Some pretty good round one matchups will be on hand when the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach gets underway… I think Michel Bourez will rebound after his poor start at Snapper, Dane will have a tough time against Owen Wright, and Jordy Smith is die for a big result. Who's your pick for Bells?
Mick Fanning and the rest of the top 45 are ready to get down to business at Bells. Photo: ASP/Getty Images
BELLS BEACH, Australia (Monday, April 6, 2009) – The 2009 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach presented by Snickers begins its waiting period tomorrow and the world's best surfers have descended upon the Victorian coastline to take part in one of the most historic and prestigious events on the planet.
The second stop on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach will look to take advantage of the swell on offer tomorrow morning for Round 1 of competition.
Mick Fanning (AUS), 27, former ASP World Champion and current ASP World No. 3, collected his first Dream Tour victory at Bells Beach as a wildcard in 2001, and following a solid start to the season, will look to put himself in the hunt for another ASP World Title challenge in 2009.
"I always feel like I'm right up there in the hunt," Fanning said. "I always feel competitive, but usually when you get up into the Quarters and Semis, things can get tough. I'm excited to be back in Bells again and it's always been a special place for me."
Nic Muscroft (AUS), 26, 2009 ASP World Tour rookie, will surf alongside Trials Winner and fellow Victorian Adam Robertson (AUS), 26, in Round 1 of competition when the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach commences and the young natural-footer will aim to do his hometown proud.
"I feel extremely proud to be representing Victoria," Muscroft said. "I have Robbo (Adam Robertson) with me now, but hopefully we can shake a few things up and do well for our family and friends."
With the strong support of the Victorian Government, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach will be a prime venue for the local surfers to shine.
The Rip Curl Women's Pro Bells Beach presented by Ford New Fiesta, stop No. 2 of 8 on the 2009 ASP Women's World Tour, will run in conjunction with the men's event, featuring the world's top female surfers as the vie for the coveted ASP Women's World Title.
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, reigning two-time ASP Women's World Champion and two-time defending Rip Curl Women's Pro Champ, will look for her third consecutive Bells Beach title this season – a feat only accomplished by historic figures Mark Richards (AUS) and Michael Peterson (AUS).
"My focus is the ASP Women's World Title and Bells has always been a good venue to me," Gilmore said. "But to get three in a row and be associated with such incredible figures in sport is certainly a motivating factor. I just hope we can get excellent waves and show everyone what we can do."
Nikki Van Dijk (Phillip Island, AUS), 14, blasted her way through the yesterday's Trials to earn a spot in the Rip Curl Women's Pro, where she will come up again the two-time Champion.
"I never dreamed that I would be up against someone like Steph (Gilmore) in a heat," Van Dijk said. "I can only hope to get out there and do my best."
Swellnet, official surf forecasters for the 2009 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, are calling for a slight decrease in surf tomorrow, but with potentially enough swell to get Round 1 underway.
Event organizers will convene at 7am tomorrow for a possible 7:30am start.
The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach pres. by Snickers will be webcast LIVE via www.live.ripcurl.com
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
RIP CURL PRO BELLS BEACH ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: David Weare (ZAF) vs. Nathaniel Curran (USA)
Heat 2: Roy Powers (HAW) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 3: Heitor Alves (BRA) vs. Jay Thompson (AUS)
Heat 4: Taylor Knox (USA) vs. Phillip MacDonald (AUS))
Heat 5: Dayyan Neve (AUS) vs. Marlon Lipke (DEU)
Heat 6: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. Aritz Aranburu (EUK)
Heat 7: Jihad Khodr (BRA) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 8: Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. Owen Wright (AUS)
Heat 9: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 10: Chris Davidson (AUS) vs. Adam Robertson (AUS)
Heat 11: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Mick Campbell (AUS)
Heat 12: Nic Muscroft (AUS) vs. Dean Morrison (AUS)
Heat 13: Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) vs. Ben Dunn (AUS)
Heat 14: Greg Emslie (ZAF) vs. Drew Courtney (AUS)
Heat 15: Tim Boal (FRA) vs. Mikael Picon (FRA)
Heat 16: Dustin Barca (HAW) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
RIP CURL PRO BELLS BEACH ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. TBA
Heat 2: Chris Ward (USA) vs. TBA
Heat 3: Kai Otton (USA) vs. TBA
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. TBA
Heat 5: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. TBA
Heat 6: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. TBA
Heat 7: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. TBA
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. TBA
Heat 9: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. TBA
Heat 10: Tom Whitaker (AUS) vs. TBA
Heat 11: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. TBA
Heat 12: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. TBA
Heat 13: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. TBA
Heat 14: Tim Reyes (USA) vs. TBA
Heat 15: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. TBA
Heat 16: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. TBA
RIP CURL WOMEN'S PRO BELLS BEACH ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Amee Donohoe (AUS), Rebecca Woods (AUS), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
Heat 2: Layne Beachley (AUS), Paige Hareb (NZL), Rosanne Hodge (ZAF)
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Bruna Schmitz (BRA), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
Heat 4: Silvana Lima (BRA), Chelsea Hedges (AUS), Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS)
Heat 5: Sofia Mulanovich (PER), Coco Ho (HAW), Alana Blanchard (HAW)
Heat 6: Samantha Cornish (AUS), Melanie Bartels (HAW), Jacqueline Silva (BRA)