Jordy Smith rings the bell

Form Guide

BELLS BEACH, Victoria/AUS (Wednesday, April 19, 2017) - Jordy Smith (ZAF) has won the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach today after electric performances in pumping six-to-eight foot conditions at the iconic venue in the Australian State of Victoria. Smith bested fellow Finalist Caio Ibelli (BRA) in a classic Bells Beach showdown to close out the Australian leg.

The third stop of the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, is the longest-running professional surf event in the world. This year's 56th iteration saw a competitive field of elite surfers throw down their best performances with Smith earning the right to ‘ring the Bell' for the first time in his career.

Smith secured his sixth Championship Tour win today following a series of heated match-ups against Ibelli, 2017 CT Rookie Ezekiel Lau (HAW) and 2015 WSL Champion Adriano de Souza (BRA). The win marks Smith’s best result here at Bells, following his runner-up finish in 2016, and moves him up to World No. 2 on the Jeep Leaderboard.

“I can’t even believe it -- second last year and now this -- it’s amazing,” Smith said. “I was stoked to have made it into Round 4 and then every heat after that was a bonus. I tried to take it easy and not take things too seriously, as you may have been able to tell from some of my claims in the Final. This is an absolute dream come true. I’ve been working on winning this event for 10 years now and to get it today is incredible.”

An intense Final witnessed Smith and Ibelli blast huge scores as they put all on the line to win. Smith charged with two 9-point rides for the lead. Ibelli answered back with a near-perfect 9.63 (out of a possible 10), needing a 9.25 with ten minutes left on the clock. Smith continued to heat things up with a 9.13, raising the requirement to a 9.28. With a 17.46 two-wave score, Ibelli was not able to defeat the South African’s commanding 18.90. 

Jordy Smith's (ZAF) powerful and aggressive approach suits Bells Beach and most surf fans believed it was only a matter of time until the South African rung the Bell himself.

“I wasn’t sure how many opportunities I was going to get with the high tide so I just took every wave I could,” continued Smith. “Once I got the 9, a bit of the pressure dropped and then, sure enough, Caio [Ibelli] kept coming. He is an amazing surfer and has been so on point this event. After a few years of injury and re-building, I feel like the pieces of the puzzle are coming together this year. My family and wife are right behind me and I couldn’t do it without their support.”

Ibell’s runner-up finish is his career-best result on the elite CT. The 2016 Rookie of the Year showcased a new level to his surfing with powerful, high-risk maneuvers to take out a tough field of challengers in final series. In his first time competing at Bells last season, Ibelli eliminated John John Florence (HAW) in Round 3. In a Semifinal rematch, Ibelli took out Florence once again to earn his first Finals appearance. The young Brazilian will now launch from 19th to 7th on the rankings.

“This trophy is going to look really nice in my house,” Ibelli said, “This has been the best Easter I have ever had. I’m so stoked. The waves and the support at Bells is so amazing. It’s really special.  To be in the Final with Jordy Smith, someone I’ve always looked up to, at a perfect wave like Bells is a dream come true for me.” 

Today's runner-up finish is Brazilian Caio Ibelli's best ever result on the CT and it takes him to No. 7 on the Jeep Rankings

The second Semifinal saw Smith eliminate Lau from the draw after an intense clash. Lau had been on a tear all day, even eliminating 2017 World Title contender Filipe Toledo (BRA) on his way to his best-ever result on the Championship Tour. With a 13th place result on the Gold Coast and 25th at Margaret River, Lau will now climb up to 11th on the Jeep Leaderboard.

“I had a lot of good heats at this event and was able to put it together more than I thought I was going to at times,” Lau said. “I’m really stoked with how I surfed at this event. Coming that close to the Final and falling short does hurt a bit, but Jordy [Smith] has been surfing really well and capitalized at the end. This has definitely built up my confidence, especially after a poor result at Margaret River. I just can’t wait to get to Brazil and hopefully keep the roll going.”

