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Tyler Wright, Alana Blanchard and Nikki Van Dijk - Stuck In Reception by Rip Curl
Unexpected. Distant. Isolated. Unknown. There are a million different ways to describe this trip, but perhaps the most fitting is to say that it was unlike anything else. 2016 WSL Women's World Champion Tyler Wright, Alana Blanchard and Nikki Van Dijk discover the nature of a journey like this ? you never know what you?re going to get.
for more visit http://thesearch.ripcurl.com


Tyler Wright 2016 WSL Women's World Champion
Growing up on the South Coast of NSW, Australia, with a family of passionate surfers, Tyler Wright was always destined for surfing greatness. Through the guidance of her older brothers she was hooked on the sport early, and due to her clear passion and insane talent, secured a sponsorship with Rip Curl in 2002 - a partnership that continues to this very day. At the age of 14 she found herself on the world's stage - the highest level of surfing competition, the World Tour. Since then she has not only remained consistent but has excelled, finding herself on or near the top of the ladder almost every year. When it came to winning a World Title, it was never a question of 'can', but rather 'when'. From everyone here at Rip Curl - CONGRATULATIONS TYLER! This win couldn't be sweeter, or more deserved.

Learn more about Tyler - http://www.ripcurl.com/twright.html


  West Oz Rip Curl Grom Search Champions Crowned in solid surf off Trigg Point - Oct/09/2016
2016 West Oz Rip Curl Grom Search
2016 West Oz Rip Curl Grom Search
2016 West Oz Rip Curl Grom Search
2016 West Oz Rip Curl Grom Search
2016 West Oz Rip Curl Grom Search
2016 West Oz Rip Curl Grom Search
2016 West Oz Rip Curl Grom Search
2016 West Oz Rip Curl Grom Search
2016 West Oz Rip Curl Grom Search
2016 West Oz Rip Curl Grom Search

The third stop of the Rip Curl GromSearch presented by Flight Centre came to a close on Sunday in Western Australia, with six grommets walking away as champions.

Waves off Trigg Point were testing, but the best junior surfers in Australia made light work of the windswept conditions on offer. Perth's metropolitan coastline delivered windy and shifty 3-4 foot peaks, allowing competitors to put on a show with their full repertoires of committed and progressive manoeuvres.

Local surfer Ben Spence from Margaret River found a pathway to success, taking the blue-ribbon in the 16 & Under Boys division. With a razor-sharp forehand attack, Spence was able to dominate the 25-minute final with a combined total of 15.24.

His win was no easy task either, as he had to battle through arguably three of the best surfers in the event, Seth Van Haeften (Margaret River ,WA), Cyrus Cox (Margaret River, WA) and Jamie Thomson (Narrabeen, NSW).

"I'm used to surfing in windy conditions like this, and yeah, I'm stoked to have won today," he told Rip Curl post-win. "I haven't won anything in a while, so it feels even better."

On the girls' side of the draw it was another WA local, Margaret River's Jamaica Selby, who took the top spot in the 16 & Under Girls division. "I was happy enough to just make the final, but to win is unreal," said Selby, after taking down Nice Frayne (Mona Vale, NSW), Emma Cattlin (Yallingup, WA) and April McPherson (Mandurah, WA). "I want to dedicate this win to my mum and thank everyone for their support."

In the 14 & Under Boys final, it was Tommy Golsby-Smith from North Narrabeen, NSW, who used the solid conditions and turned them in his favour. With his large frame and even bigger moves, he was able to post a two-wave combined total of 12.20, taking down Van Whiteman (Avalon, NSW), Jamie Thomson (Narrabeen, NSW) and Logan Steinwede (Wagstaffe, NSW).

"Its been a great weekend, and to score some big waves is always good for me, given my size," said Golby-Smith after the event. "It's cool to come all the way to WA and end up surfing with the NSW boys."

And then it was Emma Cattlin from Yallingup, WA, who matched Golbsy-Smith on the girls' side. Cattlin was on fire throughout the whole event, and with a combined total of 13.17, she managed to surpass Cedar Leigh-Jones (Whale Beach, NSW), Arabelle Gibson (Margaret River, WA) and Maddie Cawood (Margaret River, WA).

"This is my second event of the GromSearch series," Cattlin told Rip Curl. "I really want to qualify for the National Final and this result really helps me do that."

