Home > WSL > Jordy Smith advances to Round 3 at Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach in Australia

Jordy Smith advances to Round 3 at Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach in Australia

April 1st, 2015
Caption: Jordy Smith (ZAF) performs a fins-free manoeuvre off the lip of a wave on his way to victory in his Round 1 heat at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach in Australia on Wednesday   Image: © WSL / Cestari

Caption: Jordy Smith (ZAF) performs a fins-free manoeuvre off the lip of a wave on his way to victory in his Round 1 heat at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach in Australia on Wednesday   Image: © WSL / Cestari

South African Jordy Smith won his opening heat and advanced directly to Round 3 of the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach as organisers opted to run the first seven heats of the second stop on the 2015 Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) in one metre waves at Bells Beach in Victoria, Australia today (Wednesday).

Smith, a three-time semifinalist at Bells, had to come from behind to overtake rookie Keanu Asing (HAW) and then staved off a late challenge from Adrian Buchan (AUS) as the 30 minute encounter wound down in the waist-high, crosswind surf at the Rincon section of the iconic Bells Beach line-up.

WSL Commissioner Kieren Perrow put the event on hold after Smith’s heat. When conditions did not improve he ended the day’s proceedings without any further action.

Earlier top seeds Kelly Slater (USA) and Gabriel Medina (BRA) won through Round 1 while Mick Fanning (AUS) suffered a shock defeat at the hands of wildcard Mason Ho (HAW).

11-time World Champion and four-time Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach winner Kelly Slater (USA) dominated his match-up with Sebastian Zietz (HAW) and rookie Ricardo Christie (NZL), using his experience to claim two 8-point rides, the highest heat total of the day.

“I watched a couple of heats before to try and judge which waves were the best ones,” said Slater. “I didn’t catch my first wave until 10 minutes but it was a pretty good wave and then I was in sync for the good ones. The tradition here at Bells, winning the trophy and the history here all make it so special. You put everything on the line to try and win here.”

Reigning WSL Champion Gabriel Medina’s class and composure was the difference as the 21 year-old Brazilian locked in two good scores to take the win over two exciting up-and-coming Australians — 2014 CT Rookie Matt Banting plus trials winner Joe Van Dijk.

“Today isn’t typical Bells, we’re surfing up at Rincon which can be hard to surf so I’m stoked to win that heat,” Medina said. “I’ve got a good board for this wave and I’m feeling good, that’s about all you can do. It’s really hard to win this event, especially against all the regular-footers. All I can do is my best, hopefully I finish with a good result.”

Wildcard Mason Ho (HAW) secured an upset victory over defending event winner and former three-time World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS) and Freddy Patacchia Jr. (HAW). Ho landed a clean front-side aerial rotation to take the win and move directly to Round 3 while Fanning and Patacchia will have to surf again in elimination Round 2.

“I definitely went into the heat aiming to win,” said Ho. “It seemed like anyone could have won that heat but I got lucky. I’m bummed I didn’t get a really good back up score but it’s been challenging out there today.”

Today’s other heat winners included Jeremy Flores (FRA), Brett Simpson (USA) and John John Florence (HAW)

With difficult wind and wave forecasts for the entire 12 day holding period, the organisers will gather at 6am local time tomorrow (approx 9pm Wednesday evening SA time) to decide on whether to get the competition underway. When competition restarts Michel Bourez (PYF) will be up against Nat Young (USA) and Dusty Payne (HAW) in Heat 8 of the men’s event.

The Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach, which runs concurrently with the men’s event, sees South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag (Victoria Bay) taking on Malia Manuel (HAW) and (ZAF), Laura Enever (AUS) in the opening heat of Round 1.

The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach is webcast LIVE at WorldSurfLeague.com.

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.33, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 11.73, Taj Burrow (AUS) 10.63
Heat 2: Brett Simpson (USA) 15.00, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.33, Kai Otton (AUS) 6.00
Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA) 16.67, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 9.06, Ricardo Christie (NZL) 7.73
Heat 4: John John Florence (HAW) 15.33, Italo Ferreira (BRA) 11.47, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 10.17
Heat 5: Mason Ho (HAW) 13.13, Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.10, Freddy Patacchia Jr. (HAW) 13.00
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.76, Matt Banting (AUS) 11.83, Joe Van Dijk (AUS) 8.23
Heat 7: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.33, Keanu Asing (HAW) 13.44, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.20

Upcoming Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 1 Match-ups:
Heat 8: Michel Bourez (PYF), Nat Young (USA), Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 9: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 10: Josh Kerr (AUS), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 11: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Owen Wright (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 12: Julian Wilson (AUS), Kolohe Andino (USA), Matt Wilkinson (AUS)

Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach Round 1 Match-ups:
Heat 1: Malia Manuel (HAW), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Laura Enever (AUS)
Heat 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Silvana Lima (BRA), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW), Dimity Stoyle (AUS), Pauline Ado (FRA)
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), Alessa Quizon (HAW)
Heat 5: Tyler Wright (AUS), Johanne Defay (FRA), Sage Erickson (USA)
Heat 6: Lakey Peterson (USA), Courtney Conlogue (USA), Coco Ho (HAW)


About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL) organizes the annual tour of professional surf competitions and broadcasts each event live at WorldSurfLeague.com where you can experience the athleticism, drama and adventure of competitive surfing — anywhere and anytime it’s on. The WSL sanctions and operates the following tours: the Junior Tour, Longboard Tour, the Qualifying Series (QS), the Big Wave Tour and the crown jewel of the sport, the WSL Championship Tour (CT) which determines the sport’s undisputed world champions. The organization is headquartered in Santa Monica, California with Commercial Offices in New York. The offices are supported by regional centers in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America and South America.

Issued on behalf of:

WSL Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 021 534 5738
Email: cfitch@worldsurfleague.com

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