CT Rookie Ezekiel Lau (HAW) finished Equal 3rd at the 2017 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, a great finish to his first Australian leg as he now sits in 11th on the Jeep Rankings.

Reigning WSL Champion Florence was defeated in the first Semifinal by eventual runner-up Ibelli. Florence posted extraordinary results at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, but fell just 0.20 points short of the win against the Brazilian powerhouse. Despite the Semifinal loss, Florence is off to his best start on the CT after his victory at the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro and Semifinal finish at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast. Still ranked first in the world, Florence will look to defend his event title in Rio and retain the yellow Jeep Leader Jersey.

“This is by far my best start to the year, so I’m really happy,” Florence said. “I had a really fun event with some great heats, but unfortunately Caio [Ibelli] got me again at Bells Beach. I made a few mistakes that were kind of beneficial because I can take a lot from them and learn from them. I’m really looking forward to head back to Brazil in a few weeks. I’ve had success there and the waves are really fun, so it should be a great event. I’ve had an awesome Australian leg and am stoked with how it all went.” 

Although he was knocked out of the event in the Semifinals by eventual runner-up Caio Ibelli (BRA), reigning WSL Champion John John Florence (HAW) will retain the Jeep Leaders Jersey on his way to defending his event title in Brazil next month.

Florence showed just how ruthless the competition is on the elite Champion Tour is with two narrow wins over three-time WSL Champion Mick Fanning (AUS) in Round 4 and the Quarterfinals. Four-time event winner Fanning charged down massive sets to showcase his sharp, aggressive maneuvers and earn some of the highest wave scores of the day, including an 18.86 in Round 4. Unfortunately, Fanning was not able to combat the 24-year-old competitor and will leave with a 5th place finish, his best result on the 2017 CT thus far.

“That was a great battle with John [Florence] today,” Fanning said. “We were both putting up solid scores, so it was always going to be interesting. I’m really happy with my performance at this event. It just feels good to put a few good heats together and get a bit of rhythm back. At the start of the year, I was trying to do things the way I have in the past and it just wasn’t working for me. At this event I took a really relaxed approach and it felt way better. Getting pumping waves at Bells and Winki was great and going down to the Champ is not the worst thing that could happen.”

A heated Round 5 showdown saw Fanning eliminate good friend Owen Wright (AUS) from the event. The two Australian veterans battled with big scores, including a near-perfect 9.10 from Wright and a masterful 9.60 from Fanning. With Fanning in the lead at the halfway mark, Wright needed a 9.18 in his final attempt but was not able to turn in the requirement and will say in second on the Jeep Leaderboard, now tied with Smith.

“I’m not too happy with a ninth place result, but I’ll definitely take it,” Wright said. “I don’t come into an event without high expectations, so I was definitely aiming for a better result, but I’ll still walk away with a keeper. If I was going to choose anyone to knock me out of the event it would have been Mick [Fanning], so I can’t complain about going down to him. It was great to come back and compete at Bells in great waves.”

2017 CT Rookie Frederico Morais (PRT) was eliminated in the opening Quarterfinal by Ibelli. This is the rookie’s best result as a full-time CT competitor and he will move to 19th on the Jeep Leaderboard. With early exits from the first two events this season, Morais’ comeback at Bells will put him in a great position heading into Rio.

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Final Results:
1 - Jordy Smith (ZAF) 18.90
2 - Caio Ibelli (BRA) 17.46

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 17.63 def. John John Florence (HAW) 17.43
SF 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.63 def. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 15.17

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 16.00 def. Frederico Morais (PRT) 14.50
QF 2: John John Florence (HAW) 16.70 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.77
QF 3: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 18.60 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.66
QF 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.77 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 10.53

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 5 Results:
Heat 1: Frederico Morais (PRT) 18.10 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 13.16
Heat 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 18.63 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 17.60
Heat 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.76 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.00
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 18.17 def. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 17.60

