The opening day of the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, Stop No. 2 on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), has been called off for the day due to small surf on offer at Bells Beach.
With potential for improved swell later in the week, the WSL will wait for better conditions to run the opening rounds of the men’s and women’s elite competition.
“Unfortunately, the swell we’ve had for the last few days has dropped off and it is flat here at Bells Beach,” said Kieren Perrow, WSL Commissioner.
BETTING PREVIEW: RIP CURL PRO BELLS BEACH 2018
“The good news is we have a promising forecast on the horizon with a new moderately sized WSW swell beginning to fill in from Thursday morning and into the Easter weekend. We will make another call tomorrow after reassessing the conditions.”
Event officials will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7:30AM AEDT to reassess the conditions and make the next call.
When competition gets underway, Round 1 will see some epic matchups with reigning event winner Jordy Smith (ZAF) coming up against last year’s runner-up Caio Ibelli (BRA) and 2018 come-back kid Patrick Gudauskas (USA) in Heat 3.
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 is one of the most consistent high-scoring surfers on Tour and continues to push performance boundaries. Peterson will face injury replacement Macy Callaghan (AUS) and Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) in Round 1 Heat 5 when competition resumes.
Julian Wilson (AUS) will wear the Jeep Leader Jersey for the first time in his career heading into the second event of the season. Wilson has come close to a World Title but has never had this type of momentum coming into the first event of the year. His first matchup at Bells will be with Joan Duru (FRA) and Trials winner Carl Wright (AUS).
Courtney Conlogue (USA), the two-time, defending event winner, has withdrawn from the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach event due to a foot injury sustained earlier this month. Conlogue will be replaced by Callaghan.
11-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater (USA) has also withdrawn from the event as he continues to recover from a foot injury sustained midway through last year. The three-time Bells winner will be replaced by Michael February (ZAF), who will match-up with Filipe Toledo (BRA) and Griffin Colapinto (USA) in the opening heat of men’s Round 1.
California’s Colapinto, the standout rookie from San Clemente California, amazed the world at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast with the first Perfect 10 of the 2018 CT season. All eyes will be on the 19-year-old to see if he will be next to ring the coveted Bell.