The Rip Curl Pro locks in for five more years

Stu Nettle
Form Guide

With the recent WSL leaks the pro surf world is readying for revolution. Incomplete though the leaks were, enough was revealed to indicate wholesale changes are a 'coming.

But don't expect too much in the way of changes to the Aussie leg - at least not in terms of scheduling.

The same week the leaks were...well, leaked, the WSL locked in a five year deal with the Victorian government to continue running the Bells Beach Pro. The announcement came one month after the Margaret River Po was confirmed for two more years, while the Snapper Pro has one more year to run on its contract.

Nor will the sponsors change: Quiksilver will continue at Snapper, the WA government at Margaret River, and Rip Curl for Bells. All three parties were recently in Southern California for the WSL's not-so-secret meetings.

Another not-quite-secret is the WSL's desire to lock in rigid dates to aide scheduling, an impossible wish with Bells traditionally held over Easter and that date changing from year to year. Last there was just one day between the end of Margs and the start of the Bells Trials. So will the Rip Curl Pro shift off its Easter time slot?

"We've heard nothing about changing the dates," said Neil Ridgway from Rip Curl. "As far we know it's business as usual next Easter and forever after."

"The Rip Curl Pro is part of Victoria's Hallmark Events Program, and the event is synonymous with Easter," said Ridgway.

So while big changes have been hinted at - the format will be upended, Pipe is gone, most of the Qualifying Series too - the three-stage Aussie leg appears fixed like bedrock. Well, for a few more years at least.

Comments

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 at 4:06pm

Another five years of fat lumpy burgers, because Bells must stay because of the history.

Ada gula, ada semut!

wozz's picture
wozz's picture
wozz commented Wednesday, 20 Sep 2017 at 5:56am

As opposed to this years sloppy Trestles

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 at 4:20pm

As much Victorian taxpayers money as heritage keeping this one in.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 at 4:50pm

as I've said many times before, it'll be a cold day in hell when the WSL or whoever is in charge of professional surfing turns it's back on a taxpayer underwritten CT event.

OHV500's picture
OHV500's picture
OHV500 commented Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 at 5:02pm

For the last few years Bells has had OK waves - compared to the crap they are surfing right now. I think its great that its still part of the tour . They always have Winki as an option. But maybe I just like surfing Bells and Winki ?

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout commented Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 at 6:21pm

YAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!

Fleazool's picture
Fleazool's picture
Fleazool commented Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 at 8:53pm

Stoked. Might be a touch bias as a Victorian but I always look forward to Bells. Awesome venue a
challenging place to surf well and usually throws up a good contest. You really need to have spent time out in all its many moods to get the place.

Walter wonderli's picture
Walter wonderli's picture
Walter wonderli commented Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 8:59am

Raglan shots on Bells give the goofy a go saying that the Kiwis political approval would be a nightmare

dr-surf's picture
dr-surf's picture
dr-surf commented Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 4:02pm

Bells has consistently produced Good contestable surf over a 50 year period at Easter time. Having backup venues at 13th Beach, Joanna and Woolamai if conditions demand. Bells
delivered a great event in 2017 only bettered by JBay Pro this year.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 9:29pm

From a tourism perspective, it would be great to see the Bells comp shifted away from Easter. Holding big events during peak season makes zero sense.
In terms of beach crowds and atmosphere, Bells is head and shoulders above the other WSL events.