The world's top surfers showed their quality in the opening round of the Rip Curl Pro and Rip Curl Women's Pro at the iconic Bells Beach, Australia on Tuesday.
The likes of Carissa Moore, Sally Fitzgibbons (pictured above), Kelly Slater, Owen Wright, Joel Parkinson, Jordy Smith and Adriano De Souza all won through directly to the next round, with Fitzgibbons claiming the highest score of the day with a stunning 18.84 out of a possible 20.
Watch Sally's heat in this video...
The major players were in good form in clean three-to-four foot (1 metre) waves at the primary venue of Bells Beach, but top stars such as Taj Burrow, Julian Wilson, Stephanie Gilmore and Bede Durbridge will have to battle in out one-on-one in Round 2 if they want to continue in the event.
“I'm very happy with that heat as everything went my way,” Fitzgibbons said. “I was able to pick off two really good waves that linked all the way through the Bowl. Coco (Ho) was ripping and probably would have won a lot of heats today. My equipment feels good and I’m just excited to be back in Bells.”
Carissa Moore (HAW), 19, reigning ASP Women’s World Champion and last year’s event Runner-Up, continued to display her dominant form this morning, besting Europeans Pauline Ado (FRA), 21, and Justine Dupont (FRA), 20, to advance directly to Round 3.
“The waves are really fun out there and it was great to get the first heat out of the way,” Moore said. “I’m very happy to be back at Bells and out in some fun waves. I didn’t get the result I wanted on the Gold Coast so I’m hoping to post a better one here.”
Adriano de Souza (BRA), 25, current ASP World No. 2, is coming off an impressive Final’s berth at the season-opening event on the Gold Coast, and the young Brazilian showed exceptional poise in Round 1 today.
“I’m really happy with myself to do well on the Gold Coast and then come here with a win in the first round,” De Souza said. “I’ve gotten a lot of waves here the past week. I came here early to get my equipment ready and get used to the conditions and I think it’s really helped.”
Long heralded as Brazil’s finest candidate for a maiden ASP World Title clinching, De Souza is taking a measured approach to the season ahead and retains his focus for the job at hand.
“I don’t really feel the pressure of trying to be the first Brazilian world champ,” De Souza said. “I just do my thing. We’ll see at the end of the year whether I’m in the race or not. I’m focused on Bells now and focused on the next heat. I’m happy with my performance so far.”
RIP CURL PRO BELLS BEACH ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.60, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 12.10, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 11.17
Heat 2: Owen Wright (AUS) 17.93, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 14.97, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.50
Heat 3: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 16.00, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 8.67, Taylor Knox (USA) 4.17
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.27, Kai Otton (AUS) 12.23, Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 5: Nic Muscroft (AUS) 16.07, Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.06, Taj Burrow (AUS) 11.10
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) 13.70, Brett Simpson (USA) 10.33, Davey Cathels (AUS) 9.77
Heat 7: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.10, Julian Wilson (AUS) 10.23, Yadin Nicol (AUS) 6.66
Heat 8: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.76, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.10, Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.80
Heat 9: Travis Logie (ZAF) 10.93, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 10.90, Josh Kerr (AUS) 8.50
REMAININING RIP CURL PRO BELLS BEACH ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 10: Michel Bourez (PYF), Damien Hobgood (USA), C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 11: Alejo Muniz (BRA), John John Florence (HAW), Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 12: Heitor Alves (BRA), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
RIP CURL WOMEN’S PRO BELLS BEACH ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Laura Enever (AUS) 15.00, Paige Hareb (NZL) 12.83, Rebecca Woods (AUS) 9.67
Heat 2: Tyler Wright (AUS) 12.77, Malia Manuel (HAW) 11.17, Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 8.30
Heat 3: Lakey Peterson (USA) 14.17, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 14.17, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 12.90
Heat 4: Carissa Moore (AUS) 16.50, Pauline Ado (FRA) 10.43, Justine Dupont (FRA) 9.40
Heat 5: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 18.84, Coco Ho (HAW) 15.50, Sage Erickson (USA) 11.90
Heat 6: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 15.93, Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 14.17, Sarah Mason (NZL) 12.57
RIP CURL WOMEN’S PRO BELLS BEACH ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Coco Ho (HAW) vs. Rebecca Woods (AUS)
Heat 2: Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Jacqueline Silva (BRA)
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
Heat 4: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) vs. Justine Dupont (FRA)
Heat 5: Paige Hareb (BRA) vs. Sage Erickson (USA)
Heat 6: Pauline Ado (FRA) vs. Sarah Mason (NZL)
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