Congratulations to Jacob Willcox and Kobie Enright who have won the Rip Curl Pro Trials held at Winkipop, Victoria over the last few days along with the local trials winner Harrison Mann. All three will now compete in the upcoming main event April 17 - 27.
The Rip Curl Pro, stop No. 2 on the Championship Tour, is the longest-running surf event on the planet, dating back to the Bells Beach Easter Classic in 1973. And therefore making it a sacred stop for many of the athletes on Tour.
Enright was able to overcome Alyssa Spencer, India Robinson and Leilani McGonagle in the Final to take the Trials win. But this isn't her first claim on the main stage. The Gold Coast local won the Trials last year as well. She'll be competing at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach for the second consecutive year, undoubtedly armed with more experience.
Enright made it to Round 3 in 2018 and eliminated Tour veteran Sally Fitzgibbons in the process.
This will also mark Jacob Willcox's second time competing in the Rip Curl Pro as he solidified a wildcard spot in 2013. The goofyfooter from Western Australia has gained a reputation for chasing down heavy slabs. He took the win over Xavier Huxtable and Crosby Colapinto despite the inconsistent conditions.
It wasn't an easy feat for Willcox or Enright considering some big names were in the draw. Matt Wilkinson, Alana Blanchard and Mason Ho all vied for a spot into the main event.
The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach trials was held in conjunction with Surfing Victoria's trials over April 14 - 15.
Torquay's Harrison Mann claimed his first entry into the Rip Curl Pro after winning the local trials. It was a close Final with Mann taking the win with just a .16 lead over Billy Harrison.
"What a day," said Mann after his win. "This is a life long dream come true. Thank you to everyone for the support over the last few days. Bring on the Rip Curl Pro."
Silvana Lima has pulled out of the event due to her ongoing injury and will be replaced by Sage Erickson. Tyler Wright has also pulled out and will be replaced by Keely Andrew.
On the men's side both Sebastian Zietz (birth of his first child) and Griffin Colapinto (ongoing knee injury) have withdrawn.
Reef Heazlewood, who finished 9th on the Gold Coast, and Xavier Huxtable, who finished in 2nd place at the Rip Curl Trials accepted their spots.
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Women's Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) vs. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) vs. Paige Hareb (NZL)
Heat 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Coco Ho (HAW) vs. Keely Andrew (AUS)
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) vs. Kobie Enright (AUS)
Heat 4: Caroline Marks (USA) vs. Courtney Conlogue (USA) vs. Brisa Hennessy (CRI)
Heat 5: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) vs. Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Macy Callaghan (AUS)
Heat 6: Johanne Defay (FRA) vs. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Sage Erickson (USA)
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Men's Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Jack Freestone (AUS)
Heat 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Xavier Huxtable (AUS) vs. Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) vs. Caio Ibelli (BRA)
Heat 5: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Joan Duru (FRA) vs. Jacob Willcox (AUS)
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Ryan Callinan (AUS) vs. Harrison Mann (AUS)
Heat 7: Conner Coffin (USA) vs. Michael Rodrigues (BRA) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat 8: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Seth Moniz (HAW) vs. Soli Bailey (AUS)
Heat 9: Wade Carmichael (AUS) vs. Yago Dora (BRA) vs. Ricardo Christie (NZL)
Heat 10: Michel Bourez (FRA) vs. Reef Heazlewood (AUS) vs. Deivid Silva (BRA)
Heat 11: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Willian Cardoso (BRA) vs. Jesse Mendes (BRA)
Heat 12: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Mikey Wright (AUS) vs. Peterson Crisanto (BRA)
Watch the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach live April 17-27 live on Worldsurfleague.com, App and Facebook.