BELLS BEACH, Victoria/Australia (Wednesday, March 13, 2011) – The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach presented by FORD, the second stop on the 2011 ASP World Title season, will welcome the world’s best surfers this April for its incredible 50-year anniversary.
Running from April 19 through 30, 2011, the event will feature both the ASP Top 34 in the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach presented by Ford Ranger as well as the ASP Top 17 in the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach presented by Ford Fiesta.
“It’s going to be a very exciting Easter at Bells Beach this April, with some special events planned to celebrate the amazing half-century anniversary of the Rip Curl Pro and the Bells Beach Easter Rally,” Brooke Farris, Rip Curl International Event Manager, said. “This year’s event will really be a ‘gathering of the tribe’, with each of the world’s best ASP surfers keen to etch their name in the history books by winning the anniversary Bell and most of our former competitors and past champions in Torquay to re-live many of the amazing moments and stories they created over the past 50 years.”
The monumental event will be attended by not only the world’s best surfers but also by industry moguls paying homage to such an historic accomplishment.
“Bells Beach not only holds a special place in the hearts of Australians but well within the global surfing community as a whole,” Brodie Carr, ASP International CEO, said. “The aura surrounding the venue borders on the spiritual and the event never fails to deliver memorable experiences. Congratulations are in order to Rip Curl, Surfing Victoria and the Bells Beach community on celebrating their 50th year in operations this season. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
2011 will mark the golden anniversary of professional surfing at Bells Beach, and the world’s best surfers will be there en masse to both honor the prestigious event as well as battle for the ASP World Title.
Kelly Slater (USA), 39, reigning 10-time ASP World Champion, has claimed four prestigious Bells titles (’94, ’06, ’08, ’10) and with a win at the opening event of the season on the Gold Coast, will have his sights on defending his title at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach in 2011.
“The Bells trophy is probably one of – if not the – most sought after trophies in professional surfing,” Slater said. “Anyone who has ever gotten a Bell has talked proudly of it. It’s like winning a World Title trophy.”
Mick Fanning (AUS), 29, former two-time ASP World Champion (’07, ’09), posted his first elite tour victory as a wildcard at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach in 2001.
“Fifty years at Bells is huge,” Fanning said. “It has so much history, from the first days with MP to MR to up until now. So many great surfers have won the Rip Curl Pro because it’s one of the hardest ones to win.”
Running in conjunction with the men’s event will be the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach presented by Ford Fiesta, the second stop on the 2011 ASP Women’s World Title season, and will host the world’s best female surfers.
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 23, reigning four-time ASP Women’s World Champion, boasts an impressive three Bells titles to her name (’07, ’08, ’10) and appreciates the history that comes with competing at the famed righthand pointbreak each season.
“To have an event there for 50 years is good for surfing and good for the younger generation to be able to go there and compete and be able to experience the aura that’s been there since the very beginning,” Gilmore said. “That’s what makes the Rip Curl Pro really different from the other stops on the Tour.”
The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach presented by FORD will take place at Victoria’s pristine Bells Beach from April 19 – 30, 2011 and be webcast LIVE via www.live.ripcurl.com and broadcast live on Fuel TV in Australia and ESPN in Brazil.