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News Archive - March 2005
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March 2005  
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Bells remains in dry dock
Wednesday 23 March 2005

Click image to visit photo galleryCONTINUING strong onshore winds and virtually no swell have led to the Rip Curl Pro and SPC Fruit Pro being postponed for the second day of the event waiting period. Similar conditions are expected early tomorrow, though a bump in the swell together with winds swinging into a more favourable NW direction, are forecast for later in the day.

A large contingent of the Top 45 of the Foster’s Men’s World Tour and Women’s ASP Top 17 were on hand for the dawn check this morning. Amongst them was Tom Whitaker (Bronte/AUS) who voiced how special the annual visit to Bells is for the tour.

“Bells is the most traditional contest on tour. There’s always a special little vibe cruising down here in the morning,” said Whitaker. “Even when it’s one foot and onshore, it’s got that aura about it where it’s definitely special – I’m getting goose bumps just talking about it. I’m excited about the contest and ready to rumble.”

Earlier this month, Whitaker duplicated his season opening result from 2004 with a third placing in the first WCT of the year. He has drawn last year’s Foster’s Men’s World Tour runner-up in Joel Parkinson (Coolangatta/AUS) in his round one heat of the Rip Curl Pro, along with Brazilian Elastomax 2 trials wildcard Jean Da Silva.

“Yep, a good result for me on the Gold Coast again, and now I’ve drawn defending Bells champion Joel Parkinson, which is good. I’ve got that ‘get out there and flair’ feeling,” said Whitaker.

Many of the crew spent yesterday playing Torquay’s new golf course, The Sands, and though none of them can swing as well as they can surf, they’ll be back there today trying to better their scores.

“I top scored yesterday, but I won’t tell you what the score was – too embarrassing!” laughed Richie Lovett (Manly/AUS) at breakfast this morning.

“They’ve named it well because I’ve never seen so much sand, or so many bunkers on a golf course before. It’s a difficult one, but beautiful at the same time,” added Lovett.

Meanwhile, up north in storm-gripped Sydney, big southerly swells have industry teams scampering around hunting clean conditions. Rip Curl team members Pancho Sullivan (HAW) and Kieren Perrow (AUS) are on the prowl for footage with ‘Curl lensman Jon Frank.

The next call for the Rip Curl Pro and SPC Fruit Pro will be at 7am tomorrow (Thursday). Enthusiasts can get on-line today at www.ripcurl.com to catch spontaneous interviews with top surfers here at Bells, as well as Rip Curl’s Down Time Theatre.

Paul Sargeant

LIVE WEBCAST & LIVE RIP CURL PRO WEBSITE:

Photo: Empty stands overlooking Bells Beach

 

Source: PRESS/MEDIA RELEASE Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) / Rip Curl

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