Early Rounds At 2014 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach

posted by / ASP / April 19, 2014

Nat Young, fireworks at dawn. But not enough fireworks to topple Bede Durbidge. [Shoot more of those ones that look like flowers next time.]

Nat Young, fireworks at dawn. But not enough fireworks to topple Bede Durbidge. [Shoot more of those ones that look like flowers next time.]

So much bread. So much butter. So much Bede.

So much bread. So much butter. So much Bede.

Mick Fanning, for whom the bell tolls.

Mick Fanning, for whom the bell tolls.

Is Joel Parkinson overscored? Is he underscored? Did he do top-notch turns today? Yes, yes and yes.

Is Joel Parkinson overscored? Is he underscored? Did he do top-notch turns today? Yes, yes and yes.

Kelly Slater searches for his sponsor. Wasn’t there.

Kelly Slater searches for his sponsor. Wasn’t there.

Kelly Slater searches for his heat win. It was there… maybe.

Kelly Slater searches for his heat win. It was there… maybe.

Get a load of Mr. Casual.

Get a load of Mr. Casual.

Jordy Smith, turning like you read about.

Jordy Smith, turning like you read about.

Dion Atkinson’s nickname used to be Primetime. We’re not sure if it stuck, but he surfed in the best heat of the day and fell only to The Bachelor, Season 18. Err, Jordy Smith.

Dion Atkinson’s nickname used to be Primetime. We’re not sure if it stuck, but he surfed in the best heat of the day and fell only to The Bachelor, Season 18. Err, Jordy Smith.

Taking selfies with Owen Wright, a time honored Australian Easter tradition.

Taking selfies with Owen Wright, a time honored Australian Easter tradition.

When John John Florence speaks, you listen. And when Kieren Perrow speaks, John John thanks him.

When John John Florence speaks, you listen. And when Kieren Perrow speaks, John John thanks him.

Julian Wilson, midway through the day’s best wave.

Julian Wilson, midway through the day’s best wave.

Julian and John liked each other’s wetsuits. And how’s Julian with the no watch strategy? Talk about panache.

Julian and John liked each other’s wetsuits. And how’s Julian with the no watch strategy? Talk about panache.

The passion lives. CJ Hobgood.

The passion lives. CJ Hobgood.

Jacob Wilcox lost in an arguable call to Josh Kerr. But then he talked to CJ Hobgood, so it’s all good.

Jacob Wilcox lost in an arguable call to Josh Kerr. But then he talked to CJ Hobgood, so it’s all good.


All Photos: Jimmicane

You have to win it to ring it…
The Bell has been wearing a condom. That’s not a joke. There has literally been a Trojan-esque shield of fabric on the bell’s clapper, preventing all unworthy somebodies from achieving that orgasmic ring. Because, like we said, you have to win it to ring it. And on a breezy Victorian day, we got a few steps closer watching a champion rip off the chastity belt, win it and ring it.

…But you have to do a lot of things to win it

Like wake up early. And be cold. And surf waves that aren’t, like, dreamy. The early rounds are rarely glamorous, but today was especially coarse. We saw all of Round 1 and two heats of Round 2. And we saw struggling — single digit heat totals and all. Still, it wasn’t all cloudy skies and teary-eyed orphans. There were a few dandelions to be spoken of…

Bede Durbridge: Bells Beach. It’s Bede’s bread. His butter. And he doused Nat Young and Tiago Pires with vegemite during the morning’s first heat.
Mick Fanning: Mick Fanning won a heat at Bells and if this surprises you, it’s time to put the ol’ surfboard on Craigslist and call it a career.
Joel Parkinson: 13-0. That’s Parko’s record in first round heats at Bells. And while today’s win saw a margin that was narrow like the Bering Strait, it was still a win. [Sorry Melling.]
Kolohe Andino: Kolohe didn’t win his heat today, but he might have. Confused? Us too. Kelly Slater beat Kolohe in a heat that could have easily gone either way. Brother will now face Adam Melling in Round 2, in the great battle of I lost by less than half a point to a former world champion. It’s anticipated.
Jordy Smith: Jordy was doing big combos like you read about. His heat against Filipe Toledo and Dion Atkinson was the most exciting of the day, and Jordy won in style.
Gabriel Medina: Gabe was totally beatable, but Miguel Pupo and Travis Logie didn’t take advantage of that. On to Round 3 for Gabe, but don’t expect a deep run out of him if he keeps surfing like that.
Julian Wilson: I’ll take the highest wave score of the day, please and thank you.

Is that a threat?

It kind of is. As the tide climbed up the beach, the call was made to run straight through Round 2. Oh and by the way, high tide is kryptonite at Bells. It turns the place into a mix of Huntington Beach and a dead grizzly bear — an aquatic field of fat and flesh that seems to want to do nothing more than sulk around lifelessly. The ASP might as well have been using the round as a threat to competitors. Don’t want to get your shit together on the WCT? Then go back to ‘QS and surf waves like this. Luckily, the threat ended after two uninspiring heats. When ASP Commissioner Kieren Perrow called it officially off for the day, John John Florence literally thanked him.
He’s welcome.

Tomorrow…
We’ll be back on. See you at sunrise.
—Brendan Buckley

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  • Ben

    Screw Bells. Not dream tour worthy.

  • Mik

    Actually, Bell’s is the same as all major surf breaks:

    Entirely dependent on swell size and interval, wind, and tide. Some more, some less, but that is what makes surfing what it is…

    An interaction with the creative and destructive powers of Nature. It’s not man made, it’s Nature made. And professional surfers are the best in the world at dealing with the variables that Nature throws at them.

    Remember last year?

    One the best events on tour… Especially Jordy’s early heats. OMG.

    I’m just glad that the ASP has organized and broadcast these events… Because I find them crazily interesting, as do my surfing bros. The judging is maddening, but whatev’s — if there wasn’t competition, it would be less entertaining, ya?

    What goes down in the WCT is far more interesting than the rest of the garbage the world has stuck its greedy and violent nose in.