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 16.46, Frederico Morais (PRT) 15.50, Owen Wright (AUS) 11.43
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW) 19.54, Mick Fanning (AUS) 18.86, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 12.94
Heat 3: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 16.73, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.67, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.20
Heat 4:  Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.30, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 14.70, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.50

2017 WSL Men’s Jeep Leaderboard (After Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach):
1 - John John Florence (HAW) 23,000 pts
2 - Jordy Smith (ZAF) 19,200 pts
2 - Owen Wright (AUS) 19,200 pts
4 - Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14,400 pts
5 - Kolohe Andino (USA) 13,750 pts


Toppa's picture
Toppa's picture
Toppa commented Wednesday, 19 Apr 2017 at 8:44pm

A fantastic event congratulations to Jordy. Just a suggestion, why not have a past champion present the bell to the winner instead of a company owner or ceo. How good would it have been to see Simon Anderson, Occy, or Tom Curren present the bell!


memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Wednesday, 19 Apr 2017 at 9:49pm

Great idea Toppa and congrats Jordy I was hoping if Mick couldn't do it Jordy would. He surfs Bells really well so it was destined sooner or later. Anybody think JJ's air against Mick was over scored? Great manoeuvre and super air but only the one and it was a dud wave. I thought a 9. Mick ripped the best waves all the way to the shore with amazing positioning which I thought JJ didn't. He was getting too far in front of it. Must be old fashioned but I felt a bit ripped off. Toledo's effort earlier in the contest was a smaller wave but he put together a great ride and was well worth the 10.

AzzaB's picture
AzzaB's picture
AzzaB commented Thursday, 20 Apr 2017 at 8:16am

Couldn't agree more about the JJF air. No way JJF should have won that heat especially on the basis of one manoeuvre. It wasn't even really that high risk as it was out the back so if he came off he would have quickly been out the back. It is a tough issue though as it should be rewarded but shouldn't be allowed to turn a heat the way it did. Spin the win should be stamped out!

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Thursday, 20 Apr 2017 at 8:34am

Kelly did the same at Bells to win the final (I think) a few years ago, may have been against Parko with an all or nothing Hail Mary that he pulled in the dying seconds. Got a 10 for it and won the comp.

Becoming common place now. Jaddy Andre i think started it and Medina perfected it in terms of the one move desperation punt.

Not taking anything away from JJ, he's amazing in just about anything but I reckon that was Mick's heat and a near 10 for one move is a pretty bitter pill to swallow.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Wednesday, 19 Apr 2017 at 10:35pm

I agree Mem, mentioned that earlier in the day.

I thought Mick was the form surfer but any of the quarter finalists onwards deserved to be there. Jordy's surfing was a pleasure to watch and he deserved the win.

Great contest and great waves for the Oz leg of the tour. Now off to the snooze-fest that is Brazil.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

tonybarber's picture
tonybarber's picture
tonybarber commented Thursday, 20 Apr 2017 at 7:32am

Add this event to Margs and we had a great run, top event. Yep, agree get a past winner or maybe previous to hand the bell out, good idea.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 20 Apr 2017 at 8:08am

Epic Finals day.. so good when Bells is at size.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 20 Apr 2017 at 9:14am

"It wasn't even really that high risk as it was out the back so if he came off he would have quickly been out the back. "

Interesting point Azza. The one-manouvre 10-pointer really fucks with the criteria. Firstly, where does flow - a key element in the criteria - fit into a twenty yard pump and punt? And like you said, the first move is the safest place to throw a hail mary.

This totally reverses the thinking such as when a surfer tries to construct a long ride, the first move is the most dangerous, it's where all the big points go because ostensibly there's more at stake.

