Sport

Surfers gear-up for Bells Rip Curl Easter Pro

 Kelly Slater scored a perfect 10 in the final for his 360% full rotator aerial at Bells bowl.
Kelly Slater scored a perfect 10 in the final for his 360% full rotator aerial at Bells bowl.

THE 40th anniversary of the Rip Curl Easter Pro at Bells Beach, Victoria will be another special event on the surfing calendar.

It was back in 1973 that a group of surfers formed the beginning of professional surfing at a meeting at the Torquay Hotel.

Local wetsuit and board manufacturer Rip Curl, operating from an old bakery, put up the dough to sponsor the first Australian professional surfing competition with the winner receiving $5,000 and $100.00 cash prizes for best manoeuvres including worst wipeout.

Hawaii's George Downing had devised the new objective scoring system unveiled at Sunset Beach for the 1972 Hangten Pro and was adopted for the first pro at Bells.

The Objective scoring system was based on 'Points for manoeuvres' with every technical turn and position was listed on the judges sheet e.g. bottom turns, cutbacks, re-entry's, tube rides etc.

Judges would verbally call out the manoeuvres and then judges' assistants, better known as scribes, would dutifully tick off the manoeuvre boxes as the judges called the shots.

This system was tailor made for Michael Peterson who posted up the system on the inside front window of his trusty Valiant and studied it like a racing form. MP surfed the objective scoring system to a tee, jamming twice as many manoeuvres as anyone else and scoring twice as many points.

He was so blown out that he had won the event he didn't bother turning up for the presentation preferring to hide up on the Bells Cliff behind the bushes. Luckily he was sponsored by Rip Curl who ensured he was given the first prize cheque. Michael won three in a row at Bells and unmatched record that not even King Kelly can claim.

So, it is entirely fitting that MP's ashes will be scattered over the famous Bells Bowl by younger brother, Tommy, taken out on a jet ski just before the 2013 final.

For whom the Bell tolls will be absolutely critical to this year's ASP men's World Title.

Eleven times World Champion Kelly Slater, fresh from a win at Kirra, has thrown down the gauntlet saying he is 100% committed towards this year's World Tour and that the last five years has been a somewhat half-hearted approach.

This whole new focus unlike previous years where he would wait and see was prompted by someone very close and personal advising Kelly to give it his all. I'd be speculating to guess who gave Kelly the pep talk but it has all the hallmarks of Allan Green, better known as Greeny, who established Quiksilver (Kelly's number one sponsor.)

Kelly performance on the Gold Coast was as good, if not better, as we've seen. His arsenal is awesome, super fit, super relaxed and his boards are super small and loose.

Back in 2009, Kelly was labouring over this new short board design, but in 2013, it was redefined by arguably the world's best shaper, Al Merrick, and his latest 5/6 pocket rocket is way ahead of his rivals. This must be a daunting challenge for Parko and Mick's shapers, JS and DHD, let alone for their coaches Wes Berg and Phil Mac.

Both the Coolangatta challengers will need to lift substantially to peg Kelly back at Bells.

He almost won their last year, some people reckon he did and if he had of, the King would have won last year's World title.

One gets the impression that Slater desperately wants the World title back and if he wins his 12th he'll hang up his boots.

Nice to see that Indonesian Gold Coast based Oney Anwar has been granted a wildcard by his sponsor Rip Curl into the main event. This will be Oney's first foray against the top 34 in a World Championship Tour event at Bells Beach. Go for it Oney.

The 37th Byron Bay Easter Classic dedicated to the memory of Ben King will kick off on Easter Friday run by Ben's wife Jen and supported by the Byron Bay Boardriders.


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Councillors’ election promise to deliver CBD project questioned

DOUBT: Andrew Antoniolli, Paul Pisasale and Paul Tully announce the lagoon project in February.

Councillors’ election promise to deliver CBD project questioned

Images of our shameful past

FOUND: Wade Thompson and Henry Thompson Jr at the Deebing Creek Mission Cemetery.

Images of our shameful past

Show out to deliver the thrills

The Safari Zoo is expected to be a big attraction for the kids.

Show out to deliver the thrills s

Latest deals and offers

BREAKING: Firefighters cut victim from car wreck

ONE person has been cut from the wreck of a vehicle following a two-vehicle accident south of Ipswich this morning.

Ipswich racer Ash Walsh wins Supercars lifeline

Ipswich racer Ash Walsh (left) discusses tactics with Supercars driver Tim Slade after a co-drivers practice session at Queensland Raceway.

Walsh prepares for new team test

Cousin's sexual assault: Puberty 'not an excuse'

Ipswich Police Station and Courthouse. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times

He told the girls "not to tell anyone or he would hurt them”

Six injured in three car pile up

Paramedics on scene of peak-hour multi-vehicle prang

Man accused of indecently assaulting health worker

A view of the Ipswich Hospital from the corner of East and Court Street. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times

It's alleged the attacker threatened the woman with a knife

UPDATE: Dramatic in-car footage as Raceway car goes airborne

Dramatic Aussie Car rollover at Queensland Raceway on Saturday.

In-car footage shows dramatic high-speed crash

Michael Hutchence doco to show a life lived INXS

Michael Hutchence.

Michael Hutchence will live in tell-all feature-length documentary.

Sunshine Coast cooks to do battle for Masterchef crown

asterChef Australia finalists Matt Sinclair and Elena Duggan.

Noosa's Matt and Elena stay mates to the very end.

Matilda The Musical's clean sweep at Helpmann Awards

A scene from Matilda The Musical.

TIM Minchin-scored production enjoys record awards haul.

Harry's MasterChef exit makes way for all-Noosa grand final

Harry Foster congratulates MasterChef finalists Elena Duggan and Matt Sinclair after a closely-fought semi-final.

YOUNG Rocky-born cook now working in his dream job in Tasmania.

Kim Kardashian West bemused by selfie 'drama'

Kim didn't expect her naked selfie to cause the stir it did

Alicia Vikander hasn't been home since Oscars

Alicia Vikander "hasn't been home" for nearly nine months.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles