WSL PRESS RELEASE
BELLS BEACH, Victoria/AUS (Friday, March 30, 2018) – The opening rounds of the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, Stop No. 2 on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), have been called ON for today in three-to-four foot (1 – 1.8 metre) conditions at Winkipop. Women’s Round 1 will kick off the competition starting at 8:55 a.m. local time, followed by men’s Round 1.
“As expected, the swell has jumped up overnight and we have great conditions on the Surf Coast today,” said WSL Commissioner, Kieren Perrow. “With a morning high tide, we are seeing slow conditions at Bells Beach but have solid waves coming through at Winkipop. We are going to start with women’s Round 1 followed by men’s Round 1 at Winki, while keeping a close eye on Bells with the intention to shift back if conditions allow us to.”
Lakey Peterson (USA) comes into the Rip Curl Pro as the Jeep Frontrunner after winning the Roxy Pro Gold Coast, Stop No. 1 on the 2018 WSL CT. Peterson will face injury replacement Macy Callaghan (AUS) and Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) in Round 1 Heat 5 when competition resumes.
Keely Andrew (AUS), 2018 Roxy Pro Gold Coast runner-up, will match-up with Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), six-time WSL Champion, and Coco Ho (HAW) in Round 1 Heat 2.
Reigning WSL Champion Tyler Wright (AUS) will battle Malia Manuel (HAW) and Paige Hareb (NZL) in the fourth heat of the morning.
Up first today will be Carissa Moore (HAW) against Bronte Macaulay (AUS) and Sage Erickson (AUS) in the opening heat of Round 1. Three-time WSL Champion Moore will look to ring the bell for a fourth time and will be after a strong start at Winkipop.
Four-time Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach event winner Mick Fanning (AUS) will take to the water for the last time as a full-time Championship Tour competitor in Round 1 Heat 12. The three-time WSL Champion will take on Sebastian Zietz (HAW) and 2018 CT rookie Jesse Mendes(BRA) in their matchup.
Reigning event winner Jordy Smith (ZAF) will come up against last year’s event runner-up Caio Ibelli (BRA) and Californian Patrick Gudauskas (USA) in Round 1 Heat 3.
Julian Wilson (AUS) will wear the Jeep Leader Jersey for the first time in his career heading into the second event of the season. His first matchup at Bells will be with Joan Duru (FRA) and Trials winner Carl Wright (AUS).
Surfline, WSL forecast partner, is calling for:
Plenty of options on the menu. Solid SW swell builds in over Friday and into the weekend, with favorable conditions for the most part. More sizable swells stacking up for next week, and at this point, conditions are looking pretty good most days.
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Griffin Colapinto (USA), Michael February (ZAF)
Heat 2: Owen Wright (AUS), Conner Coffin (USA), Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Italo Ferreira (BRA), Ian Gouveia (BRA)
Heat 5: John John Florence (HAW), Tomas Hermes (BRA), Mikey McDonagh (AUS)
Heat 6: Julian Wilson (AUS), Joan Duru (FRA), Carl Wright (AUS)
Heat 7: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Michel Bourez (PYF), Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 8: Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Yago Dora (BRA)
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)
Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Carissa Moore (HAW), Sage Erickson (USA), Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
Heat 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Keely Andrew (AUS), Coco Ho (HAW)
Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Silvana Lima (BRA), Kobie Enright (AUS)
Heat 4: Tyler Wright (AUS), Malia Manuel (HAW), Paige Hareb (NZL)
Heat 5: Lakey Peterson (USA), Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), Macy Callaghan (AUS)
Heat 6: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Johanne Defay (FRA), Caroline Marks (USA)
For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com.