In the 12 & Under Boys division it was Solomon Pogue-Englert who used his smooth and flowing style to notch up the win. Although he was in-form throughout each heat, it was a high score of 8.33 that saw him take the win and finish ahead of Daniel Benedetti (Margaret River, WA), Jay Robinson (Dunsborough, WA) and Jake Hagan (Geraldton, WA).

"It's been a sick comp. Surfing and hanging out with your mates is the best," he said. "I'm not looking forward to going back to school tomorrow, that's for sure!"

Another standout of the event was Cedar Leigh-Jones from Avalon, NSW, who claimed her third consecutive 12 & Under Girls win here in Western Australia. Proving that she's a star on the rise, Leigh-Jones posted the only perfect 10-point ride of the event, finishing her head with a combined total of 16.70, defeating Zali Hewson (Margaret River, WA), Lilli Cox (Margaret River, WA) and Denva Halden (Mandurah, WA).

"I've been to WA a few times now and it's always been really kind to me," she said. "This is the first time it hasn't been perfect, but I'm thrilled to take the win."

Alongside Jamie Thompson (Narrabeen, NSW), Cedar Leigh-Jones was also awarded the "Flight Centre Outstanding Performance Award". Both surfers won the award due to their incredible surfing throughout the entire event, with Thompson posting the highest combined heat total and Leigh-Jones with her perfect-10.

The Rip Curl GromSearch series started in 1999 as a one-day event at Jan Juc in Victoria. Since then it has developed into the strongest international series for 16 year and under surfers in the world. With parallel Rip Curl GromSearch series in over 10 countries, it has become a crucial stepping stone in the development of elite junior surfers.

Surfers competing in Western Australia are chasing all important points, which count towards the National GromSearch ratings system, allowing surfers from around Australia to compare their results with contemporaries. Leaders on the National Ratings will then qualify for the last event of the series, the Rip Curl GromSearch National Final, to be held at North Narrabeen, NSW on January 16-18, 2017.

The list of previous GromSearch competitors highlights the elite level of competitors that make up the Rip Curl GromSearch series. Current WSL World Tour surfers who have competed in the Rip Curl GromSearch include; Matt Wilkinson (Australia), Gabriel Medina (Brazil), Kolohe Andino (USA), Felipe Toledo (Brazil), Jordy Smith (South Africa), and Nat Young (USA). As well as female surfers; Tyler Wright (Australia), Stephanie Gilmore (Australia), Malia Manuel (USA), Sally Fitzgibbons (Australia), Nikki Van Dijk (Australia), and Tatiana Weston-Webb (Hawaii).

Visit http://www.ripcurl.com.au for all GromSearch info, updates, images and video content. For further event information be sure to check out http://www.surfingwa.com.au

RIP CURL GROMSEARCH - WA FINAL RESULTS:

16 & Under Boys:

  • Ben Spence (Margaret River, WA) | 15.24pts
  • Seth Van Haeften (Margaret River, WA) | 13.70pts
  • Cyrus Cox (Margaret River, WA) | 12.10pts
  • Jamie Thomson (Narrabeen, NSW) | 10.70pts

16 & Under Girls:

  • Jamaica Selby (Margaret River, WA) | 9.44pts
  • Nica Frayne (Mona Vale, NSW) 6.53pts
  • Emma Cattlin (Yallingup, WA) | 5.50pts
  • April McPherson (Mandurah, WA) | 5.17pts

14 & Under Boys:

  • Tommy Golsby-Smith (North Narrabeen, NSW) | 12.20ptspts
  • Van Whiteman (Avalon, NSW) | 10.66ptss
  • Jamie Thomson (Narrabeen, NSW) | 8.40pts
  • Logan Steinwede (Wagstaffe, NSW) | 6.20pts

14 & Under Girls:

  • Emma Cattlin (Yallingup, WA) | 13.20pts
  • Cedar Leigh-Jones (Avalon, NSW) | 9.77pts
  • Arabelle Gibson (Margaret River, WA) | 7.50pts
  • Maddie Cawood (Margaret River, WA) | 5.50pts

12 & Under Boys:

  • Solomon Pogue-Englert (Gracetown, WA) - 11.80pts
  • Daniel Benedetti (Margaret River, WA) | 5.80pts
  • Jay Robinson (Dunsborough, WA) | 5.10pts
  • Jake Hagan (Geraldton, WA) | 3.0pts

12 & Under Girls:

