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World’s Best Prepare for Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach

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Caption: Left to right – Nikki Van Dijk, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Mick Fanning and Stephanie Gilmore.
Image: ASP / Kelly Cestari

BELLS BEACH, VIC/Australia (Tuesday, April 15, 2014) – The world’s best surfers are preparing for the start of Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, the third stop on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), which begins on Wednesday, April 16. The ASP Top 34 and Top 17 will be joined by Rip Curl event wildcard Jacob Willcox and trials winners Cahill Bell-Warren and Zoe Clarke to compete in the longest-running professional surfing contest in the world. Five of the surfers gathered together at the event site today for a photo call and interviews.

Athletes in attendance:
Mick Fanning (AUS) – reigning three-time ASP World Champion
Gabriel Medina (BRA) – current ASP World No. 1
Carissa Moore (HAW) – reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion and defending event winner
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) – current ASP World No. 1 (joint with Carissa Moore)
Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) – local surfer and ASP WCT rookie

“I really enjoy being here. It’s the first event I ever watched away from home. I’ve always enjoyed coming down here and I’ve got a lot of support here,” said Mick Fanning. “It was amazing to win here in 2012, ten years after I first won the event. I haven’t had a great start to the year but it’s started a fire which is probably a good thing.”

“It’s a tricky wave at Bells Beach and I’ve never had a good result here but it’s something I’m looking for this year,” said Gabriel Medina. “I’m feeling pretty comfortable and I know what the wave is like out there. My win on the Gold Coast and a good result at Margaret River have given me confidence and I’m feeling good about being here. My success has made me hungry for more and I wasn’t ready for that. Being No. 1 has made me nervous and I’m trying not to think about it but it would be wonderful to go to Brazil as ASP World No. 1”.

“I’m really excited to be here at Bells Beach,” said Carissa Moore. “I’ve had a great start to the season. It wasn’t my best result on the Gold Coast but I had a great time surfing there. Margaret River couldn’t have been better. It was great to take home win. I’m thrilled to be here, I love this wave. The girls are all so excited and it will be a tough competition. I’m going to focus on my performance and finding the right waves.”

“I always love coming here to Bells Beach,” said Stephanie Gilmore. “It’s a special place for me and I’ve done pretty well here in the past. It’s such a historical surfing event so there’s a mixture of nerves and excitement. The crowds are always really great here and it’s one of my favorite spots.”

“It’s amazing to be here competing,” said Nikki Van Dijk. “I’ve had four wildcards in the past to surf in this event and I’ve been competing at Bells Beach since I was eight so it’s like my second home. I feel good and I’m really comfortable out here. Victoria is my home state so to see my name on the Bell would be awesome. All my friends and family are here and that gives me lots of confidence. I can’t wait to start the event and do my best. We have the dream tour this year and I’m so excited.”

“The Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach is an iconic Victorian sporting event that brings significant tourism and economic benefits to Torquay that the Coalition Government is proud to support financially,” said Damien Drum, Victorian Minister for Sport and Recreation. “In 2014 it now has the added point of interest for local sports fans by having a Victorian, Nikki Van Dijk, competing.”

Alejo Muniz has withdrawn from the competition due to an ongoing injury and has returned to Brazil. ASP replacement surfer Glenn Hall (IRL) will compete in his place.

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 1 Match-ups:
Heat 1: Nat Young (USA), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS), Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 5: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Adam Melling (AUS), Cahill Bell-Warren (AUS)
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA), Kolohe Andino (USA), Jacob Willcox (AUS)
Heat 7: Michel Bourez (PYF), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Aritz Aranburu (ESP)
Heat 8: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Dion Atkinson (AUS)
Heat 9: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 10: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Owen Wright (AUS), Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 11: Julian Wilson (AUS), John John Florence (HAW), Mitch Crews (AUS)
Heat 12: C.J. Hobgood (USA), Kai Otton (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach Round 1 Match-ups:
Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA), Malia Manuel (HAW), Alessa Quizon (HAW)
Heat 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Coco Ho (HAW), Alana Blanchard (HAW)
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW), Dimity Stoyle (AUS), Zoe Clarke (AUS)
Heat 4: Tyler Wright (AUS), Pauline Ado (FRA), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
Heat 5: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Laura Enever (AUS), Johanne Defay (FRA)
Heat 6: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Lakey Peterson (USA), Paige Hareb (NZL)

Stop No. 3 on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, will be held from Wednesday, April 16, to Sunday, April 27, 2014 and will be webcast LIVE via aspworldtour.com.

Click here to register for media accreditation for the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.

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