A Big Day of Epic Battles at Rip Curl Pro

Mason Ho's Bells Beach Tube
The wildcard scores an 8.7 for a rare barrel at Bells bowl.

Having inherited the family tube-riding gene, Mason Ho was on a rare tube-hunting mission at the Bells Bowl, and in the clean early-morning conditions he struck gold with the first barrel of the contests. He got slotted in this tube right after a massive carve, too.

Michel Bourez winning his Round 4 heat to advance into the Quarterfinals. Michel Bourez - WSL / Kelly Cestari

Until Friday, Michel Bourez has had a rough go with Bells, never getting past Round Three. But The Spartan found his rhythm in Round Four, and his sturdy stance helped him land this big float that helped land him a trip straight to the Quarterfinals.

Italo Ferreira Italo Ferreira - WSL / Ed Sloane

Italo Ferreira had the opening heat of the entire day, which was plagued by a 20 minute lull as the swell filled in. But when the waves finally arrived he put his backhand to work and advanced directly to the Quarterfinals by defeating Nat Young and Julian Wilson in Round Four.

Caio Ibelli finished second in his Round 4 heat. Caio Ibelli - WSL / Kelly Cestari

Caio Ibelli stormed into his Round Four match by nailing an excellent score with a variety of solid moves. Unfortunately for Ibelli, it was the only ride he'd get.

Wiggolly Dantas winning his Round 4 heat. Wiggolly Dantas - WSL / Ed Sloane

Wiggolly Dantas became the second Brazilian goofyfooter in the Quarterfinals after handing current rankings leader Matt Wilkinson his first loss of the year in Round Four. Dantas has been a quiet threat from the beginning, but expect more noise from him.

Conner Coffin winning his Round 4 heat. Conner Coffin - WSL / Kelly Cestari

Rookie Conner Coffin sent another huge shot over the bow of tour veterans in Round Four by taking the Super Heat match of the morning against Jordy Smith and Mick Fanning. Coffin's layback gouges and exaggerated rail carves helped him get through to his first trip to the Quarterfinals.

Conner Coffin winning his Round 4 heat over Jordy Smith and Mick Fanning. Conner Coffin - WSL / Ed Sloane

Conner Coffin, growling.

Mick Fanning during Round 4. Mick Fanning - WSL / Kelly Cestari

Even in his loss to Coffin, Mick Fanning looked primed for another Bell. His precision rail-to-rail surfing saw him break combination in the late stages of the heat to give himself a fighting chance.

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

Matt Wilkinson's winning streak came to an end when he lost to Wiggolly Dantas in Round Four. It didn't seem phase him. He came firing right back in Round Five against Julian Wilson. And regardless of what happens from hear on out at Bells, he can be assured he's going to be wearing the yellow jersey in his first heat at Margaret River.

Nat Young Loves Bells
The goofyfoot made the most of the offshore winds to earn a big score in Round 5.

Nat Young fell in love with Bells Beach from the very beginning. He got his career best result here as a rookie, finishing runner up. Since then he's made it to the quarterfinals (at least) each year back. This year is no different. The kid from Santa Cruz is feeling right at home in the chilly righthanders.

Nat Young during Round 4. Nat Young - WSL / Kelly Cestari

Nat pulled this harrowing speed float in Round Four, and went straight back into the lip after rounding the corner.

Davey Cathels during Round 4. Davey Cathels - WSL / Kelly Cestari

Rookie Davey Cathels has been gaining momentum and confidence at the Rip Curl Pro. His hummingbird speed is catching the eye of judges.