Yet there's relatively little at stake in a one move wave - sometimes not even priority.

belly's picture
belly's picture
belly commented Thursday, 20 Apr 2017 at 10:23am

Yeah it's a tough one, there appears to be inconsistency with the unwritten context criteria of the one move.
I thought JJF's was mid 8's when I watched it. It's a single move on a mid size wave at bombing Bells where Mick is on the best and biggest waves destroying them from start to finish.
I can't help but think of Pipe and the way airs aren't rewarded on the inside section. Aussies cried at the time but Medina only got a 6 for a sick air on the inside section of a mid size wave. I'm guessing for an air to get 9+ at Pipe it would need to be done on the outside section on a set wave.
I'm generally not a judge basher but if there is an unwritten context criteria it does seem a little inconsistent. There also appeared to be genuine uncertainty from the commentators as to where his score would land.
PS + I think JJF is sick and deserve's all the success he is getting, it's not his fault.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Thursday, 20 Apr 2017 at 10:27am

PS + I think JJF is sick and deserve's all the success he is getting, it's not his fault.


Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Thursday, 20 Apr 2017 at 10:47am

If you take away the reward, you'll take away the progress.

FWIW, I'm not a fan of the one move air, however, that from JJF was unbelievable. And he was still looking for more, but it was a closeout.
Also, that was not a mid size wave, it was a solid set.

Maybe take away high 9's from Mick for doing perfect turns all the way to the beach and hold it at 8, so that those 10's are reserved for someone that can incorporate huge moves into a complete ride.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 20 Apr 2017 at 10:51am

I'm neither here nor there on it, don't feel strongly either way, but I am curious how the one move wave can mess with the routine of a heat. In concept that's a good thing, surfers can be so hidebound to established heat strategy that a shake up could make things exciting for the viewer.

It appears to be great strategy while waiting for priority: don't need to wait, don't need a set, and you wont waste time surfing a long wave and paddling back out again. Why not go for it?

Whether it develops into a bona fide tactic and not just a last minute salvation is something else though.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 20 Apr 2017 at 10:52am

A 10 is for a wave ridden to the best of the current abilities of the worlds best.

JJF's closeouts couldn't have really been ridden any better I don't believe.

Innovation : yes

Critical : yes

Flow : yes - check that landing.....seamless

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 20 Apr 2017 at 11:02am

So don't take off on a closeout?

I understand what you're saying, however the judges always, always score larger waves higher which confines the whole 'wave couldn't have been surfed any better' reasoning to the dust bin.

In the judges eyes, their scores reflect ability and wave quality. The latter presumably a reward for ocean knowledge, the ability to hunt down the best sets.

Ergo, JJF shouldn't have taken off on a closeout.

belly's picture
belly's picture
belly commented Thursday, 20 Apr 2017 at 11:04am

Yeah, I'm neither here nor there as well....

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 20 Apr 2017 at 11:36am

But seeing as the whole shebang is basically built on entertainment value alone , then wouldn't you think the judging priority should reflect that ?

So as the clock ticks perilously close to the finish , as a viewer and I'm sure as a competitor , shouldn't there be opportunity to win even if the best wave of the heat is never going to materialise ?

Sport is all about grace under pressure. What better exemplifies that than turning a 4 point wave into a 10 with moments to go ?

Take away that possibility and it's a snooze fest.

As demonstrated when the surfer leading has priority and sits on their opponent till heats end......yawn.

Didn't the biggest / best wave get removed from the criteria ?

Maybe the judging should adhere more to there own formulae.

Bigger/ better waves should receive better scores only because they enable a better performance.

theween's picture
theween's picture
theween commented Thursday, 20 Apr 2017 at 11:50am

Bit sad that there's so much debate about the subjectivity of judging surfing but very few feel compelled to comment on the poor young girl killed in WA (oh, that's right, more people die driving to the surf than...the shark was just doing it's thing...)

The Ween

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 20 Apr 2017 at 12:05pm

Bit presumptuous that you'd think conversation here equates with indifference over there.

Also more than a bit distasteful that you use a death to lay value judgements on people you don't know.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 20 Apr 2017 at 12:08pm

You reckon if we talk more about sharks and less about contests then you'll be safer next time you paddle out ?

Mate, I'm terrified of sharks but what can you do ?

