No major surprises at today’s Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach round one, with former World Tour Champs Chelsea Hedges and Stephanie Gilmore of Australia cruising through their heats. Surf hit up the two-to-three foot (1 metre) mark at Rincon, as stylish surfing and cheeky heat tactics were the order of the day.
Returning from a year’s sabbatical, Hedges notched up a 15.40 out of a possible 20. She said, “Rincon is good fun and such a tricky wave and different to the Gold Coast. There is no real defined lip. You have to find the sections and really have to work to get through sections. When you get an open face, it is good and you have to try and get those ones that link right through."
Seven-time ASP Women’s World Champ Layne Beachley dusted her board down and returned to form, with the highest heat total of the day, 15.57 out of a possible 20.
After being eliminated early on at the season opener, former ASP World Junior Champ Sally Fitzgibbons stomped her round one heat over fellow Aussies Amee Donohoe and Rebecca Woods. RIP CURL WOMEN’S PRO BELLS BEACH ROUND 1 RESULTS: Heat 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 13.67, Amee Donohoe (AUS) 10.77, Rebecca Woods (AUS) 8.30 Heat 2: Layne Beachley (AUS) 14.33, Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 8.50, Paige Hareb (NZL) 6.33 Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 13.60, Bruna Schmitz (BRA) 11.50, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 9.50 Heat 4: Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 15.40, Silvana Lima (BRA) 14.84, Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 10.97 Heat 5: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 13.83, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 10.54, Coco Ho (HAW) 10.33 Heat 6: Samantha Cornish (AUS) 9.80, Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 9.60, Melanie Bartels (HAW) 8.33
Will have some footage for you very soon...