Fri, 25 March 2016

Bianca Buitendag relegated six time world champ Stephanie Gilmore to round 2 of the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach, followed by the first six heats of the men's event this morning.


DUST TO DUST: Dusty Payne pulls off a stylish top turn in Round 1. Photo WSL /  Cestari

Jordy Smith surfs in the 12th and last heat of Round One in the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach. Buitendag, the lethal backhander from the southern Cape, looked in good form, saying that she tried to catch waves further up the point, a strategy that worked for her. Lets hope that continues as she skips elimination Round 2 and goes into Round 3.

In the men's event, trials winner Tim Stevenson (AUS) challenged reigning world champ Adriano De Souza (BRA) for the heat win, but could not find the 2nd wave that would close a 0.63 point gap. Michel Bourez (PYF) and Stevenson fight in elimination Round 2. Mick Fanning (AUS), three-time world champ, charged into Round 3 after a solid 16.93 to defeat Keanu Asing (HAW) and event wildcard Mason Ho (HAW). Fanning aims for a fifth Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach title.

Gabriel Medina (BRA), 2014 world champ, beat rookie Conner Coffin (USA) and Timothee Bisso (GLP) after a combined score of 13.84. An all-Aussie match-up saw Julian Wilson (AUS) defeat injury replacement Stuart Kennedy (AUS) and Adam Melling (AUS). Kennedy, who caused massive upsets on the Gold Coast, fought hard but could not crack Wilson’s 13.84.


BIANCA SLASH: Bianca Buitendag shreds her way towards Round 3. Photo: WSL / Cestari

There were strong performances from the 2016 rookie class, with Davey Cathels (AUS) and Kanoa Igarashi (USA) winning their heats to advance to Round 3. Davey Cathels (AUS) kicked off hard against fellow rookie Caio Ibelli (BRA) and CT veteran Jeremy Flores (FRA).

In the women's event, Buitendag goes to Round 3, while Gilmore and 2016 WSL rookie Chelsea Tuach (BRB) will have to compete in elimination Round 2: “Every time we paddle out at Bells it is challenging and a surprise to what we are going to get,” Buitendag said following her heat. “I try to catch the waves further up the point. Being on your backhand, you need to get the waves that run a little bit slower because you are not as receptive as your frontside.”

Carissa Moore (HAW), three time World Champion and winner of the last three Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach events, showcased her dominance here easing into Round 3. Current rankings leader Tyler Wright (AUS) battled Sage Erickson (USA) and Coco Ho (HAW) to secure her lead. Ho took control for the majority of the heat with a 14.20 two-wave combined score, but Wright fought back with a 15.43 lead over the Hawaiian. Ho and Erickson will battle in Round 2, while Wright moves on to Round 3.


FLYING FANNING: Mick is hunting his fifth win at Bells. Photo WSL / Cestari

Local favorite Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) faced Courtney Conlogue (USA) and Laura Enever (AUS) in Heat 4. Conlogue earned a solid score of 16.17, including a 9.17 point ride, for entry into Round 3.

Joanne Defay (FRA) advances to Round 3 after defeating 2015 Rookie of the Year Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) and injury replacement Bronte Macaulay (AUS).
When competition resumes, up first will be Kelly Slater (USA), Kai Otton (AUS) and Alex Ribeiro (BRA) in Heat 7 of Round 1.

The Surfline forecast says that multiple SW swells will pulse over the rest of the week, with fun size surf that peaks on Sunday 27 with well overhead sets.

For more information, log onto www.WorldSurfLeague.com 


LEADERS: Current WSL tour leaders Matt Wilko and Tyler Wright. Photo WSL / Cestari

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Davey Cathels (AUS) 15.20, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.60, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 10.00
Heat 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.84, Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 11.40, Adam Melling (AUS) 10.57
Heat 3: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 14.04, Dusty Payne (HAW) 12.67, Italo Ferreira (BRA) 12.46
Heat 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.84, Conner Coffin (USA) 11.37, Timothee Bisso (GLP) 10.53
Heat 5: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.93, Keanu Asing (HAW) 12.77, Mason Ho (HAW) 9.76
Heat 6: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 11.23, Tim Stevenson (AUS) 10.60, Michel Bourez (PYF) 9.00

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Remaining Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 7: Kelly Slater (USA), Kai Otton (AUS), Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
Heat 8: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Taj Burrow (AUS), Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Heat 9: Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Kolohe Andino (USA), Miguel Pupo (HAW)
Heat 10: Nat Young (AUS), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Ryan Callinan (AUS)
Heat 11: Josh Kerr (AUS), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Matt Banting (AUS)
Heat 12: John John Florence (HAW), Jordy Smith (ZAF), Jadson Andre (BRA)

Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 13.00, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 12.83, Chelsea Tuach (BRB) 6.10
Heat 2: Malia Manuel (HAW) 13.34, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 11.50, Alessa Quizon (HAW) 11.34
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) 15.10, Brisa Hennessy (HAW) 10.20, Keely Andrew (AUS) 9.76
Heat 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 16.17, Laura Enever (AUS) 11.67, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 7.30
Heat 5: Tyler Wright (AUS) 15.43, Coco Ho (HAW) 14.20, Sage Erickson (USA) 7.76
Heat 6: Joanne Defay (FRA) 14.33, Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 13.30, Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 9.17

Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach Round 2 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) vs. Chelsea Tuach (BRB)
Heat 2: Sage Erickson (USA) vs. Alessa Quizon (HAW)
Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Brisa Hennessy (HAW)
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Laura Enever (AUS)
Heat 5: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) vs. Coco Ho (HAW)
Heat 6: Keely Andrew (AUS) vs. Bronte Macaulay (AUS)

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