World champion Joel Parkinson and defending event champion Mick Fanning are both looking forward to competing in the iconic surfing event, the Rip Curl Pro, at Bells Beach, Victoria.
Pumping waves are predicted from Easter Friday onwards for the world’s longest running surfing tournament. Stop No 2 on the men’s World Championship Tour could commence as early as tomorrow morning with organisers making the official call at 7.30am (AEST).
World number 2 Parkinson said that a fighting fit Fanning is going to be tough.
Thirty-one year old Parkinson, who was defeated by eleven time world champion and current world number 1 Kelly Slater recently at the season opener on the Gold Coast, added that his rivalry with King Kelly was good for the sport.
Fanning admitted that he was disappointed not to make the Gold Coast final, but his world number 3 ranking had him well placed heading into Bells.
Reigning five time ASP world champion Stephanie Gilmore is hoping to capitalise on her experience at this week’s Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach and make up crucial ground at the third stop on the 2013 ASP Women’s World Championship Tour.
The 25 year old is currently ranked at number 4 after two equal third results in the opening events.
Current world number 1 Tyler Wright has been in impeccable form over the Australian leg of the season with a first and a second placing. Wright admitted she would love to add a prestigious Bell to her trophy collection.
Defending Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach and current ASP Women’s WCT number 3 Sally Fitzgibbons is hoping for a third consecutive win at Bells this year. Fitzgibbons has started off her 2013 campaign with a second and third respectively.
Local surfer Jack Perry from Jan Juc won yesterday’s Wingman Trials at Bells Beach in near perfect two foot waves to secure a wildcard into the Rip Curl Pro and will face Parkinson in round one of competition.
The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach will be staged from March 27 to April 7. The Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach runs from March 27 to April 1, and both events will be webcast LIVE via http://www.live.ripcurl.com
The Rip Curl Pro is presented by Ford with partners the Victorian Government, Momentum Energy, Mophie, Tooheys Extra Dry, Jim Beam, Skullcandy, Red Bull, Telstra, Surf Coast Shire, Surfing Life Magazine, Fuel TV, Ozmosis, Nova, CO2 Australia, Coastalwatch Plus and co-managed by Surfing Victoria.