"To win Bells is a dream," Moore said. "As a little kid, you always looked forward to watching it and reading about it. The history and the prestige and the people who have won it are really legendary. To be a part of it now is really special."
After opening the heat with a 9.57 on her first wave, Moore survived a psychologically-draining 25-minute lull in action before she and Wright battled it out in a final exchange in the dying moments.
"It wasn't an easy heat," Moore said. "I was fortunate to get a good score to start, but Tyler (Wright) is really powerful and a really fierce competitor. If she got the waves, it was going to be a challenge. We had a really long lull during the heat and then a little flurry at the end."
Today's win marks Moore's second in a row this season, previously collecting a victory in Western Australia last week, and the Hawaiian now sits in the driver's seat in this season's race for the 2013 ASP Women's World Title.
"It feels great to be a part of the World Title race again this year," Moore said. "Last year wasn't the greatest for me and it was an adjustment transitioning from going for a world title to defending one. I learned a lot though and I'm back this year feeling focused with a great support group around me. It's still early in the season so I'm just going to stay focused on the next event."
Wright, a standout on last Saturday's marathon day of competition, was unable to capitalize during her third, consecutive Finals' berth of the season and drops from ASP WCT No. 1 to ASP WCT No. 2 heading into the fourth event of the season.
"It's disappointing for sure," Wright said. "I felt like I was surfing well all week and I really wanted to ring the bell. The waves just didn't deliver for us though. Congrats to Carissa (Moore) though. She was ripping and I'll try to go one better at New Zealand."
The next stop on the 2013 ASP Women's World Championship Tour (WCT) will be the TSB Bank NZ Surf Festival in New Zealand from April 3 - 7, 2013.
RIP CURL WOMEN'S PRO BELLS BEACH FINAL RESULTS:
1 - Carissa Moore (HAW) 15.40
2 - Tyler Wright (AUS) 8.00
CURRENT ASP WOMEN'S WCT TOP 5 (Following Rip Curl Women's Pro Bells Beach):
1. Carissa Moore (HAW) 26,500 pts
2. Tyler Wright (AUS) 26,000 pts
3. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 19,700 pts
4. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 18,200 pts
5. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 16,900 pts