Kelly Slater: winning form

The 50th Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach is on. In the first day of the special anniversary edition surfers enjoyed clean four-to-six foot (1.5-2 metre) waves.

Joel Parkinson was the man of the match. The 30-year-old rider and 2009 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach champion, put in a sensational performance locking in the highest wave score and the highest heat score of the opening day of competition scoring 17.74 to advance directly through to Round 3 of competition.

"I fell off twice on the bowl," Parkinson said. "It was really hard to ride. Then CJ went across to Rincon and got a score, so we followed him over and it worked out for me."

"It's great to get that opening heat win, especially at Bells. You never know what conditions you're going to get in a heat, so to be able to skip round two and maybe get a day off is a huge advantage."

Kelly Slater, 39, was clinical in his attack in his Round 1 heat. Slater had his fellow competitors Adam Robertson, 28, and Kai Otton, 31, on the ropes only minutes into the heat, scoring an impressive 16.00 (out of a possible 20.00) on his opening two rides.

"I don't free surf out at Bells a whole lot," Slater said. "When the waves are good the comp is on and outside of that it's pretty crowded. So I'm still learning with each heat out there still, surfing against a guy like Robbo you've got to watch where he's sitting, how far our and how deep."

Mick Fanning, 29, currently equal 13th in the hunt for the 2011 ASP World Title, went into today’s competition with renewed vigor after a shock early exit at the last event on the Gold Coast. The past two-time ASP World Champion came out and dominated his Round 1 battle over Tiago Pires (PRT), 31, and Gabriel Medina (BRA), 17.

"I'm stoked to get a good start," Fanning said. "It's been 10 years since I won here as I wildcard, I got close last year but Kelly Slater got me in the final. You want to win every event, but being the 50th Anniversary and so much history at this event, it's like the Wimbeldon of surfing, it's a hard one to win but it's the one everyone wants."

Alejo Muniz, 21, led today’s rookie charge, continuing his sensational run after the and equal 5th on the Gold Coast, and dispatching of fellow Brazilian Ranoi Monterio, 28, and Australian Adrian Buchan, 28 in this morning’s opening round heat.

"It's so good out there!" Muniz said. "This is my first time surfing at Bells and it's the most amazing place. It's got perfect rights, and it's the kind of wave that I love to surf. It's the best place ever, best waves, best weather and I love surfing in wetsuits."

Stephanie Gilmore, 23, reigning four-time ASP Women’s World Champion and defending three-time Rip Curl Women’s Bells Beach winner, returned to her winning ways today, after bowing out early at the last event, the Roxy Pro Gold Coast.

RIP CURL PRO BELLS BEACH ROUND 1 RESULTS:

Heat 1: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 13.23, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.26, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 7.37
Heat 2: Adam Melling (AUS) 14.50, Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.30, Taj Burrow (AUS) 11.00
Heat 3: Heitor Alves (BRA) 14.36, Bobby Martinez (USA) 14.14, Owen Wright (AUS) 10.60
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.60, Tiago Pires (PRT) 11.07, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 9.27
Heat 5: Stu Kennedy (AUS) 11.70, Dusty Payne (HAW) 10.50, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 9.00
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) 16.00, Kai Otton (AUS) 10.13, Adam Robertson (AUS) 8.53
Heat 7: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.17, Cory Lopez (USA) 5.83, Taylor Knox (USA) 4.67
Heat 8: Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.60, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 10.20, Gabe Kling (USA) 3.50
Heat 9: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.60, Damien Hobgood (USA) 11.23, Daniel Ross (AUS) 11.07
Heat 10: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.74, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 11.44, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 8.17
Heat 11: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.60, Chris Davidson (AUS) 10.83, Julian Wilson (AUS) 9.83
Heat 12: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 13.40, Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.43, Brett Simpson (USA) 8.93

RIP CURL WOMEN’S PRO BELLS BEACH ROUND 1 RESULTS:

Heat 1: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 12.93, Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 8.70, Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 8.66
Heat 2: Silvana Lima (BRA) 14.94, Laura Enever (AUS) 8.84, Melanie Bartels (HAW) 7.54
Heat 3: Pauline Ado (HAW) 14.60, Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.44, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 10.63
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.30, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 9.00, Bethany Hamilton (HAW) 6.50
Heat 5: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 16.10, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 12.83 Paige Hareb (NZL) 7.47
Heat 6: Coco Ho (HAW) 12.90, Tyler Wright (AUS) 12.00, Pauline Ado (FRA) 6.37