  • Cedar Leigh - Jones (Avalon, NSW) | 16.70pts
  • Zali Hewson (Margaret River, WA) | 7.84pts
  • Lilli Cox (Margaret River, WA) | 5.93pts
  • Denva Halden (Mandurah, WA) | 5.64pts

  Mega Semadhi Claims 2016 Rip Curl Padang Padang Cup

Mega Semadhi Claims 2016 Rip Curl Padang Padang Cup

Bali, Indonesia (Tuesday, August 2, 2016) In an event dominated by the international invitees, Mega Semadhi was the lone local Indonesian surfer to reach the final of the 2016 Rip Curl Cup at Padang Padang. But when the final horn sounded, it was Mega who came out on top, claiming his second title in the past three times the Ultimate Tuberiding Contest has been held.

After a slow start in his opening round heat in which he took off on several smaller closeouts, Semadhi eventually found his rhythm. He would manage to survive the opening rounds and go on to win his semifinal heat with a perfect 10 and the highest heat total of the round. In the final, Semadhi won the heat with a 9 and sealed the deal with another perfect 10 with six minutes remaining, leaving Mason Ho (HAW) and Clay Marzo (HAW) comboed, and Damien Hobgood (USA) needing a 9.41 that he could never find. In the end, Mega was hoisted to victory in front of a raucous crowd, followed by Hobgood in second place, Ho in third and Marzo in fourth.

"My first heat I was really nervous and was really sloppy," said Mega, who previously won the 2013 Rip Curl Cup. "I was going on small waves, bad waves and whitewash. Luckily I got my head together and got through and was able to get into a rhythm the rest of the contest."

At the outset, international invitees Hobgood, Marzo and Ho looked like the surfers to beat in the event. Hobgood dominated the opening rounds, winning both his Round 1 and 2 heats and posting the highest heat total of the opening rounds. Ho meanwhile put together a spectacular performance, capping off multiple deep backhand drainers with skate-inspired aerials on the end section and wowing the massive crowds on hand at Padang Padang and watching on the webcast.

"This is one of the best contests in the world," Ho said, "right beside the Pipe Masters and The Eddie. I wish I had the words to describe how much fun that was."

It certainly was another epic showcase for the Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang. The day saw four perfect 10 barrels, including an impossibly deep and long disappearing act by Bruce Irons in Round 2, another perfect 10 by Paulo Moura (BRA), and five 9+ point barrels from Marzo leading up to the final.

But in the end, despite the electrifying performances from the many big-name international surfers in the draw, it was the local boy Semadhi who once again kept the Cup in Bali, to the delight of the Padang Padang locals who sang a spirited rendition of the Indonesian national anthem, led by Semadhi's mother on the awards podium. For Mega, however, the victory wasn't about country or patriotism, but about celebrating his beloved Padang Padang.

"I'm so happy to win at my home break again," Mega said. "But from my point of view, there is no local. We are all locals of this universe and today we are all locals at Padang Padang."

2016 Rip Curl Cup Final Results:

  • 1. Mega Semadhi (IND) 19.00
  • 2. Damien Hobgood (USA) 16.60
  • 3. Mason Ho (HAW) 15.50
  • 4. Clay Marzo (HAW) 4.00

     

Mick Fanning Returns To J'Bay, South Africa

First Wave - Mick Fanning Returns To J'Bay, South Africa

JEFFREYS BAY, South Africa (Wednesday, June 29, 2016) " The world's best surfers are converging on South Africa for Stop No. 6 on the 2016 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour, the J-Bay Open, which will take place at the world-renowned righthand pointbreak of Jeffreys Bay from July 6 - 17, 2016.

Mick Fanning (AUS), three-time WSL Champion, will return to the event this season after becoming the subject of international headlines during last year's event where he was attacked on live television by what is believed to be a 12-to-15-foot Great White Shark. The attack took place during the Final heat of the event as Fanning was waiting for his opening wave. Both Fanning and fellow Finalist Julian Wilson (AUS) survived the ordeal, with the event ultimately called off, and went on to compete throughout the remainder of the year.

Following a season that involved the shark attack, a world runner-up finish and the tragic passing of his brother, Fanning is taking a personal year in 2016, surfing in only select events. However, the Australian icon has committed to returning to Jeffreys Bay, an event he has won three times (2002, 2006, 2014).

