Caption: Reigning three-time ASP World Champion Mick Fanning moves straight through to Round 3 after defeating Fredrick Patacchia and Glenn Hall in Round 1.
Bells Beach, Victoria, Australia
16 – 27 April 2014
ON for Men’s Round 1 and 2
Three-to-four feet (1 – 1.5 metre) surf. Clean conditions. Scattered showers
BELLS BEACH, VIC/Australia (Saturday, April 19, 2014): The surf turned on for the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach as the event ran through Round 1 and two Heats of Round 2. Stop No. 3 on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, is in its 53rd year and is one of surfing’s most prestigious events.
Sebastian Zietz (HAW) won his first Round 1 Heat of the 2014 WCT season today. Zietz took down current No. 5 seed Josh Kerr (AUS) and Raoni Monterio (BRA) in a wave-starved heat that saw the Hawaiian capitalize on every opportunity to lock in some good scores and the win.
“Getting a good start is so important,” said Sebastian Zeitz. “You want to get your confidence going and being able to skip Round 2 is really nice. It was a very low scoring Heat. I was out for almost 10 minutes and missed probably the set of the Heat. I’m stoked to just make it through and now I finally get to skip a Round.”
Reigning three-time ASP World Champion and two-time event winner Mick Fanning (AUS) took to the water, battling veteran Fred Patacchia (HAW) and injury replacement Glenn Hall (IRL). Fanning’s surgical rail-game shone in the open walls at Bells, blending seamless forehand carves to net a pair of 7s. Patacchia belted a 7 of his own for a series of solid backhand combinations but Fanning’s 14.16 heat total proved enough for the win and a Round 3 berth.
“We come here every year and know what to expect but we always want to up the level even more,” said Mick Fanning. “You know what the waves are going to do, you’ve just got to be on to it. You’ve got to plan your body and boards around what the wave is doing.”
11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) faced off against Kolohe Andino (USA) and wildcard Jacob Willcox (AUS) in Heat 6 of Round 1. Kolohe asserted his dominance first with a series of clean forehand carves to achieve a mid-range score but Slater, a four-time winner at Bells Beach, answered back with three big turns to score a 7.00. The fight for first continued through the Heat and with just a minute remaining it was Slater who capitalized, getting the score needed to snatch the last-second victory.
“I made a few mistakes and I was a little nervous to be honest because I haven’t surfed in three days,” said Kelly Slater. “I surfed a few days ago and my board felt really nice but it didn’t feel very good out there today. I was going out there in the dark a little bit because I haven’t surfed Bells Beach for a year. I was a bit unprepared and because of that I had some nerves in that Heat”.
Fresh off the back of his first WCT win at Margaret River, Michel Bourez (PYF) was looking for another big result when he took on Spanish Aritz Aranburu and Australian veteran Adrian Buchan in Heat 7 at the Bells Bowl. The heated battle saw Bourez fire early with a score of 6.17 but he wasn’t able to sustain the lead. It was Aranburu who sealed the deal with a 6.43 in the dying minutes of the Heat and sails through to Round 3.
“It was a really hard Heat, one where I had to choose the right waves,” said Aritz Aranburu. “At the beginning I was competing too emotionally, catching the wrong waves and not doing the right things. At the end I was lucky enough to have a couple of good scores and win the Heat. Being comfortable is a big advantage, even though I haven’t surfed at Bells too many times it’s the kind of wave I like. It’s big open spaces and that’s where my surfing comes into its own”.
South African Jordy Smith put on a spectacle in Heat 8, leaping out of the blocks with a two big scores (8.00 and 6.5) and leaving opponents Dion Atkinson (AUS) and Filipe Toledo (BRA) scratching for a score. Eager to remain in the contest both answered back, with the Australian able to carve up a big forehand and committed layback to secure a 7.50 for the home crowd. Smith proved too strong though, producing another 7.60 to emerge with a dominant win and a pass into Round 3.
“I haven’t been having the best of surfs here at Bells. This Heat was just about getting a lot of waves under my belt and building confidence,” said Jordy Smith. “The waves were really fun. I definitely took advantage of the big conditions and I really love the big, open faces. It was very consistent which was good. We saw everyone get waves during that Heat and I had a lot of fun.”
Current ASP World No. 1 Gabriel Medina (BRA) secured his ticket directly into Round 3 after showing up Travis Logie (ZAF) and Miguel Pupo (BRA) at the Bells Bowl in Heat 9. In a flurry of exchanges between all three competitors it was Logie who put up the first score to beat of 6.17, but it was short lived. Navigating his way through pumping conditions, the Brazilian was able to secure another mid-range score late in the Heat to take the win.
“It’s amazing here at Bells right now, it’s crowded, there’s some Brazilian guys here, my sponsors are here it feels really good,” said Gabriel Medina. “I knew it was going to be a hard heat against Miguel (Pupo) and Travis (Logie), with all of us being goofy footers. It’s been a long time since I’ve been home. I was in Hawaii before Australia so I haven’t been home in over two months. It’s hard, I’ve been talking to my family in Brazil and I miss them a lot.”
After injuring his back at Bells Beach last year and being forced to sit out the remainder of the season, Owen Wright (AUS) was out for redemption when he took to the water in Round 1. Taking on Adriano de Souza (BRA) and fellow Australian Matt Wilkinson, Wright wasted no time in whipping out a series of backhand turns and scoring a 7.00 early in the piece. Defending event winner De Souza responded to the challenge knocking back a 7.83 of his own, but it was Wright who took the victory, his first in Round 1 since his return to competition.
“For me to go out there and make my first Round 1 Heat and have things come my way is amazing. It’s a big deal and I’m happy to get through,” said Owen Wright. “At Snapper Rocks and Margaret River things didn’t work out. I broke some boards in free surfs, went over the falls and took sets on the head. Out there it was just perfect wave after perfect wave. It feels good.”
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.77, Nat Young (USA) 14.10, Tiago Pires (PRT) 9.90
Heat 2: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 9.33, Josh Kerr (AUS) 7.03, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 6.47
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) 10.60, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 8.33, Brett Simpson 5.40
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.16, Fred Patacchia (HAW) 11.83, Glenn Hall (IRL) 8.87
Heat 5: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 11.87, Adam Melling (AUS) 11.77, Cahill Bell-Warren (AUS) 10.56
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) 10.77, Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.57, Jacob Wilcox (AUS) 5.00
Heat 7: Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 12.10, Michel Bourez (PYF) 11.17, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 8.80
Heat 8: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.60, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 13.97, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.37
Heat 9: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 10.17, Travis Logie (ZAF) 8.30, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 7.84
Heat 10: Owen Wright (AUS) 14.10, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 10.33, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 5.50
Heat 11: Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.83, Mitch Crews (AUS) 11.77, John John Florence (HAW) 9.26
Heat 12: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 10.70, Kai Otton (AUS) 8.73, Jadson Andre (BRA) 5.27
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
Upcoming Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 2 Match-ups:
Heat 3: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 5: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 6: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 7: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Dion Atkinson (AUS)
Heat 8: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 9: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 10: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Mitch Crews (AUS)
Heat 11: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 12: Adam Melling (AUS) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
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.