Sally Fitzgibbons of Australia in the 2014 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.
Sally Fitzgibbons of Australia in the 2014 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach. KELLY CESTARI - ASP INTL

Ultimate guide to the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach

IT'S the last of three Australian events on the world tour and one of the favourite events for multiple surfers.

The Rip Curl Pro is also the longest-running world tour event and has a mystique about it that other events lack.

We take a look at the event, past winners, the draw and who is likely to shine this year.

WHAT

The Rip Curl Pro, from April 12-24, is the third and last event on the Australian leg of the 2017 World Tour.

The first was the Quiksilver and Roxy Pros on the Gold Coast.

The second was the Margaret River Pro in Western Australia.

WHO

The top 17 women's surfers in the world plus wildcards, and the top 34 men in the world plus wildcards.

HISTORY

The Rip Curl Pro is celebrating 56 years in 2017.

THE WAVE

Seriously memorable. The right-breaking Australian reef wave is made for crowd-pleasing surfing. It's generally chilly at Bells, with the waves created by Southern Ocean storms.

THE VENUE

Bells Beach is comprised of several breaks, including The Bowl, Outside Bells, Rincon, Centreside, Southside and Winkipop.

The Bowl is the steep final section of the wave. Outside Bells is the main break that produces a long, fast, even wall when it gets above six foot. Winkipop runs over a reef producing a quick, hollow wave.

 

Mick Fanning after winning the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach in 2014.
Mick Fanning after winning the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach in 2014. Kirstin Scholtz

THE DEFENDING CHAMPIONS

Matt Wilkinson scored an emotional win last year, downing South African Jordy Smith.

American Courtney Conlogue won the women's title in 2016.

THE TOP SEEDS

World champion John John Florence goes into the event as the No.1 surfer after winning the Margaret River Pro.

Steph Gilmore and Sally Fitzgibbons share the women's top ranking after winning the Roxy Pro and Margaret River Pro respectively.

THE AUSSIES

Mick Fanning has surfed six finals and won four.

Joel Parkinson has made five finals and won three.

Gilmore has won the crown three times and Fitzgibbons twice. World champion Tyler Wright has never won.

THE INVADERS

Kelly Slater has made five finals and won four.

Interestingly, world champion John John Florence has never made a final at Bells.

Carissa Moore has won three times at Bells.

 

American surfer Carissa Moore and Australia's Stephanie Gilmore celebrate Moore's win in the women's final of the 2015 Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach.
American surfer Carissa Moore and Australia's Stephanie Gilmore celebrate Moore's win in the women's final of the 2015 Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach. SUE MCKAY

THE NUMBERS GAME

Surfing legends bring their best to Bells with the likes of Mark Richards, Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning all ringing the Bells trophy four times. Michael Peterson and Sunny Garcia have won it three times while Simon Anderson, Tom Curren, Joel Parkinson, Andy Irons and Damien Hardman have won it twice each.

In the women's comp Lisa Andersen has four Bells titles.

Seven-time world champion Layne Beachley, six-time world champion Gilmore, triple world champion Moore and Pauline Menczer have won it three times, while Kim Mearig and Fitzgibbons have won it twice.

PAST MEN'S CHAMPIONS

2016: Matt Wilkinson (AUS)

2015: Mick Fanning (AUS)

2014: Mick Fanning (AUS)

2013: Adriano de Souza (BRA)

2012: Mick Fanning (AUS)

2011: Joel Parkinson (AUS)

2010: Kelly Slater (USA)

2009: Joel Parkinson (AUS)

2008: Kelly Slater (USA)

2007: Taj Burrow (AUS)

2006: Kelly Slater (USA)

2005: Trent Munro (AUS)

2004: Joel Parkinson (AUS)

2003: Andy Irons (HAW)

2002: Andy Irons (HAW)

2001: Mick Fanning (AUS)

2000: Sunny Garcia (HAW)

1999: Shane Dorian (HAW)

1998: Mark Occhilupo (AUS)

1997: Matt Hoy (AUS)

1996: Sunny Garcia (HAW)

1995: Sunny Garcia (HAW)

1994: Kelly Slater (USA)

1993: Damien Hardman (AUS)

1992: Richie Collins (USA)

1991: Barton Lynch (AUS)

1990: Tom Curren (USA)

1989: Martin Potter (GBR)

1988: Damien Hardman (AUS)

1987: Nick Wood (AUS)

1986: Tom Carroll (AUS)

1985: Tom Curren (AUS)

1984: Cheyne Horan (AUS)

1983: Joe Engel (AUS)

1982: Mark Richards (AUS)

1981: Simon Anderson (AUS)

1980: Mark Richards (AUS)

1979: Mark Richards (AUS)

1978: Mark Richards (AUS)

1977: Simon Anderson (AUS)

1976: Jeff Hakman (HAW)

1975: Michael Peterson (AUS)

1974: Michael Peterson (AUS)

1973: Michael Peterson (AUS)

PAST WOMEN'S CHAMPIONS

2016: Courtney Conlogue (US)

2015: Carissa Moore (HAW)

2014: Carissa Moore (HAW)

2013: Carissa Moore (HAW)

2012: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)

2011: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)

2010: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)

2009: Silvana Lima (BRA)

2008: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)

2007: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)

2005: Sofia Mulanovich (PER)

2001: Neridah Falconer (AUS)

2000: Megan Abubo (HAW)

1999: Layne Beachley (AUS)

1998: Layne Beachley (AUS)

1997: Lisa Andersen (USA)

1996: Pauline Menczer (AUS)

1995: Lisa Andersen (USA)

1994: Layne Beachley (AUS)

1993: Pauline Menczer (AUS)

1992: Lisa Andersen (USA)

1991: Pauline Menczer (AUS)

1990: Lisa Andersen (USA)

1989: Wendy Botha (AUS)

1988: Kim Mearig (USA)

1985: Frieda Zamba (USA)

1984: Kim Mearig (USA)

1983: Helen Lambert (AUS)

1982: Debbie Beacham (USA)

1980: Margo Oberg (USA)

1979: Lynne Boyer (USA)

1978: Margo Oberg (USA)

1977: Margo Oberg (USA)

News Corp Australia


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