This Is Not The Fifty Year Storm


All Photos: Corey Wilson

Let’s be honest. Standing here on the bluff at Winkipop and looking over towards Bells, in the general direction of Antarctica, the ocean looks sad. Better yet, miserable. A stern wind whips through the air, lashing up whitecaps in the brownish sea surface — an aesthetic that makes you want to retire to your couch, your bedroom or at the very least your favorite coffee shop. It was that kind of day.

Now let’s be real: these are actually fun waves to surf.

The WSL grunted through eleven heats today — 5 male, 6 female — and we’re happy they didn’t just go to Swell Cafe in Jan Juc instead. Bigger, gust-lashed Bells will provide a juicy section to those who’ve touched a lucky rabbit’s tale in recent times. The days biggest attention-grabber was Kelly Slater. Which is funny, because he didn’t surf. But he did announce his retirement via Instagram, or April Fool his million followers into thinking that he’s retiring, or put in a request for time off at Margaret River and Rio should the rest of Bells not go his way. The world may never truly know the thoughts that transpire between his hairless scalp and that neck.

Oh, and the heats. Owen Wright’s 8.90 was the most pleasant thing to happen on the men’s side. His backhand is very sharp, his everything very under-appreciated. And the women? Well. No disrespect to Sally Fitzgibbons, but I don’t think her turns were worth those 18.37 points. And no disrespect to the judges, but did you see the shit Carissa was doing? It was a different sport.

And that’s where we’re at. Two Round 2s are not all set and ready to roar (Note: Round 2s rarely ever actually roar). There’s still plenty of contest left to run, plenty of time left in the waiting period to do it, and plenty of pessimism left to thrown in the way of the swell forecast — it’s not looking so good. But that’s what makes surfing surfing. You can’t have steak every night, and the world’s best are going to find ways to win regardless of the ocean’s sass — that’s what makes this song and dance so entertaining. I’ve already burned my “Fifty Year Storm” line, so let’s see how long I can last before I use the For Whom The Bell Tolls one.

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 1 Results (1st to R3, 2nd & 3rd to R2):
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
Heat 8:
Nat Young (USA) 11.50, Michel Bourez (PYF) 9.50, Dusty Payne (HAW) 6.20
Heat 9:
Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.33, Glenn Hall (IRL) 8.74, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 7.67
Heat 10:
Josh Kerr (AUS) 14.80, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.77, Adam Melling (AUS) 9.94
Heat 11:
Owen Wright (AUS) 13.90, Jadson Andre (BRA) 11.63, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 9.86
Heat 12:
Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.47, Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.37, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 8.57

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 2 Match-ups (1st to R2, 2nd =25th):
Heat 1:
Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Joe Van Dijk (AUS)
Heat 2:
Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 3:
Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Ricardo Christie (NZL)
Heat 4:
Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 5:
Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 6:
Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 7:
Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 8:
Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 9:
Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 10:
Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) vs. Matt Banting (AUS)
Heat 11:
Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Freddy Patacchia Jr. (HAW)
Heat 12:
Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Italo Ferreira (BRA)

Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach Round 1 Results
(1st to R3, 2nd & 3rd to R2):
Heat 1:
Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 10.76, Malia Manuel (HAW) 10.33, Laura Enever (AUS) 8.57
Heat 2:
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 18.37, Silvana Lima (BRA) 17.67, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 11.93
Heat 3:
Carissa Moore (HAW) 17.67, Pauline Ado (FRA) 11.10, Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 8.00
Heat 4:
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.50, Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 12.50, Alessa Quizon (HAW) 8.24
Heat 5:
Johanne Defay (FRA) 14.50, Tyler Wright (AUS) 11.57, Sage Erickson (USA) 9.33
Heat 6:
Lakey Peterson (USA) 15.90, Coco Ho (HAW) 11.77, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 10.84

Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach Round 2 Match-ups (1st to R3, 2nd = 13th):
Heat 1:
Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) vs. Laura Enever (AUS)
Heat 2:
Silvana Lima (BRA) vs. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
Heat 3:
Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Pauline Ado (FRA)
Heat 4:
Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Alessa Quizon (HAW)
Heat 5:
Courtney Conlogue (USA) vs. Sage Erickson (USA)
Heat 6:
Dimity Stoyle (AUS) vs. Coco Ho (HAW)