"When I decided I was only going to do a few events this season, J-Bay was always on the cards," Fanning said. "Even if I decided I didn't want to surf in the J-Bay Open, I was always going to go back. I've had so many great memories there that to leave J-Bay on the note from last year just didn't seem right. I want to go back and right the wrongs and move forward."

The WSL has enhanced its surveillance and response capabilities for this season's event with additional water patrol in the lineup and is augmenting with emerging sonar technologies to increase information available to event officials.

"I trust the WSL and the measures they've put in place," Fanning said. "It is, however, one of those things where it is the ocean and, ultimately, there is not a lot anyone can do. I'm thinking positive and looking forward to coming back. The first surf is going to be a little bit tricky to get through my head. I've surfed lots of different places and have seen sharks since then and haven't felt too concerned. It's all part of surfing. We're not going to go out and put a cage around J-Bay. We want to surf the wave and keeping everyone safe is a collective thing between the WSL and the surfers."

Much speculation has occurred regarding whether the three-time WSL Champion will return to full-time competition at the end of the season. As of the J-Bay Open, Fanning remains undecided about plans for this year and beyond.

"2016 has been really fun to have some time off and do different things," Fanning said. "It's been really fulfilling for me personally to go to places where I haven't been able to before. I've made an effort to distance myself from the tour. As far as 2017 goes, I couldn't tell you right now - whether I'll be back or not full time. I probably couldn't tell you what's going to happen in a month. I don't know. I'm enjoying the freedom of doing different things and having no schedule right now."

Fanning is currently seeded into the opening heat of Round 1.

The J-Bay Open has a competitive window from July 6 - 17, 2016 and will be webcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the WSL app.

J-BAY OPEN ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:

  • Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS), Conner Coffin (USA), Alejo Muniz (BRA)
  • Heat 2: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Ryan Callinan (AUS)
  • Heat 3: John John Florence (HAW), Kanoa Igarashi (USA), Keanu Asing (HAW)
  • Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Josh Kerr (AUS), Kai Otton (AUS)
  • Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Dusty Payne (HAW), Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
  • Heat 6: Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Davey Cathels (AUS), Steven Sawyer (ZAF)
  • Heat 7: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Kelly Slater (USA), Matt Banting (AUS)
  • Heat 8: Adrian Buchan (AUS), Kolohe Andino (USA), Jadson Andre (BRA)
  • Heat 9: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Adam Melling (AUS)
  • Heat 10: Caio Ibelli (BRA), Joel Parkinson (AUS), Jeremy Flores (FRA)
  • Heat 11: Julian Wilson (AUS), Nat Young (USA), Jack Freestone (USA)
  • Heat 12: Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Michel Bourez (PYF), Stuart Kennedy (AUS

» http://www.aspworldtour.com/


  CHAMPIONS CROWNED AT THE 2016 RIP CURL GROMSEARCH INTERNATIONAL FINAL. Ala Moana - Hawaii. May 3 - 6, 2016

Rip Curl Gromsearch International Final - Ala Moana, Hawaii - May 3-6, 2016

May 6th, 2016. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

Champions crowned at the 2016 Rip Curl GromSearch International Final, Ala Moana Bowls, Hawaii. Nolan Rapoza (USA) and Brisa Hennessy (HAW) win in the best conditions of the event.

With continued momentum Brisa Hennessy (HAW) took control of her semi-final heat against Raiha Ensor (NZL), with a series of backhand re-entry maneuvers Brisa finalized the heat on a total heat score of 11.17 to advance through.

Leilani McGonagle (CRI) was in the following semi-final against France native Juliette Brice. With a slower heat on offer, McGonagle got busy locking in a 6.10 and a 4.83, finishing out the heat with a 10.93 total score, over Brice's 7.13 points.

Nolan Rapoza needed his best performance of the event to overcome Rio Waida (IDN) in the semi-finals, who had locked in an 8.50 on his opening ride, applying early pressure to the American. Nolan answered back with a near perfect ride of 9.83, advancing him to the final with a total heat score of 17.66.

In the next semi-final Kehu Butler (NZL) had to overcome the dangerous Koby Oberholzer from South Africa, who had been in outstanding form throughout the event. It took two excellent scores from the Kiwi (18.04 points out of 20) to progress to the final.

Before the finals got underway, local legends Mason Ho, Fred Patacchia and Mikey Bruneau paddled out with the groms for two 30-minute expression session heats, presented by Skullcandy. This gave the surfers a great opportunity to compete against each other one more time in the event, whilst the finalists rested for their upcoming heats.

