The lineup for the 2014 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach has officially been confirmed following trials competition.
The Rip Curl Event Wildcard has been awarded to Australian up-and-comer, Jacob Willcox. After competing in the event last year, the Margaret River (WA) local is looking forward to coming up against the world's best at Bells Beach. He will face 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) and Kolohe Andino (USA) in Round 1 Heat 6.
â€œI love coming over to Victoria and am thrilled for the opportunity to surf at the highest level,â€ said Willcox. â€œI really want to put in a good performance against the top seeds and gain as much experience as possible along the way.â€
Local surfers, Cahill Bell-Warren (Bells Beach) and Zoe Clarke (Jan Juc) will join Willcox to compete alongside the ASP Top 34 and Top 17 and complete the field for the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach. Bell-Warren and Clarke will each take a wildcard into the historic event after winning the Building a Healthier Victoria Trials in small waves at Bells Beach today.
Bell-Warren used his intricate local knowledge at the break to take down former WCT surfer Glyndyn Ringrose (Phillip Island) in the Final. With a total heat score of 16.50 to Ringrose's 12.10, the Bells Beach local was proud to have gained the wildcard in front of his friends and family. Bell-Warren will match-up against Joel Parkinson (AUS) and Adam Melling (AUS) in Round 1 Heat 5.
â€œI am so stoked to win at my home break and in front of all my friends and family,â€ said Bell-Warren. â€œI have grown up surfing and competing at Bells Beach, from Torquay Boardriders and Surfing Victoria domestic events now through to the highest level of competition in the world, it's an amazing feeling.â€
â€œIf it wasn't for the Victorian Government backing Victorian surfers for this event and giving them the opportunity to gain a wildcard I would be watching this event from the grandstands.â€
â€œComing up against the top seeds will be fun. They are at the top for a reason and you can learn a lot from them just by surfing against them. All you can do is worry about yourself and the waves you catch.â€
On the Women's side of the draw Jan Juc 17 year old, Zoe Clarke, took down Georgia Fish, Cali McDonagh and Ella Williams to gain the wildcard. She will come up against reigning two-time ASP Women's World Champion and defending event winner Carissa Moore (HAW) and rookie Dimity Stoyle (AUS) in Round 1 Heat 3.
â€œIt hasn't really sunk in yet. I guess once the competition starts it will probably hit me a bit more! The high tide helped with the waves but there were only really five decent ones in the heat; I was lucky to get two good waves early,â€ said an elated Clarke.
â€œI'm just taking this event for the experience it is and I am just hoping to learn as much as possible coming up against the best in the world.â€
Alejo Muniz has withdrawn from the competition due to an ongoing injury. ASP replacement surfer Glenn Hall (IRL) will compete in his place.
Check out the Round 1 Draw for the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.