Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach: Day 2

Surf: Four foot plus Bells, messy then clearing and dropping
Events Held: Rip Curl Pro men's round two; women's round three
Nature’s Call: That's for me to know, and for you to find out
Predicted: A strong climactic day early next week, to round off a tough event

Dream Tour, yeah well, OK, but...

Today's Rip Curl Pro began in as tough a condition set as we’ve seen here in many years. Yesterday’s substantial groundswell backed a bit to around four foot, hacked savagely by a cross-shore southeasterly. If you haven’t been here, try to picture Trestles in a southwest swell and a gusty devil south wind. Yeah.

It posed a serious problem for many of the pros, who still have a naive belief in the "Dream Tour" label and thus come psyched for excellent surf, only to be confronted with this most complex equation of a surf spot, where turn timing and wave selection operates on its own wacky wavelength.

Let's have a look at a couple of contrasting approaches to this problem. Surfing magazine surfed last night with Timmy Reyes, one of the tour’s most talented young guys, who scored an almighty 4 out of 20 in his first heat. "I couldn't get to the lip in time," he said, reflecting a difficulty a lot of surfers seemed to have on this broad flat-faced wave. "You'd be at the wave base, looking up and thinking 'Well, there it is, it LOOKS good, I’d like to be there, but I’m down here!'" By the end of the session Timmy'd solved the problem, using a round pin instead of a squash and turning to the lip from mid-face rather than looking for the non-existent base.

Figuring out stuff like this is the real task of a top pro — not dreaming of flawless waves and being endlessly disappointed by their absence. Naturally enough Tim won his heat today, convincingly over Royden Bryson.

A couple heats later the wind miraculously died, the water surface miraculously softened, and the tide stayed low enough for Dane Reynolds to show some serious form flashes.

In this Year of the {{{Fit}}}-Ball, Dane's been careful to let the world know he's more into just going surfing whenever possible. His theory seems to be to stay loose, a theory that – Surfing noted approvingly – he put to work at the Tracks magazine party last night. No hanging in the Bowl figuring out turn timing for this boy: it's fun fun fun all the way! Two judges scored him 10 for his high wave, a swift and well-judged ride on the best wave to come through all day. "I would have had to really blow it not get a score," he said, most self-effacingly for a bloke who now tops the wave and heat score for this event.

Meanwhile, Bells the Event just roars ahead. Easter Saturday is in the midst of an Aussie long weekend, and people poured into the event site all day long under an increasingly warm sun, paying $11 per head for access, $2 for parking, and $5 for a hotdog, and god help 'em, listening to an AC-DC tribute band absolutely free.

They also saw Steph Gilmore show her hand yet again as being heads and shoulders above her opposition. Ms Gilmore signed more autographs today than half the men put together, and it's no wonder she's so popular. She now stands in the box seat for victory in the women's ranks here, while the men prepare for the reality check of round three.

Surfing's tip? Man, what's the point? But we will say this: only one pro surfed down post-event today, and his name is Bede Durbidge. The perennial dark horse. Watch him.

Today's Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 2 Results:
Heat 5: Luke Stedman 13.67 def. Chris Ward 13.33
Heat 6: Jihad Khodr 11.30 def. Leonardo Neves 10.33
Heat 7: Adriano de Souza 14.66 def. Tiago Pires 9.66
Heat 8: Ben Dunn 13.00 def. Travis Logie 11.14
Heat 9: Tim Reyes 13.33 def. Royden Bryson 6.{{{80}}}
Heat 10: Daniel Wills 13.50 def. Jordy Smith 11.{{{57}}}
Heat 11: Neco Padaratz 12.77 def. Ricky Basnett 10.50
Heat 12: Fred Patacchia 12.50 def. Bruce Irons 11.67
Heat 13: Luke Munro 11.27 def. Mikael Picon 9.33
Heat 14: Dane Reynolds 18.73 def. Heitor Alves 11.64
Heat 15: Roy Powers 13.33 def. Ben Bourgeois 9.53
Heat 16: Kieren Perrow 11.33 def. Michael Campbell 7.06

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 3 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Bede Durbidge v. Fred Patacchia
Heat 2: Tom Whitaker v. Dayyan Neve
Heat 3: Taylor Knox v. Neco Padaratz
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson v. Daniel Wills
Heat 5: Jeremy Flores v. Kieren Perrow
Heat 6: Bobby Martinez v. Jay Thompson
Heat 7: Adrian Buchan v. Adriano de Souza
Heat 8: Mick Fanning v. Troy Brooks
Heat 9: Taj Burrow v. Daniel Ross
Heat 10: Luke Stedman v. Ben Dunn
Heat 11: Pancho Sullivan v. Roy Powers
Heat 12: {{{CJ}}} Hobgood v. Dane Reynolds
Heat 13: Kelly Slater v. Jihad Khodr
Heat 14: Damien Hobgood v. Tim Reyes
Heat 15: Andy Irons v. Rodrigo Dornelles
Heat 16: Kai Otton v. Luke Munro