With conditions pulsing the women's final hit the water, between the 2014 Champion Brisa Hennessy, and defending 2015 Champion Leilani McGonagle, competition was fierce. Brisa opened with a 7.83 after connecting a set wave through to the inside bowl, and backed it up with 3.73. Leilani soon followed with a 5.00 and 5.73, but it wasn't enough to take the lead, leaving Brisa Hennessy the 2016 Rip Curl GromSearch International Champion. "I can't even explain my emotions" said Brisa, "this means the world and just being on the board again is incredible, and all these names I look up to so much. The final was kind of tricky, but I look up to Leilani a bunch and we are such good friends, so I am just so happy".

Next in the water was the highly contested boys final, Nolan Rapoza versus Kehu Butler. Nolan started with a bang, locking in a 8.50 on his second wave of the heat after connecting a string of forehand maneuvers, putting Kehu on the back foot within the opening minutes. Although securing a 6.83 and a 5.33 for a total heat score of 12.16 points, the American was too strong, finishing the day on 13.17 points. "I am stoked, I just felt good today and I wanted to keep the roll going, the waves were kind of slow in the final, but I guess the pieces are put where they were and that's how it ended up," said Nolan in his post heat interview.

Final results of the 2016 Rip Curl GromSearch International Final, Ala Moana Bowls, Hawaii.

Girls

  • QF 1: 1st Brisa Hennessy (HAW) 10.97, 2nd Juliette Brice (FRA) 9.43, 3rd Cinta Hansel (IDN) 4.73
  • QF 2: 1st Leilani McGonagle (CRI) 15.50, 2nd Raiha Ensor (NZL) 10.23, 3rd Summer Macedo (HAW) 9.97
  • SF 1: 1st Brisa Hennessy (HAW) 11.17, 2nd Raiha Ensor (NZL) 7.30
  • SF 2: 1st Leilani McGonagle (CRI) 10.93, 2nd Juliette Brice (FRA) 7.13
  • Final: 1st Brisa Hennessy (HAW) 11.36, 2nd Leilani McGonagle (CRI) 10.73

Boys

  • QF 1: 1st Nolan Rapoza (USA) 15.33, 2nd Koby Oberholzer (ZAF) 15.33, 3rd Anderson Junior (BRA) 13.00
  • QF 2: 1st Kehu Butler (NZL) 15.50, 2nd Rio Waida (IDN) 12.63, 3rd Liam O'Brien (AUS) 8.26
  • SF: 1st Nolan Rapoza (USA) 17.66, 2nd Rio Waida (IDN) 15.50
  • SF: 1st Kehu Butler (NZL) 18.04, 2nd Koby Oberholzer (ZAF) 10.17
  • Final: 1st Nolan Rapoza (USA) 13.17, 2nd Kehu Butler (NZL) 12.16

Skullcandy Expression Session

  • Girls: 1st Juliette Brice (FRA) 2nd Summer Macedo (HAW)
  • Boys: 1st Koby Oberholzer (ZAF) 2nd Mathis Crozon (FRA)

Rip Curl would like to thank all of the supporting sponsors Skullcandy, Surfline, Banzai Bowls, Wahoos, Posca and Surfing Magazine, along with the local Ala Moana community for welcoming the GromSearch to their home break.

GromSearch International Website: http://www.ripcurl.com/events/2016-gromsearch-intl-final/


  Rip Curl Gromsearch International Final   Ala Moana, Hawaii - May 3 - 6, 2016

Rip Curl Gromsearch International Final - Ala Moana, Hawaii - May 3-6, 2016

World's best juniors ready for 2016 Rip Curl Gromsearch International Final Ala Moana - Hawaii. May 3 - 6, 2016.

April 28th, 2016. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

World's best junior surfers are getting ready to compete for the 2016 Rip Curl GromSearch International final at Ala Moana Bowls on Oahu, Hawaii.

Rip Curl GromSearch National Champions from 7 regions around the world, including Europe, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Indonesia, South Africa and South America will converge on the Hawaiian island to compete for the coveted International title.

Competition will take place at the grinding left-hander of Ala Moana Bowls, which is situated along the southern shores of the island of O'ahu and features a vast stretch of reef protected white sandy beaches. This prestigious event has a 4-day waiting period to allow the world's best juniors to compete in the best available conditions. Competition waiting period: May 3rd - May 6th, 2016.

