There were broken dreams and one broken Bell at the 2013 Rip Curl Pro presented by Ford. A complete demolition was made of the top seeds in a drama filled event that went down to the wire. The Brasilians and Rookies were standouts as they decimated the top seeds in an event that saw eleven out of thirty-three heats decided by 0.5 of a point. Rail surfing was outscoring barrels and the ocean performed with as much variety as the Top 34. When the spray had cleared, it was Adriano De Souza and Nat Young who had claimed their spots in the final. Adriano pounced on two high scoring rides early to leave Nat Young playing catch up as conditions deteriorated.
With three minutes remaining Huey would have the final word as a twelve foot set rolled both competitors out of position down towards Winki Pop. In the end Adriano surfed a smart heat, toying with priority and with two high scoring waves early in the heat, would become the first Brasilian surfer in history to be crowned the Rip Curl Pro 2013 Champion. â€œI want to say thanks to a lot of people but at this stage I just want to ring the bell,â€? exclaimed De Souza. He sure did ring it. Adriano rang that bell so hard it broke and who can blame him right? You gotta win it to ring it!
THIS IS VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA... The Rip Curl Pro is the only professional sporting event allowed to be held on Easter Friday in Australia and since it is celebrating 52 years of competition at Bells, there is no better place to be for all sport fans!
ADRIANO Without a major sponsor in January you’d think that’d be your cue to exit stage left. Not for Adriano. De Souza’s barnstorming run on route to the finals exhibited his fierce competitiveness and penchant for wetting rail. As his compatriots fell, De Souza displayed the resolve that has earned him a top ten finish for the past four years. He disposed of Mick Fanning, Jordy Smith and finalist Nat Young by a collective total of 1.04. Adriano knows how to win tight heats and as the enormity of his win sunk in you can be rest assured the man they call ‘Mineirinho’ is back. Credit: ASP/Kirstin
Kelly looked to be suffering from a back injury and unable to hold onto priority as he was steamrolled by Cardoso in round three. Credit: Dunbar
Flores had flashes of brilliance but constancy eluded the Frenchman as he was pipped by Kai Otten in round three. Credit: Robertson
CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR... You donâ€™t lose heats with a ten point
ride and a 9.10 but you also donâ€™t win Bells riding barrels. In two of the most jaw dropping heats on day three, world champion Joel Parkinson and King Kelly felt the bite of the Brasilian underdogs as both were bailed out of competition and left licking their wounds with an equal thirteenth finish.
NO LOVE LOST
The Brazilians were smelling blood and began cannibalising their own when Filipe Toledo took out Gabriel Medina in round three. Despite looking lethal, Medina fell to the aerial wizardry of Toledo but it was all smiles on the beach as the raging Brazilian storm continued their ascend up the draw.
BRAZILIAN STORM There are eight Brazilian surfers on the Dream Tour. All made their impact at the 2013 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.
From a rampaging Raoni taking down ASP World Champion Joel Parkinson. ‘The Gentle Panda’, Willian Cardoso knocked down 11x ASP World Champion Kelly Slater. Don’t forget rookie, Filipe Toledo mixing up his repertoire of aerial high flying with some solid rail work. This new breed were shadowed by Mr Consistent, Adriano De Souza, reaffirming himself as a World Title threat and leader of the pack.
BIG WILLIE Willian Cardoso probably
didn’t expect to surf a WCT event this year. The third string injury wildcard had just got home from competing in Margaret River when he received the news he had a date with the Bowl. Two sleepless nights and he was up against 11x ASP World Champion Kelly Slater. Many thought he would be on the return flight home. How wrong we were. The man they call ‘The Gentle Panda’ was dismembering waves with authority. The peanut gallery was going nuts as Cardoso displayed some of the best power surfing we had ever seen. This was the start of the Brazilian storm and Kelly Slater was in the eye of it. “He smoked me,” a gracious Slater accepted. Big Willy went on to defeat Josh Kerr and Adrian Buchan before falling to Nat Young in the quarterfinals.
Jacob Willcox, the sixteen year old hailing from WA was already heading to Bells. However it was to compete in the Rip Curl International GromSearch. When a spot opened up in the main event, he suddenly became the youngest competitor in the event’s history. He drew Kelly Slater in round one but got knocked by the King. In round two he was up against fellow Western Australian, Taj Burrow. Burrow shut the gate but for a kid who competes in the Under 16’s of Taj’s Small Fries competition, Willcox proved he can surf with maturity beyond his years.
