Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach

Moments and Milestones: The Week at Bells

Matt Wilkinson's Road to the Final
See how Matt Wilkinson's incredible momentum has carried him to his second final of the season at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.

Matt Wilkinson stunned everyone--including himself--when he claimed his first CT victory ever on the Gold Coast. As well as he surfed at Snapper, the idea of him repeating the feat at the Rip Curl Pro seemed, well, ridiculous. But the lesson of this young season is clear: expect the unexpected. Against all odds, Wilko kept his roll going, earning his second straight CT victory at Bells, becoming the first goofyfooter to ring the bell since Mark Occhilupo in 1998.

Matt Wilkinson getting to ring the notorious Bell. Matt Wilkinson, World No. 1 - WSL / Ed Sloane

Wilkinson now finds himself with a 10,800 point lead on the Jeep Leaderboard, which means the coveted yellow jersey will be his at least until Brazil.

Conlogue's Bells Beach Redemption
Courtney Conlogue battles back to win first Bell at the Rip Curl Women's Pro Bells Beach.

It's possible Courtney Conlogue was the happiest person on Earth Friday when she achieved her longtime dream of winning Bells. It was especially sweet given Bells is where she suffered an injury two years ago that put her world title hopes on hold. While she clawed her way back into Title contention in 2015, her victory at the Rip Curl Pro is bringing her one large step closer. She's leaving Torquay with the yellow jersey.

Mick Fanning Says Goodbye to Bells, for Now
The four-time Bells winner breaks down is Semifinal heat, thanks his fans and looks ahead to his much-deserved holiday.

Mick Fanning will be enjoying some much-anticipated time off after another very successful Bells campaign, where he reminded everyone why he's one of the best ever there. After losing to Jordy Smith in the semifinals he stayed on the beach greeting fans for more than 30 minutes before taking the long trip up the stairs, marking the end of one hell of a chapter in professional surfing.

Sally Fitzgibbons, the Smiling Assassin
Carissa Moore may have been the woman to beat at Bells, but Sally Fitzgibbons accepted the challenge with a sinister smile.

Australian Sally Fitzgibbons had a shocker on the Gold Coast, getting bounced in Round Two. As expected, she came storming back at Bells. While she came short of winning she did upset reigning World Champ Carissa Moore, who was vying for her fourth Bells victory in a row.

Jordy Smith's Road to the Final
The South African returns to the elite form he's always been known for in his second event of the 2016 Championship Tour season.

After an injury plagued 2015 and a Round Two exit on the Gold Coast, Jordy Smith's return to form seemed somewhat questionable. But at Bells he put those fears to rest as he found plenty of room to move. Smith's heading for Western Australia tied for third in the rankings, and just getting warmed up.

The Malia vs. Steph Debate: Ross vs. Strider
The Round 4 bout between Malia Manuel vs. Stephanie Gilmore was hotly debated.

Round Four on the women's side included one of the biggest battles of the entire event, with Stephanie Gilmore facing Malia Manuel in a high-performance duel at Winkipop. Stephanie was behind for most of the heat, but came back strong to clinch a close, but controversial victory. Debate over who won carried into the announcers booth, and we're not entirely sure things got settled.

Conner Coffin Takes Down Jordy and Mick
Conner Coffin is now in second place on the Jeep Leaderboard.

Rookie Conner Coffin is off to a stellar start in 2016. After making it to Round Five on the Gold Coast, he did one better at Bells with a trip to the Quarterfinals, knocking out Joel Parkinson along the way. He now finds himself at No. 2 on the Jeep Leaderboard heading to Margaret River.

Review: Carissa Moore's Incredible Run at Bells
The WSL desk recaps Carissa Moore's impressive run at the Rip Curl Women's Pro Bells Beach.

It's no surprise that Carissa Moore crushed her Quarterfinal heat. But her performance at Bells in those 30-odd minutes was next-level. Commentators, fans and most of all, the judges, were beside themselves over her incredible carves and total domination.

Slater's Bells' Sign-Off
Kelly Slater exited in Round 3.

The 2016 Bells events also some some serious upsets in what amounted to be an upheaval of the Championship Tour's old guard. Among the veterans to go down was none other than Kelly Slater who, after an initial Round Two respite, was defeated in his very next heat.

