Wednesday 23 March 2005
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 Fosters
Mens World Tour and Womens 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. Theres always a special little vibe cruising
down here in the morning, said Whitaker. Even
when its one foot and onshore, its got that aura
about it where its definitely special Im
getting goose bumps just talking about it. Im 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 years Fosters
Mens 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 Ive drawn defending Bells champion
Joel Parkinson, which is good. Ive got that get
out there and flair feeling, said Whitaker.
Many of the crew spent yesterday playing Torquays
new golf course, The Sands, and though none of them can swing
as well as they can surf, theyll be back there today
trying to better their scores.
I top scored yesterday, but I wont
tell you what the score was too embarrassing!
laughed Richie Lovett (Manly/AUS) at breakfast this morning.
Theyve named it well because Ive
never seen so much sand, or so many bunkers on a golf course
before. Its 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 Curls
Down Time Theatre.