Category Archives: Surfing

Billabong Rio Pro, Brazil – Rounds 1 & 2

After a week of consecutive lay-days, and uninviting conditions, the Billabong Rio Pro finally got underway on day 7 at the backup location Arpoador. Stop 3 of 11 on the men’s ASP World Title season saw round 1 successfully completed in consistently changing conditions that challenged each surfer’s skills.

In the first round of three man heats, winners progressed to round three, and second and third entered round two, the knockout round. Almost missing his heat, Kelly Slater (USA), current leader of the 2011 tour, made up for lost time. Attacking the waves with style, he sent Julian Wilson (AUS) and local wildcard Peterson Crisanto (BRA) into round 2.

Mick Fanning (AUS) was on fire up against Dusty Payne (HAW) and Simao Romao (BRA), securing a solid 15.07 (out of a possible 20). With his trademark cutbacks, and swooping turns, it’s clear why Mick Fanning is a two time World Champion.

Patrick Gudauskus (USA) upset current world number three Jordy Smith (ZAF) and wildcard Igor Morais (BRA) in the lowest scoring heat of the day. With a total heat score of 8.13, Gudauskus became one step closer to his maiden tour victory.

Day 8 of 12 saw round 2 underway, with winners progressing to round three, and losers exiting with an equal 25th and 500 points for the tour leader board. Heat number one opened up with Jordy Smith and Peterson Crisanto going head to head at backup location Arpoador. Local wildcard Crisanto wasn’t good enough for Smith, who scored an 11.67 to Crisanto’s 7.10.

Bede Durbidge (AUS), Michel Bourez (PYF), Joel Parkinson (AUS), and CJ Hopgood (USA) were the top names to progress to round three, sending their opponents packing. Not only are points and prizes on the line, but the importance of gaining solid results before the midyear cutoff are just as good as the massive cardboard cheque.

Round three is on the cards for day 9, however with the ever changing conditions starting round 4 underway is questionable.

All the action can be viewed online at;
http://aspwtrio.com.br/brazil11/live-en/and

AK

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Parko wins 2011 Rip Curl Pro, Bells Beach

Joel Parkinson, 30 (AUS) has given Coolangatta, and the rest of Australia, a bloody good reason to get on the cans tonight; he’s just won the 2011 Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach Victoria, presented by Ford Ranger (and he gets to ring the famous Bell!). In its 50th competition year, Parkinson got over the top of fellow Cooli kid, and close friend, Mick Fanning, 29, (AUS), to secure his 10th tour win overall, and increase his rankings on the tour leader board.

A max capacity crowd gathered at the water’s edge to watch the two Aussie boys go head to head in the final of the longest running ASP tour event. Getting off to an early start, Parkinson secured an 8.53, and not long after, backed it up with 7.60. Parkinson pulled out the moves early, leaving Fanning sitting out back, pondering his next move. With Fanning being the inform surfer over the whole competition period, Parkinson had to act quickly, and that he did.

Fanning responded with beautiful high-speed curvy turns and trademark cutbacks, but it wasn’t enough to catch Parkinson. In the dying seconds, Parkinson used his priority to stop Fanning taking off on a beauty of a wave, and as a result, he secured a 10 point ride.

Parkinson received the highest wave score for the entire competition in the finals (a perfect 10), however, Fanning took second and third places with a 9.93 (round 4) and a 9.70 (Semis). Fanning surfed amazingly throughout the event, notching up the highest total score 19.10 (round 4) and an 18.97 (Semis). Both boys had good heats, with consistent wins, and good scores over their opponents, with the final coming down to who had enough juice left in their tank, and who could select the best waves.

The last time the boys surfed head to head was in 2009 at Kirra, Queensland, where Parkinson came out triumphant. With the Rip Curl pro event in full swing from day two, the competition wraps up quickly on Easter Sunday, which it has not done for some period of time.

Highlighted above, a packed Bells beach for the 2011 Rip Curl Pro final.

The men now travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the Billabong Rio Pro, May 11th – 22nd.

At the end of the second event of the season the current leaderboard stands with:

1st Kelly Slater (USA), 15200 pts

2nd Joel Parkinson (AUS), 14000 pts

3rd Jordy Smith (ZAF), 13000 pts

4th Adriano De Souza (BRA), 10500 pts

5th Tiago Pires (PRT), 10500 pts

And in other surf news..

The Rip Curl search event has named its destination for stop 10 of the ASP world tour. This year, the surfers will be charging ‘somewhere in San Francisco’. Stay tuned for more information.

AK

Sally Fitzgibbons claims maiden victory at Rip Curl Pro, Bells Beach.

Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 20, has claimed her maiden tour win at the 50th Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach, presented by Ford Fiesta, over current World Tour leader Carissa Moore (HAW), 18, in solid 3-4 foot conditions at Rincon. Getting off to a fabulous start, Fitzgibbons posted scored an overall 16.77 (out of 20), demonstrating a high degree of focus for the prestigious Bells trophy.

Throughout the event, Fitzgibbons secured excellent scores, getting through round 1 easily, and then striking difficulty against Coco Ho in round 3. Luckily, the new format enabled Fitzgibbons to surf again in an elimination heat in round 4.