Italo Ferreira's Coolness Under Pressure
In his sophomore year on Tour, the Brazilian broke out a brilliant performance to wrestle the lead and win his Round 3 heat.

After a rocky start at the first event, 2015 Rookie of the Year Italo Ferreira reminded everyone why he was in the World Title race at the end of last year. With some buzzer-beating wins in the earlier rounds, the Brazilian goofyfooter look poised for another CT final, but went down to would-be event champ Wilkinson in the Semifinals.

Mason Ho Always Finds His Tube
The wildcard scores an 8.7 for a rare barrel at Bells bowl.

Wildcard Mason Ho did what he does best when he enters a Championship Tour event, he got weird. Though he went down in Round 5, the Hawaiian made his name known along the way. Including finding a clean in-out barrel at Bells Beach, considered by locals a rarity, and eliminating reigning World Champ Adriano de Souza in Round 3.

Tatiana Weston-Webn prepares for her Round 4 heat. Tatiana Weston-Webb - WSL / Kirstin Scholtz

Tatiana Weston-Webb surfed her way to the Semifinals at Bells Beach, one of her better results in her short career as a member of the elite Tour. Following her rookie of the year performance last season, the Hawaiian is No. 4 in the world heading into the third stop at Margaret River. She may just find herself in the World Title conversation by the end of the season if she keeps it up.

Weston-Webb Near Flawless at Winkipop
Tatiana Weston-Webb earned the second highest single-wave score of the event in Round 4 of the Rip Curl Women's Pro Bells Beach.
Nat Young Feeling at Home
The goofyfoot made the most of the offshore winds to earn a big score in Round 5.

Nat Young had an impressive run at Bells, an event he's made a Final appearance at before. The young goofyfoot attributed his success to the feeling he gets in the water located off Australia's scenic southern coastline as being similar to that of his native Santa Cruz.

Kolohe Andino holds his head in his hands after being eliminated in Round 2. Kolohe Andino - WSL / Kirstin

Kolohe Andino was among the first of the Tour veterans to get knocked out early. The loss was likely all the tougher because he had finished as runner-up on the Gold Coast, just one week earlier.

Conner Coffin's Shocking Upset
It was a nail-biter as the rookie and the vet waited for final scores to come in from their crucial, Round 3 heat at Bells.

Among the many David vs. Goliath moments, Conner Coffin eliminated an in-form Joel Parkinson in Round 3. The rookie's win over the three-time event winner and former World Champ was one of the bigger upsets of the Round, but Parko paddled in with his humor intact (see below).

Parko Puts the Fun Back into Round 3
Fun is the name of the game for the Tour vet at Bells.

Joel Parkinson went vertical in a unique way during Round Three. Of course, that was before his young grasshopper of an opponent scored an 8.17 and knocked him out of the competition.

Caio Ibelli's Hero's Welcome
After Ibelli defeated Tour titan John Florence, the scene on the beach was euphoric.

Caio Ibelli was another rookie who proved that the landscape of the men's Tour is shifting. The young Brazilian battled the odds and the experience of Hawaiian John John Florence to win their Round 3 heat. When he got back to the beach, his fans were eager and waiting.

Wilko's Double Claim
After Julian Wilson stole the lead in Round 5, the man in yellow answers back in a big way.

There have been just two events so far this season, but the brand-new Wilko is undeniably the star of the moment. In his Round 5 heat against Julian Wilson, the gregarious Aussie shared his sentiments in the water.

Jadson Andre Injured at Bells
Despite a determined performance in his Round 2 heat, the Brazilian suffered an ankle injury after a heavy wipeout.

Unfortunately, there's a flip side to all the triumphs at Bells. While attacking a heavy closeout section, Jadson Andre injured his ankle. Remarkably, the Brazilian finished out his heat before having to be carried up the stairs to the medical tent.

Lynch vs. Harman: Watch the Heritage Series Battle
Barton Lynch and Damien Hardman face off in the first Heritage Series heat of 2016.

The legendary Barton Lynch and Damien "Iceman" Hardman went head to head during the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Heritage Series. The two goofyfooted former World Champs and former Bells Beach winners tore up the lineup in one of the most exciting heats of the entire event. Ultimately, Lynch clinched another victory at the iconic righthander.

Barton Lynch Claims Heritage Series Victory
Barton Lynch reacts to taking down Damien Hardman in the Heritage Series at Bells Beach.