The second event of the 2011 ASP World Tour season begins on Tuesday and to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Bells Beach Pro, we've stripped it down to the bare essentials...
Bells Beach in Victoria, Australia is the venue for the Rip Curl Pro men's surfing event and the Rip Curl Pro Women's Pro, which is the second of 11 ASP World Tour events on the 2011 calendar.
The Bells Beach Pro is the world's longest running surfing event and is 50 this year. The first ever staging was held in January 1961when it was known simply as the Bells Beach Surf Classic.
The trophy presented to the winner of the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach is the iconic Bell trophy, which is pictured below alongside (left to right) Owen Wright, Kelly Slater, Andy Irons, Taj Burrow, Joel Parkinson, and Mick Fanning.
Tradition has it at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach that AC/DC's Hells Bells is played every morning of the competition. Listen below...
Contrary to the widely held belief that the classic movie Point Break was filmed at Bells Beach, in fact it was only set there. It was filmed on location in Oregon, USA at Indian Beach, which is located in Ecola State Park. Watch the famous end sequence below...
Peruvian, Sofia Mulanovich, was the first non-North American/Australian to win at Bells Beach when she claimed the title in 2005. Sofia has an excellent record at the event, with finals in 2007, 2008 and 2010.
The Rip Curl Pro is the only professional sporting event allowed to be held on Easter Friday in Australia and since it's celebrating 50 years of competition at Bells, there is no better place to be for all sport fans.
Ten-times ASP World Tour champion, Kelly Slater is back at Bells Beach once more in 2011 and if he retains the title he won here last year, Slater will become the only surfer to win here on five occasions. The ASP world number one claimed his first Bell trophy way back in 1994 and didn't win his second until 12 years later in 2006. Slater shares the all-time record of four titles with Mark Richards (1978,1979,1980,1982).
Collins collects (just about)
In the 1992 final, Richie Collins claimed his Bell winners trophy in an ambulance after colliding with the Bell rock when competing against Martin Potter. Collins was taken out of the water into the emergency vehicle, while an incredulous Potter sat alone on the beach.
Hoping to tie
Women's ASP Tour world ranked number one surfer, Stephanie Gilmore hopes to draw level with America's Lisa Anderson, who is the only woman to have won the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach on four occasions (1990,1992,1995,1997). The reigning world champion's three Bell trophies came in 2007, 2008 and 2010 and she was also in the final in 2009. But both have a way to go to match Gail Couper, who won at Bells Beach at the inaugural event in 1964 and then a further nine times – only three of those were under the title of Rip Curl Pro though.
- Check out the IBA Box Pro events page
- The official ASP World Tour site
- Sally Fitzgibbons' profile on Redbull.com
- More water sports action from Redbull.com