The waiting period for the 2019 Rip Curl Pro Bells event is officially underway. But word has just come in that two in-form regular-footers have just announced their withdrawals from the event.

Sebastian Zietz won’t be seen this year, as he’s currently in Kauai, sitting next to his wife as they await the arrival of their first child–a baby girl who is due any day now. Yesterday he posted a photo of himself at Bells stating that he’s “waiting for the birth of my first child and looking forward to spending her first weeks of life with her before heading to bali.”

Taking his place will be the high-flying Australian Reef Heazlewood (yes please), who not only turned many a head with his wildcard performance at the Quik Pro Gold Coast but put on arguably one of the best above-the-lip performances in the sideshow Red Bull Airborne event last month. Fingers crossed Bells will offer up a section or two that Heazlewood can use to launch himself skyward.

Also throwing in the towel is San Clemente wunderkind Griffin Colapinto. Griff’s been battling a knee injury after sustaining an MCL tear a couple of months ago. After rehabbing and being able to compete at the Quik Pro last month, Griffin, according to his Instagram below, was feeling about “90% healed” when he went for an under-the-lip layback in a warm-up session and reinjured his knee once again. Check out his sad-looking Instagram post below, which explains his reasoning for pulling out of Bells:

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So if you haven't heard, I got a grade 2 tear in my MCL about a month and a half ago. I have been working my ass off to get back to 100%. I had been healing extremely fast. I surfed the Quik pro at about 80% and was fine. Then after that I didn't surf for another week while instead getting stronger and improving my knee. I then came over here to Bell Beach and felt great. About 90% healed. Yesterday I went for my 2nd session since my heat on the Goldy. I felt great! Maybe a little too good. I got too comfortable. About an hour into it I went for an under the lip layback and reinjured it. Fortunately I haven't made it any worse than the first time but it may set me back a few more weeks. So I've had to pull out of the Bells Beach event. It is what is. I'm really excited to have another challenge and time to strengthen my weaknesses. Let's Go! Photo: @duncanm

A post shared by Griffin Colapinto (@griffin_cola) on

Local Victoria-based shredder Xavier Huxtable–a 16-year-old grom who recently placed 2nd at the Rip Curl Trials–will be taking Griffin’s spot and will face, in his very first CT event, Filipe Toledo and Kelly Slater in Round 1. Check out the new heat draw below:

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Men’s Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Jack Freestone (AUS)
Heat 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Xavier Huxtable (AUS) vs. Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) vs. Caio Ibelli (BRA)
Heat 5: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Joan Duru (FRA) vs. Jacob Willcox (AUS)
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Ryan Callinan (AUS) vs. Harrison Mann (AUS)
Heat 7: Conner Coffin (USA) vs. Michael Rodrigues (BRA) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat 8: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Seth Moniz (HAW) vs. Soli Bailey (AUS)
Heat 9: Wade Carmichael (AUS) vs. Yago Dora (BRA) vs. Ricardo Christie (NZL)
Heat 10: Michel Bourez (FRA) vs. Reef Heazlewood (AUS) vs. Deivid Silva (BRA)
Heat 11: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Willian Cardoso (BRA) vs. Jesse Mendes (BRA)
Heat 12: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Mikey Wright (AUS) vs. Peterson Crisanto (BRA)