The Quarter finals loomed, and Fitzgibbons faced Ho again. This time, Fitzgibbons showed Ho who is boss, with an 18.56. She then progressed to the Semi’s and knocked out 4x World Champion Steph Gilmore with a score of 18.37, leaving Gilmore needing an 18.38 combination (two waves equaling 18.38) in order to take the lead. After her Semifinal with Gilmore, Fitzgibbons said “it’s one of the days Rincon can be your best friend or worst nightmare”.  Clearly, today Rincon and Fitzgibbons were best friends.

With unstoppable wave riding, and progressive surfing, Fitzgibbons had the top two highest wave scores for the women’s competition, a 9.93 and 9.83 (both round 4), and also secured the top three highest totals, with 18.83 (round 4), 18.56 (Quarters) and 18.37 (Semis).

Let’s not forget Carissa Moore. Hailing from Oahu’s north shores in Hawaii, Moore had a decent run through the heats, with only a slight scare in round 1, finishing second to Pauline Ado (FRA), but beating Grom Search winner and wild card entrant Nikki Van Dijk (AUS). With her highest combination score of 18.23 in round two, the Quicksilver Pro, Snapper Rocks winner, was looking for her consecutive tour title.

With the girls having surfed numerous times over the course of the day, the ever so fit Sally Fitzgibbons, who ‘couldn’t feel her arms and legs’ struggled to hold the massive Bell trophy above her head. ‘You’ve got to win it to ring it’ is how the show rolls at Bells.

The men completed round 4 today, with big boys Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, Jordy Smith and Kelly Slater progressing straight to the Quarters, whilst 2nd and 3rd will battle it out in round 5 for their spot in the Quarters.

With the women’s competition over, the guys and gals now part ways, with the girls next stop in Taranaki New Zealand, for the Subaru Pro TBS Bank Women’s Surf Festival (April 27th – May 1st). The men will be heading to Rio de Janerio, Brazil for the Billabong Pro (May 11th – 22nd).

Be sure to tune into www.life.ripcurl.com tomorrow from 7am for all the live of round 5 and finals action at Bells. Images courtesy of Rip Curl.

AK

2011 Rip Curl Pro – Bells Beach, Victoria


The Bells breakdown…

Bells Beach, the iconic home of the Rip Curl Pro and Surfing Australia is celebrating its 50th competition year with a star-filled line up. Event number two along the ASP World Tour (WCT) journey is sure to feature some excellent surfing for the 50th year celebrations.

This year at the traditional Easter contest, 10x world champ and 2010 Bells winner Kelly Slater will be headlining the event, along with everyone’s favourites Jordy Smith, Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson and Taj Burrow. Let’s not forget the women; Steph Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons, Coco Ho and uprising Tyler Wright. Throw in some local wild cards, and you’ve got yourself a lethal combination of tallent.

Bells Beach has two breaks that take centre stage for the event. The more popular ‘Bowl’ is preferred, and works best on a low tide. Rincon is the second break, and works best on a high tide. And when the conditions aren’t favourable to Bells, the event can be moved to the fast flying, J-Bay resembling Winkipop. The second backup location is Johanna Beach, commonly used as a last resort, and when the event is running low on lay-days (days where the swell is below average and the event is postponed for the next day). However if the sand banks are working properly, Johanna’s can offer some of the best beach break waves in the world.

The recent change in format allows spectators to witness a higher level of surfing, with no surfers being eliminated until the second round. The format involves a three man round 1 heat, with the winner progressing to round 3, and the runners up battling it out in an elimination heat in round 2.  Again in round 4, the winners advance to the Quarter finals, and 2nd & 3rd go to an elimination round 5. This new format allows surfers to get more “radical” in the water and try out new maneuvers that may not have appeared in previous years.

The Rip Curl Pro Bells Competition is more than bragging rights. The trophy; a massive bell, and only the winner can ring it. It’s one of the most sought after trophies in the WCT.

Day One and Two Highlights..

Huge upsets in Round 1 of the men’s comp saw the highly ranked Jordy Smith and Taj Burrow having to compete round 2 to stay alive in the 2011 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Competition. After Smith finished third in his heat (9.00 out of a possible 20) to Hawaiian surfer Dusty Payne (10.50) and Australian Stu Kennedy (11.70), the pressure was on for the 2010 number 2 to pull it back together in Round 2 against local wildcard Adam Robertson.

With the event moved to Winkipop, the superb conditions saw the two boys put up a huge battle in the elimination round. Smith was triumphant with a 17.43 over Robertson’s 16.26 to proceed to round 3. Word on the beach is that Robertson was ‘robbed’ (no pun intended) of his round two victory, however footage replays show that Smith had the maneuvers to get him through to the next round.

Enter Taj Burrow (AUS) v Bobby Martinez (USA). With Burrow one of the favourite’s to ring the prestigious Bell, after taking out the 4 Star Brekka Berleigh Pro earlier in the year at the Gold Coast, Martinez stepped up the notch and bumped Burrow out of contention with a 16.16 to Burrows 15.93. This is Martinez’ first heat win since the Search event last year.

The girls can rip too. Round one highlights saw 4x World Champion Steph Gilmore through to round 3, along with Silvana Lima, the bubbly Carissa Moore, Sally Fitzgibbons and Coco Ho.

Round two (following the same format as the blokes) saw Jessi Miley-Dyer, Melanie Bartels, Carissa Moore, Chelsea Hedges and Courtney Conologue progress to round 3, whist the 2nd place getters finished with an equal 13th on their WCT score card.

With a solid swell forecast for the next few days, the surfing spectacular should be at its prime. All the action can be seen live online at www.live.ripcurl.com and also broadcast on FUEL TV.

AK