Competitors List:

  • Australia: Liam O'Brien & Sophia Fulton
  • Brazil: Anderson Junior & Luara Thompson
  • Costa Rica: Leilani McGonagle
  • Europe (France): Mathis Crozon & Juliette Brice
  • Hawaii: Wyatt McHale, Brisa Hennessy, & Summer Macedo
  • Indonesia: Rio Waida & Cinta Hansel
  • New Zealand: Kehu Butler & Raiha Ensor
  • South Africa: Koby Oberholzer
  • USA: Nolan Rapoza

Since Rip Curl developed the concept for the GromSearch events in 1999, the series has spread throughout the surfing world and now culminates with an International final held at a different location each year. The world-wide series is held for male and female surfers aged 16 years and under, commonly referred to as 'groms', the aim of the GromSearch is to nurture and recruit the next generation of surfers at a grassroots level.

Former GromSearch champions include current WSL World Tour stars; Gabriel Medina, Owen Wright, Nikki Van Dijk, Tyler Wright and Alana Blanchard.

The Rip Curl GromSearch International final is supported by Skullcandy, Surfline, Banzai Bowls, Wahoos, Posca and Surfing Magazine.


  Wilkinson Claims Victory at Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach   

Matt Wilkinson rings the Bell for the first time - Photo:Corey Wilson
IMAGE: Matt Wilkinson rings the Bell for the first time, sealing the deal by winning an exciting final against Jordy Smith. Photo Corey Wilson.

April 3, 2016 - Rip Curl Head Office - Torquay, Australia: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) has won the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach today, utilizing his electric backhand to best fellow Finalist Jordy Smith (ZAF) in solid six-to-ten foot (2 - 3 metre) waves at the iconic venue in the Australian State of Victoria.

The second stop on the 2016 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach is the longest-running professional surf event in the world and today proved nothing short of historic with Wilkinson's victory being the first for a goofy-footer at Bells Beach in 17 years (last won by Mark Occhilupo in 1998).

Following a win at the opening stop of the season on the Gold Coast, the young Australian has gone back-to-back to start the year with today's emphatic victory.

Holding a stunning lead on the rest of the field, Wilkinson will spearhead the world's best surfers at the next stop on the CT, the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, this coming week.

Today's Final match-up witnessed Wilkinson and Smith exchange huge scores as each battled to hold the lead. Wilkinson unleashed his strong backhand to deliver vertical snaps, earning him a 9.20 and an 8.17, challenging Smith to find two new scores halfway through the Final. Smith finished with a 14.16 two-wave combined score, but it was not enough to beat the Australian's 17.37 combined score.

"I have been trying to win everywhere forever and it has never happened, and this year I seem to keep picking up trophies, which is making me feel pretty good," Wilkinson said, "I am so happy to be at Bells. I've been coming down to this event for so long, and I've always wanted to win it. I finally got my chance."

"If you improve ten percent in ten different areas in your surfing, you are going to be one-hundred percent better," continued Wilkinson. "I am on great boards, I feel fit, my surfing feels really good and I am making smarter decisions, such as keeping calm in tricky moments. I am just going to keep doing what I am doing and try to not make any mistakes and throw everything into every wave I catch."

After suffering a string of injuries in 2015, Smith's performance at Bells puts his WSL Title campaign back on track. Although Smith experienced an early Round 2 loss at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, he made a major comeback by taking out CT heavyweights to earn a second place win at Bells Beach.

"Last year I had a back injury and struggled through it, but I am glad to make the Final here today," Smith said. "This year was a little different for me at Bells. I did not have my expectations so high, and I wanted to put on a good performance and surf my best. I am just trying to put my head down and do the best surfing I can and work as hard as I can."

Wilkinson blazed through Semifinal 1 against Italo Ferreira (BRA), the 2015 WSL Rookie of the Year. Wilkinson dropped a 17.27 two-wave combined score, including a huge 9.27, leaving Ferreira in a combination situation for the majority of the heat. Ferreira will end his run with his highest finish at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach event.

The second Semifinal witnessed an all out clash between Smith and Mick Fanning (AUS), three-time WSL Champion and four-time event winner. Fanning and Smith went wave-for-wave, but it was Smith who challenged Fanning with a 17.17. Fanning was not able to lock in solid completions on his massive finishing moves and will end his run at Bells Beach with a 3rd place finish.

The next stop on the 2016 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour will be the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro from April 8 - 19, 2016.