Oney may have gone out in round two but the experience of competing at his first WCT event will be invaluable as he aims to become the first Indonesian to qualify for the Dream Tour. Good luck Oney. Credit: Warbrick
The winner of the Wingman Trials Jan Juc local Jack Perry is no stranger to the big open faces he carved his way through in his first WCT appearance. Credit: Warbrick
Credit: Dick Hoole
During a planned break in Men’s Round One competition, Tommy Peterson boarded the back of a water patrol jetski and scattered his brother’s ashes in the waters behind Rincon. The action at the Rip Curl Pro took a brief pause on Friday morning as surfers, fans and event crew took a moment to honour the memory of the late Michael Peterson (1952 – 2012) while his ashes were scattered at Bells Beach on the one-year anniversary of his death. AC/DC’s “Hells Bells” played over the event PA system and the entire crowd gathered at Bells, which included MP’s mother, Joan, and sister, Dot, stood in respect. It was one year to the day MP passed away. For three straight years, MP was unquestionably the greatest surfer in Australia, claiming the Rip Curl Pro Bell in ‘73, ‘74 and ‘75. His name will forever remain etched on the Rip Curl Pro Bell, and he will never be forgotten.
BROTHERLY LOVE The dogfight of the event was the battle of the Hobgoods. The twins lit up taking it to each other in an epic goofy-foot battle.
Generally known for their sibling (non)rivalry, they matched up in round three and fireworks ensued. Displaying radical backside surfing they went blow for blow, posting high eight point rides as they took it to the Bells bowl. In between blasting the lip the twins trash talked, got into a paddle battle and fought to the bitter end. CJ took the win by a horses hair, posting a 9.23 towards the end of the heat. As the hooter sounded you could feel the competitive intensity as an animated Damien blew off some steam at brother CJ. “It’s all good ya know….whatever we’re both brothers, there’s no love lost,” expressed CJ post heat.
OPPORTUNITY LOST When Kelly and Joel got knocked in Round Two, Mick Fanning must have thought someone was playing an April fools joke. You could imagine him sitting in the competitors area, stroking a white cat, looking like an evil Bond villain. This could have been the event that Mick pounced on a ratings lead with a good result. The former world champ battled to the quarters and then something happened. He started falling. The wheels were coming off, he creased his board and was left in the wake of eventual winner Adriano.
Jordy Smith looks like heâ€™s having fun. The Big Bru from South Africa confidently disposed of his opponents and nonchalantly accepted the praise from his peers. Has the child prodigy re-established himself as a serious World Title contender? Many think so, as he slayed his way to the finals to only come short by 0.04 in the semi-final to eventual Bell ringer Adriano De Souza. The loss would have stung but with a third place finish, the World Title race may have just got interesting.
Taj has a bit of a love/hate relationship with Bells. Although being a victor here in 2007, it’s no secret he finds Bells tricky and unpredictable. Usually you’d have found Taj scooting down to Winki enjoying his freesurfs and blowing tail. His approach this year was to surf the Bowl as much as possible and that extra time at Bells paid off with a third place finish. Obviously disappointed to go down to Nat Young in the semis, Taj earned some valuable World Title points as he climbed the ratings with his best finish in three years.
KERRRAAANK! I donâ€™t think Josh Kerr will ever make another priority mistake after Nat Young snuck a set wave underneath the veteran to take the victory with seconds to go. A disappointing finish for Kerr who looked like he was gaining momentum throughout the event.
WHAT WENT WRIGHT? Owen may have not made an impact
at Bells this year but donâ€™t rule out a top ten finish just yet.
Dusty looks like a new man this year. Heâ€™s fit, confident and powered through the early rounds, dropping nines and blowing tail. Despite falling to a determined Taj you can sense that the young Hawaiian has finally got a roll on. Credit: Warbrick
Three thumbs up for Seabass! This excitement machine might be everyoneâ€™s new favourite surfer on tour. The Kauaiin looked comfortable on the open face and took to the sky with reckless abandon. Credit: Robertson
JUST MY LUCK Some would say Kai
Otton is the unluckiest surfer on tour. He often loses his heats by the smallest of margins, but a loss is a loss. At the 2013 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, the shoe was on the other foot. Ottz powered his way to a quarter-finals berth taking down the likes of Jeremy Flores and Matt Wilkinson as he negotiated the steep walls of Bells Beach with powerful, backhand gouges.
Your second WCT event and a podium finish isn’t too bad. Especially at the challenging Bells bowl when your competitor (Adriano De Souza), spends weeks in advanced training and acclimatising to conditions. The freckle faced Californian has every reason to feel proud of his runner-up finish. Young put on the best performance of his rookie class and looked at home in the Victorian waters, in conditions not too dissimilar to his local, Steamer Lane.
On his road to the finals he left in his wake the likes of former event winners, giant killers and tour veterans. “It was a huge event for me,” said the Californian.“Just to be in the field is a dream for me. I’ve looked up to the surfers in this event my whole life. The event has such a history behind it and I was honestly just excited to be here. Making the Final, I don’t even have words for it. Of course I wanted to win it. I want to ring the bell as much as anyone else on tour. I don’t get to do it this year, but a Runner-Up finish is a big result for me and I’ll take that into the next one.”
To the worldâ€™s best for putting on such an amazing performance at the 52nd Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach and importantly, to the unsung heroes behind the scenes for making it happen. Weâ€™ll see you in Portugal! Live The Search