- World Surf League: Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach & Rip Curl Women's Pro Kick Off
- The 2nd stop on WSL Men's Championship Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach and Women's Championship Rip Curl Women's Pro kicked off on March 29, 2018.
Round 1 of both event ran in perfect conditions at Winkipop, where is next door to Bells Beach.
Unfortunately, 11-time World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) and defending Champion of this event Courtney Conlogue (USA), both withdrew this event for injury. Also, 3-time world Champion Mick Fanning will retire from WSL Championship Tour on this event.
Rip Curl Women's Pro Round 1, current the Jeep Leader Lakey Peterson (USA) earned 14.17 points, defeated Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) and Macy Callaghan (AUS). She advnced to Round 3 directly.
3-time World Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) finished 5th place at previous event, she tries to make a turnaround in this event. In Heat 1, she took down Sage Erickson (USA) and Bronte Macaulay (USA) with 14.50 points.
Coco Ho (HAW), Silvana Lima (BRA), reigning World Champion Tyler Wright (AUS) and Johanne Defay (FRA) advanced to Round 3.
Carissa Moore said after the Heat;
"It's such a beautiful morning. There's long beautiful walls coming through. I was really surprised that they made the move here. I've never surfed in a heat at Winki so it was a first for me but with conditions like this I really enjoyed it. It's a tricky wave because there are different sections to it. Some are really fast but you're looking for a wave that has a nice pace to it. I think it's all about finding that pace and opening up when you can. I just love Bells in general. It feels like home here and I have a lot of friends here. I'm comfortable."
Meanwhile, Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach ran until Heat 8. From Heat 9 to 12 will resume tomorrow, because the wind began to blow.
Nobody imagined that 2-time World Champion John John Florence (HAW) early would exit previous event - he was defeated by wildcard Mikey Wright in Round 2. This time he is looking for redemption.
He earned one of the highest-scoring waves of the day with an 7.43 in Heat 7 and defeated Tomas Hermes (BRA) and Mikey McDonagh (AUS).
Defending Champion of this event Jordy Smith (ZAF) needed to win by 0.54 points against Patrick Gudauskas (USA) in 15 seconds remaining. However he gained 7.30 points on his last wave and won in reversal.
After the Heat, John John Florence stated;
"Winkipop is kind of like a small J-Bay in a way. You have that real down-the-line kind of speed. It makes for a very rippable and fun wave. It's really just a matter of picking the right one and just keeping as much speed as possible. Patience is always the key here. I've never won at Bells but I would love to. To ring that bell would be pretty awesome. The last few years I've been fortunate enough to get a few good airs in. This year...I'm just seeing what the day brings. If it's offshore, I'm going to focus on big turns and maybe a little barrel. There's a big section and I've been inspired by a lot of the guys free surfing."
Rip Curl Women's Pro Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.50, Sage Erickson (USA) 9.33, Bronte Macaulay (USA) 8.80
Heat 2: Coco Ho (HAW) 12.80, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 11.93, Keely Andrew (AUS) 10.77
Heat 3: Silvana Lima (BRA) 15.67, Kobie Enright (AUS) 11.00, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 10.44
Heat 4: Tyler Wright (AUS) 18.83, Paige Hareb (AUS) 10.83, Malia Manuel (HAW) 8.63
Heat 5: Lakey Peterson (USA) 14.17, Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 10.03, Macy Callaghan (AUS) 9.73
Heat 6: Johanne Defay (FRA) 12.87, Caroline Marks (USA) 12.34, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 7.63
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 12.53, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 11.50, Michael February (ZAF 8.43
Heat 2: Owen Wright (AUS) 11.36, Conner Coffin (USA) 9.10, Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 6.17
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.36, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 14.27, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 12.16
Heat 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.50, Italo Ferreira (BRA) 11.30, Ian Gouveia (BRA) 8.23
Heat 5: John John Florence (HAW) 14.26, Tomas Hermes (BRA) 10.30, Mikey McDonagh (AUS) 8.34
Heat 6: Julian Wilson (AUS) 11.10, Joan Duru (FRA) 10.83, Carl Wright (AUS) 7.00
Heat 7: Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.10, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 10.97, Keanu Asing (HAW) 10.87
Heat 8: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 11.70, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 11.00, Yago Dora (BRA) 10.16
Heat 9: Kolohe Andino (USA), Frederico Morais (PRT), Willian Cardoso (BRA)
Heat 10: Adrian Buchan (AUS), Connor O'Leary (AUS), Michael Rodrigues (BRA)
Heat 11: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Wade Carmichael (AUS)
Heat 12: Mick Fanning (AUS), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Jesse Mendes (BRA)
- source : World Surf League