Wednesday, April 23rd saw the end of both men’s and women’s Rip Curl Pro in perfect chest to head high waves at world famous Bells Beach Bowls in Victoria, Australia. The first light of the morning showed long lines stacking up against the horizon, surprising many including Taj Burrow who found himself snowballing his way into the Finals only to fall short to Mick Fanning’s powerful frontside hacks.
The women’s Semifinals started off the day where Carissa Moore nearly lost to Sally Fitzgibbons in a wave for wave battle. Tyler Wright beat out Stephanie Gilmore with her smooth frontside carves, in a heat where Gilmore made many mistakes. After the men surfed in round five, Moore, fresh off her win at Margaret River had Tyler Wright’s number. Wright who surfed great, destroying the faces of the Bells Bowls found herself just short to Moore’s fast, powerful surfing. Moore currently sits first in points while, Gilmore, Wright, and Fitzgibbons sits at second, third, and fourth.
Wherever you watched it, whether it was on your computer a million miles away or right on the cliffs of Victoria’s coast the men’s Quarter and Semifinals had you at the edge of your seat. In the Quarters we watched as John Florence boosted his way past Kelly Slater with a frontside grab and Julian Wilson upset Joel Parkinson with his combination of style and wave choice. However, in the Semifinals the seasoned vets put down the young guns as Taj Burrow and Mick Fanning sent Florence and Wilson back to school.
The Final seemed to be a one man show with Mick Fanning taking center stage. Taj Burrow who was gaining momentum throughout the day didn’t seem to show up for the Final. Although Burrow caught many waves he couldn’t replace a 3.83 leaving Fanning with an easy victory. As for points, Medina still sit on top with Parko in second, Fanning jumping up eight spots to third, Slater in fourth, and Burrow in fifth. Next event is the Billabong Rio Pro in Rio de Jeneiro, Brazil from May 7th – 18th.