Highlights from the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach are available at WorldSurfLeague.com.

For more information, log onto WorldSurfLeague.com

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Final Results:

  • 1 - Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 17.37
  • 2 - Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.16

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Semifinal Results:

  • SF 1: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 17.27 def. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 12.40
  • SF 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.17 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.90

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Quarterfinal Results:

  • QF 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.30 def. Nat Young (USA) 12.33
  • QF 2: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 13.26 def. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 12.00
  • QF 3: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.90 def. Conner Coffin (USA) 16.17
  • QF 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.77 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 17.26

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Remaining Round 5 Results:

  • Heat 3: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.50 def. Davey Cathels (AUS) 6.33 Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.80 def. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 16.33

2016 Samsung Galaxy WSL Top 5 (after Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach):

  • 1. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 20,000 pts
  • 2. Conner Coffin (USA) 9,200 pts
  • 3. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 8,500 pts
  • 3. Kolohe Andino (USA) 8,500 pts
  • 5. Mick Fanning (AUS) 8,250 pts
  • 5. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 8,250 pts
  • 5. Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 8,250 pts

  World's best surfers prepare for Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach    March 24 - Apr 05, 2016

World's best surfers prepare for Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach - March 24 - Apr 05, 2016

BELLS BEACH, Victoria/AUS (Monday, March 21, 2016) - The second stop on the 2016 Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, is set to commence this week with the world's best surfers converging on the hallowed surfing ground in the Australian State of Victoria.

The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach is the longest-running professional surf contest in the world, originally taking place in 1962. This season's window, from March 24th through April 5th, will serve as the second of the three-stop Australian leg of the WSL Championship Tour and pick up from last week's kickoff on the Gold Coast.

Rip Curl's Matt Wilkinson (AUS) and Tyler Wright (AUS) lead the elite men's and women's fields respectively heading into the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, following major victories at the opening stop at Snapper Rocks.

Wilkinson, who is into his seventh season competing against the world elite, collected his maiden CT win on the Gold Coast and wears the yellow Jeep WSL Leader Jersey at Bells Beach this coming week. Long regarded as one of the most naturally-talented surfers on tour, Wilkinson's former aversion to training and fully leveraging his talents has been significantly reversed in 2016, in large part due to his relationship with coach, former CT surfer, Glenn Hall.

"We've found a good balance over the last few months," Wilkinson said. "Glenn (Hall) has helped me realise that I don't want to wonder if I could have done better on tour. I'm still having a lot of fun, but I'm taking better care of myself and that has translated into results. Hoping to keep it going at Bells and hope we get some fun waves."

Wright, a yearly threat to the WSL Title since her CT inception in 2011, was untouchable at the opening event on the Gold Coast and has her sights firmly set on attaining the, as yet, elusive world surfing crown.

"I'm focused this year," Wright said. "2015 was a bit of an off year for me and I've had a few close years on tour with regards to the title, but that's my goal for my next few seasons. 2016 is off to a good start and I aim to keep it rolling at Bells."

Adriano de Souza (BRA) and Carissa Moore (HAW), reigning WSL Champions, are also past winners at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach and will be dangerous when competition gets underway this week.

Mick Fanning (AUS), three-time WSL Champion and four-time Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach winner, has stated that 2016 will be a "personal year" for him and he will take some time off following the Bells Beach event. The iconic Australian, however, is still considered a heavy favourite in the myriad conditions that Bells Beach can throw at competitors.

A number of injury withdrawals have shaken up the competitive draw at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.

On the men's side, Owen Wright (AUS), Bede Durbidge (AUS) and Alejo Muniz (BRA) remain out of action resulting from their 2015 injuries. Their positions will once again be taken by Adam Melling (AUS), Stuart Kennedy (AUS) and Sebastian Zietz (HAW) respectively.

Perennial threat Filipe Toledo (BRA) has been replaced by injury wildcard Mason Ho (HAW), and rookie sensation Jack Freestone's spot will be filled by former CT danger man Dusty Payne (HAW).

On the women's side, Lakey Peterson (USA) will be replaced by Bronte Macaulay (AUS).

The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach will be webcast LIVE on http://www.worldsurfleague.com/ as well as the WSL app.