I had a hell sssion at a pretty little bay in Fitzgerald river national park a few weeks back. No one around and I was shitting myself . I was getting so unnerved at times that I was sticking my head under water and shouting expletives as some kind of outrageously deluded deterrent...... maybe it worked , I never got bitten .

Bit remote for nets down that way.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Thursday, 20 Apr 2017 at 11:54am

Still reckon it was a big burger of a wave and with one good punt. It wasn't a closeout more a mush out as he was right out the back in deep water. Airs are no longer that innovative to surf watchers (although I admit his was as ripper). They can all do them and on a long wave like Bells seems a waste of a wave. I love to see someone put something together almost like a work of art rather than one punctuation mark, which is why I loved JJ's Marg effort and Jordy's at Bells. Remember we have Brazil next and you will be sick of airs by the end of that closeout contest. Not bagging JJ the guy is brilliant however I think they need to sort it given the number of airs all the latest gen do eg. put a specific clause in that one spectacular move (aka big air) can get a 10.

Fleazool's picture
Fleazool's picture
Fleazool commented Thursday, 20 Apr 2017 at 3:58pm

What's now stopping JJ/Gabs etc from just sitting inside & punting away until they nail two tens? They probably have more chance of taking out the old school, that revel in the rail game locations, rather than trying to beat them at their own game. Takes the whole knowing the ocean/break out the window. Maybe on the beachie locations but not 6ft + Bells

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Thursday, 20 Apr 2017 at 5:40pm

Because JJ has been doing a lot better since playing the traditional game and getting on the best waves.

But he has the airs in his repertoire in times where he doesn't find himself on those best waves, hasn't put together a good heat and still needs a score, or he gets combo'd like yesterday.

theween's picture
theween's picture
theween commented Thursday, 20 Apr 2017 at 5:20pm

Stu, how quickly you forget. There was a torrent of outrage on this site when a GWS suffered minor (if any) injury by entering a cage hanging off a boat. A young girl is killed and the silence is (almost) deafening. Seems hypocritical to me. You're also drawing a very long bow saying that I'm 'using her death' - I'm simply making an observation.

The Ween

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 20 Apr 2017 at 5:31pm

A torrent of outrage, eh? One comment in a hundred. Maybe a trickle..?

Anyway, don't let those facts get you down, it's clearly a left conspiracy.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Thursday, 20 Apr 2017 at 5:59pm

Im a big fan of JJF but Micks surfing was timeless in that heat, it was almost Curren like.

I wanted JJF to get through hoping he would win the comp, but felt for Mick he was easily the best surfer in that heat.

IMO there needs to be a cap on the score judges can give for one turn, maybe an 8 should be
the maximum score you can get for one turn unless it is combined with a barrel.

Ada gula, ada semut!

theween's picture
theween's picture
theween commented Thursday, 20 Apr 2017 at 9:17pm

'A left conspiracy', heh? Seems you are easily offended, stu, so I'll make sure that, in future, I only go with the political correctness you seem to desire on this site.

The Ween

ishredinmyhead's picture
ishredinmyhead's picture
ishredinmyhead commented Friday, 21 Apr 2017 at 8:15am

theween I notice you have more to say on this thread than than the one actually relating to the WA tragedy. My condolences to the victims family and friends of course, and i agree not many comments this time on there, but i think your comments are misdirected here.
On the actual subject of one move surfing, here's my 2 cents worth on how it should be scored.
(i'm refering mainly to airs here)
On short beach breaks like Rio, France and Portugal = 8 points max.
Longer point or reef breaks = 5 points max.
Hard core waves like Teahupoo, 'the Box' etc should be all about the take off and tube ride so no more than = 4 points
Love JJF and MF but the round 4 clash left a really bitter taste in my mouth for the rest of the event.
PS I thought JW also got shafted.

old-school-thrash's picture
old-school-thrash's picture
old-school-thrash commented Friday, 21 Apr 2017 at 2:12pm

Hey Jordy O, well done for SA mate. Kiff long lakka lines ekse' bru!! That roof top lip line length was incredible nicely done!!! cherrs !


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