Heat 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) 15.50 DEF. Sage Erickson (USA) 9.00
Heat 2: Coco Ho (HAW) 11.50 DEF. Johanne Defay (FRA) 11.44
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) 15.50 DEF. Macy Callaghan (AUS) 11.20
Heat 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 9.17 DEF. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 8.50
Heat 5: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 14.13 DEF. Kobie Enright (AUS) 10.76
Heat 6: Malia Manuel (HAW) 11.04 DEF. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 9.83
Heat 7: Caroline Marks (USA) 7.67 DEF. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 5.20
Heat 8: Brisa Hennessy (CRI) 9.63 DEF. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 8.87Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Women’s Quarterfinal Matchups:
Heat 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) vs. Coco Ho (HAW)
Heat 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Courtney Conlogue (USA)
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Malia Manuel (HAW)
Heat 4: Caroline Marks (USA) vs. Brisa Hennessy (CRI)Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Men’s Round 3 (H1-8) Results: 
Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 11.84 DEF. Julian Wilson (AUS) 7.20
Heat 2: Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 11.97 DEF. Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 11.67
Heat 3: Conner Coffin (USA) 13.43 DEF. Soli Bailey (AUS) 11.83
Heat 4: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 12.50 DEF. Michel Bourez (FRA) 10.76
Heat 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 14.50 DEF. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 13.07
Heat 6: Seth Moniz (HAW) 14.00 DEF. Mikey Wright (AUS) 8.50
Heat 7: Jacob Willcox (AUS) 13.24 DEF. Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.20
Heat 8: Deivid Silva (BRA) 13.17 DEF. Wade Carmichael (AUS) 11.87Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Remaining Men’s Round 3 (H8-16) Matchups: 
Heat 9: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Reef Heazlewood (AUS)
Heat 10: Willian Cardoso (BRA) vs. Yago Dora (BRA)
Heat 11: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Ricardo Christie (NZL)
Heat 12: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 13: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Jack Freestone (AUS)
Heat 14: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 15: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 16: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Men’s Round 4 Matchups: 
Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Peterson Crisanto (BRA)
Heat 2: Conner Coffin (USA) vs. Ryan Callinan (AUS)
Heat 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Seth Moniz (HAW)
Heat 4: Jacob Willcox (AUS) vs. Deivid Silva (BRA)
Heat 5: TBD Following Conclusion of MR3
Heat 6: TBD Following Conclusion of MR3
Heat 7: TBD Following Conclusion of MR3
Heat 8: TBD Following Conclusion of MR3

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