For more information, log onto WorldSurfLeague.com

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 1 Match-Ups:

  • Heat 1: Jeremy Flores (FRA), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Davey Cathels (AUS)
  • Heat 2: Julian Wilson (AUS), Stuart Kennedy (AUS), Adam Melling (AUS)
  • Heat 3: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Kanoa Igarashi (USA), Dusty Payne (HAW)
  • Heat 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Conner Coffin (USA), TBD
  • Heat 5: Mick Fanning (AUS), Keanu Asing (HAW), TBD
  • Heat 6: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Michel Bourez (PYF), TBD
  • Heat 7: Kelly Slater (USA), Kai Otton (AUS), Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
  • Heat 8: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Taj Burrow (AUS), Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
  • Heat 9: Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Kolohe Andino (USA), Miguel Pupo (HAW)
  • Heat 10: Nat Young (AUS), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Ryan Callinan (AUS)
  • Heat 11: Josh Kerr (AUS), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Matt Banting (AUS)
  • Heat 12: John John Florence (HAW), Jordy Smith (ZAF), Jadson Andre (BRA)

Rip Curl Women's Pro Bells Beach Round 1 Match-Ups:

  • Heat 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Chelsea Tuach (BRB)
  • Heat 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Malia Manuel (HAW), Alessa Quizon (HAW)
  • Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW), Keely Andrew (AUS), TBD
  • Heat 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Laura Enever (AUS)
  • Heat 5: Tyler Wright (AUS), Sage Erickson (USA), Coco Ho (HAW)
  • Heat 6: Joanne Defay (FRA), Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), Bronte Macaulay (AUS)

  Bethany Hamilton Extends Contract With Long-Time Sponsor Rip Curl

Bethany Hamilton Extends Contract With Long-Time Sponsor Rip Curl

IMAGE: Bethany Hamilton charging 50-foot Jaws, Pe'ahi earlier this month, filming for Surfs Like A Girl. Photo: Aaron Lieber

Rip Curl Head Office - Torquay, Australia: Hawaiian charger Bethany Hamilton has extended her contract with long-time sponsor Rip Curl, renewing a partnership that started when she was nine years old.

Bethany, just shy of her 26th birthday, has already reached unimaginable heights in surfing; winning national competitions, competing on the WSL Championship Tour and inspiring millions with her determination in the face of adversity " returning to the water after the shark attack tthat left her with one arm as a teenager.

She continues to reach new heights; this month taking on 50 foot "Jaws", the Hawaiian monster wave of Pe'ahi, whilst filming for her soon-to-be-released film Surfs Like a Girl, just months after becoming a new mum to son Tobias.

"2015 was definitely one of the best years of my life, primarily because I became a Mom and I absolutely love being a Mom!!! I still managed to have a fun year of surfing before I had Tobias and after. I grew a lot as a person in my post-partum recovery, and in my determination to get back to the ocean. Now after surfing each day I look forward to coming home to my supportive husband and son, it"s the best!" Bethany said.

"I love family life and look forward to growing together. I can"t wait to teach my son Tobias to surf! I also love motivational speaking and healthy living and inspiring others in their journey. I am grateful to have so much to look forward to!

"I am so pumped for this year! I know I have much more to come and I look forward to it. My passion for surfing and bettering my ability is still lit and I can"t wait to chase more of my goals and dreams! I look forward to surfing some heavy waves this year and pushing my limits. I also love working hard at my progressive surfing and want to keep charging at that.

"It"s rad to have shared my journey of surfing with Rip Curl since I was 9 years old. Now being 25 and surfing better than ever I"m excited to keep surfing as a Rip Curl team rider!"

Rip Curl Global Advertising and Promotions Chairman Neil Ridgway said the signing spoke volumes for both the company and Bethany"s commitment, and was excited about the next chapter.

" 'What a legend..." That's the reaction I have every time I see Bethany do big things or small things," Ridgway said. "I probably analyse her technique on video more than any other surfer on the planet because you can really learn from seeing the way she does things at such a high level of performance given that she only has one arm to paddle in and take-off.

"She inspires me to go surfing with a more positive attitude and I think she influences a lot of surfers that way. She's a very popular person at team signings and events because of her attitude and people - young and old - just want to be around her and the good vibes she pumps out. Like I said 'What a legend!' "

Bethany is currently in full force shooting and travelling with Aaron Lieber for her first surf film Surfs Like a Girl, a sign that 2016 is set to be another big year for the smiley goofy-footer.

"It"s a blast to be travelling for this and doing my thing. I can"t wait to share the film!"

Surfs Like a Girl is due for release in 2017.



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