BELLS BEACH, VIC/Australia (Wednesday, April 23, 2014): A thrilling Finals day at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, stop No. 3 on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), saw Mick Fanning (AUS) and Carissa Moore (HAW) ring the Bell and claim victory at the historic event.
The day started with the Women’s competition where Moore came out on top at Bells Bowl. The competition then moved to Winkipop for the Men’s Semifinals and Finals where Fanning reigned supreme.
Mick Fanning (AUS), reigning three-time ASP World Champion today claimed his third Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach event title in an exciting back-and-forth battle over fellow tour veteran Taj Burrow (AUS). Both surfers posted excellent scores, using their contrasting styles to unload powerful cracks and carves, but both also made errors, falling off and missing some great waves. It was Fanning who capitalized when it counted by posting an 8.00 and an 8.83, Burrow held a heat high 9.63, but was let down by his second score 3.83. Fanning previously despatched Owen Wright (AUS) in the Quarterfinals and Julian Wilson (AUS) in the Semifinals.
“After that result (13th) in Margaret River I went home and worked really hard and I’m so pleased that the hard work paid off. Congratulations to Taj (Burrow), I’ve never been so nervous for nine minutes of my life, he surfed amazingly,” said Mick Fanning. “We got to surf everywhere at this event which was awesome, we got to surf the Bowl, Rincon and to finish at Winkipop. It’s always been my dream to surf a Heat at Winkipop. This is such a special event for me and I feel comfortable here. With the calibre of surfers on Tour at the moment there’s never an easy Heat and it keeps it so exciting.”
“I felt really good today and I had a fun today,” said Taj Burrow. “I had a good Final with Mick (Fanning) but it was rough losing knowing I needed a 7 because I felt like there were so many opportunities to get one, but that’s the way it goes. There’s nothing better than ringing that Bell. It’s such an iconic event and I’m glad to have my name on the Bell. I’d love to have it on there a second time but I’ll take this result, put it in the bank and carry on to the next event.”
Carissa Moore (HAW), two-time ASP Women’s World Champion, today claimed her second consecutive Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach event title with a sensational performance. Moore dispatched Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) in the Semifinals and went on to take out 2013 ASP WCT runner-up Tyler Wright (AUS) in a rematch of the 2013 Final. Both competitors went blow-for-blow in the pumping conditions. It was a heroic fight from the young Australian, but it was Moore’s day with the reigning event winner showing off incredible commitment on every turn and carve. Moore’s win is her second of the 2014 WCT season and sees her retain her No. 1 spot in the ASP WCT rankings. Moore’s road to victory was a long one after she was forced to surf in every Round of the competition following defeats at the hands of Dimity Stoyle in Round 1 and Coco Ho in Round 3.
"I'm speechless right now," Carissa Moore said. "That was an amazing Final! We were having such a blast, I just wanted to talk to Tyler (Wright) because the waves were so fun and it felt like we were having a fun free surf. I know she's such an amazing surfer and will be in ASP World Title contention at the end of the year, so I knew I had to be at my best. It's been a long Australian leg with three events in a row and it couldn't have been much better for me, two wins and a quarterfinal and to finish by winning at Bells is so unique and special."
“Carissa (Moore) is just an amazing human and a great winner,” said Tyler Wright. “When I hit the water it’s all about surfing and catching waves and I like to enjoy what I’m doing and be in the moment, not worry about anything else that I can’t control. I just want to surf the way I surf.”
Reigning event winner Adriano de Souza (BRA) left the competition in equal 5th place after suffering defeat at the hands of event runner-up Taj Burrow (AUS) in the Quarterfinals. Solid surf provided the perfect work bench for de Souza who took to waves looking like he was destined for the Semifinal, but Burrow had other plans. Stealing the momentum of the Heat, Burrow was able to select larger waves and produce larger carves, advancing his way though the competition.
“I started well but the second wave I picked the wrong one and Taj (Burrow) got the opportunity,” said Adriano de Souza. “I did my best, that’s all I can say. I’m really looking forward to Brazil, it will be another good event for me. This year will be a learning curve for me. Let’s see what I can do in Brazil. I’m happy that I got as far of the Quarterfinals but I wish was able defended my title.”
11-time ASP World Champion, Kelly Slater (USA), was eliminated from the competition in the Quarterfinals by Hawaiian prodigy John John Florence in a repeat of Round 4. The highly anticipated Heat saw both surfers making unusual fumbles throughout the battle. Slater held the lead with just a few minutes remaining, but a final dash from the Hawaiian saw him ride out a 6.83 maneuver, enough to snatch the victory over the 4-time event winner. Florence went on to face Taj Burrow in the Semifinals and leaves the competition in equal 3rd place.
“I had the waves to win the Heat and he (Florence) capitalized on my mistakes,” said Kelly Slater. “It was a slow Heat so the nerves build and I forced a couple of turns. I think after I blew it on that one wave it hit my confidence. I’ll be hard on myself on that one for the next few hours I think. I’ve been a little nervous this whole contest and I haven’t felt real confident in my surfing lately. I’ve had a couple of things nagging me and I haven’t been free surfing enough. I’m happy for John John though. I’ve had a couple of Quarterfinals and a Semifinal so the Australian leg hasn’t been too bad for me.”
Five-time ASP Women’s World Champion, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), was eliminated by event runner-up Tyler Wright in their hotly anticipated Semifinal match-up. Wright was quick to establish a lead over her elder and timed each of her wave selections perfectly to pull the big scores. Gilmore had ample opportunity to take back the lead but a further 9.00 and 8.77 secured Wright’s spot in the Final.
“It was a difficult Heat,” said Stephanie Gilmore. “Tyler’s the sort of girl that you can’t let get any waves if you want to win a Heat. She caught a wave on my priority and it was a bomb and got a 9-point ride. Unfortunately I’ll take a third place. I’ve never had so many Heats where I’m always on my toes. At the start of my career it came to me a lot easier but now you really have to work hard and get 8s and 9s in every Heat. It’s great for the sport and the waves were great today so we had a really nice canvas to perform on.”
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Final Results:
Final: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.83 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.46
Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach Final Results:
Final: Carissa Moore (HAW) 16.23 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 15.77
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Semifinal Results:
Semifinal 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 14.43 def. John John Florence (HAW) 13.43
Semifinal 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 18.20 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 17.36
Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach Semifinal Results:
Semifinal 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) 11.10 def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 10.53
Semifinal 2: Tyler Wright (AUS) 17.77 def. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 13.77
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Quarterfinal Results:
Quarterfinal 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.50 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.16
Quarterfinal 2: John John Florence (HAW) 13.13 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 11.10
Quarterfinal 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) 17.53 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.34
Quarterfinal 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.16 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 11.37
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 5 Results:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 16.27 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.33
Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.26 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 12.44
Heat 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) 17.30 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.26
Heat 4: Owen Wright (AUS) 13.37 def. Fred Patacchia (HAW) 13.10