The 50th Anniversary of legendary Rip Curl-Pro Bells.
Imagine offering someone a free ticket and accommodation to Australia and then they reply that it’s too far and they can’t be asked. Apart from my girlfriend who genuinely couldn’t make it, that is what I had to deal with when I tried to find someone to join me to Rip Curl’s Pro Bells.
It wasn’t the first and surely not the last time I travelled by myself to distant places around the world so after filling my backpack with films and cameras and a couple of briefs I headed to Oz.
As a first experience witnessing a competition of this caliber, I was absolutely stoked. Rip Curl’s Pro Bells was celebrating its 50th year anniversary as the longest running World Tour surfing event and all the biggest names of surfing I used to watch on TV and idolized were aware of how significant this was. All the biggest names, men and women, have won it at some point in their career but they would tell you that it is by far the most exciting leg of the Word Tour.
With AC/DC blasting in the background everyone expected their favorite surfers to attack the waves like never before. With the biggest swells in recent history producing some amazing waves all the spectators were witnessing what they had hoped and paid for. And as soon as Kelly Slater hit the water everyone went crazy and rightfully so. The 10-time World Champion showed his intentions from the start giving an awesome performance. Unfortunately however, it wasn’t meant to be, this time. This year was an epic battle between Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson with the latter winning with a perfect 10 run and ringing the legendary bell.
The excitement that ran through the Bells Beach on that day really manifested in the crowd who exploded when Parkinson and Sally Fitzgibbons (who won the women’s heat) took center stage to rightfully ring the legendary Bell and write their names in the history books. And what a better song blasting in the background than AC/DC’s “Hells Bells” to finish up the day.
Thanks Rip Curl.