Early Rounds At 2014 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach

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All Photos: Jimmicane

You have to win it to ring it…
The Bell has been wearing a condom. That’s not a joke. There has literally been a Trojan-esque shield of fabric on the bell’s clapper, preventing all unworthy somebodies from achieving that orgasmic ring. Because, like we said, you have to win it to ring it. And on a breezy Victorian day, we got a few steps closer watching a champion rip off the chastity belt, win it and ring it.

…But you have to do a lot of things to win it

Like wake up early. And be cold. And surf waves that aren’t, like, dreamy. The early rounds are rarely glamorous, but today was especially coarse. We saw all of Round 1 and two heats of Round 2. And we saw struggling — single digit heat totals and all. Still, it wasn’t all cloudy skies and teary-eyed orphans. There were a few dandelions to be spoken of…

Bede Durbridge: Bells Beach. It’s Bede’s bread. His butter. And he doused Nat Young and Tiago Pires with vegemite during the morning’s first heat.
Mick Fanning: Mick Fanning won a heat at Bells and if this surprises you, it’s time to put the ol’ surfboard on Craigslist and call it a career.
Joel Parkinson: 13-0. That’s Parko’s record in first round heats at Bells. And while today’s win saw a margin that was narrow like the Bering Strait, it was still a win. [Sorry Melling.]
Kolohe Andino: Kolohe didn’t win his heat today, but he might have. Confused? Us too. Kelly Slater beat Kolohe in a heat that could have easily gone either way. Brother will now face Adam Melling in Round 2, in the great battle of I lost by less than half a point to a former world champion. It’s anticipated.
Jordy Smith: Jordy was doing big combos like you read about. His heat against Filipe Toledo and Dion Atkinson was the most exciting of the day, and Jordy won in style.
Gabriel Medina: Gabe was totally beatable, but Miguel Pupo and Travis Logie didn’t take advantage of that. On to Round 3 for Gabe, but don’t expect a deep run out of him if he keeps surfing like that.
Julian Wilson: I’ll take the highest wave score of the day, please and thank you.

Is that a threat?

It kind of is. As the tide climbed up the beach, the call was made to run straight through Round 2. Oh and by the way, high tide is kryptonite at Bells. It turns the place into a mix of Huntington Beach and a dead grizzly bear — an aquatic field of fat and flesh that seems to want to do nothing more than sulk around lifelessly. The ASP might as well have been using the round as a threat to competitors. Don’t want to get your shit together on the WCT? Then go back to ‘QS and surf waves like this. Luckily, the threat ended after two uninspiring heats. When ASP Commissioner Kieren Perrow called it officially off for the day, John John Florence literally thanked him.
He’s welcome.

We’ll be back on. See you at sunrise.
—Brendan Buckley