Jordy Smith 

Round 1 of the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach presented by Snickers was completed today in three-to-four foot (1 metre) waves in the Bells Bowl, and the implementation of the new format, rendering the opening round an elimination man-on-man affair, saw surfers lifting their competitive game to survive a dramatic day of action.

Event No. 2 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach is a pivotal point in the season and today’s action saw 16 of the world’s best surfers sent packing after just one heat. Despite the criticalness of the format, some incredible performances were logged at the historic venue.

Jordy Smith (ZAF), 21, stamped his authority on today’s proceedings, eliminating highly-touted event wildcard Matt Wilkinson (AUS), 20, from Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach competition. The intercontinental clash was reminiscent of the two’s famed battles during their junior careers.

“I am really good friends with Matt (Wilkinson) and it felt like an old times junior heat out here,” Smith said. “I surfed my first overseas contest out here and it was against him. I was lucky the tide was a bit lower and it was walling up nice on the inside today.”

Smith’s mastery of the Bells Bowl today saw the young natural-footer attain the day’s highest heat total of an 18.70 out of a possible 20, securing two excellent-scoring rides for a blistering and fluid series of forehand maneuvers.

“My normal shortboard is 6’2 ½” and Bells is kind of a sloppier and longer face so I brought my 6’3 ½” and it tends to get through the flat spots a bit better,” Smith said. I surfed earlier this morning on the higher tide and struggled a bit so I was thankful for the low tide out there this afternoon.”

Smith will take on Damien Hobgood (USA), 29, in Round 2 when competition continues.

Owen Wright (AUS), 19, wildcard at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, caused the upset of the day, defeating incendiary American Dane Reynolds, 23, in Round 1 of competition.

“I am really happy,” Wright said. “I went out there knowing that I needed to get a wave under my belt straight up and put the pressure on him. I did that and got the wave, surfed it all the way through and managed to get a little back up.”

Wright’s tenacity and solid game plan provided him with the win over his marquee opponent and the young goofy-footer will need to employ the same tact as he continues here at Bells Beach.

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Daniel Ross 

Australia’s Daniel Ross (AUS/NSW/Yamba) has won the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) six star prime rated  Drug Aware Pro defeating fellow North Coast NSW Australian surfer Adam Melling in clean 3 to 4 feet (1.25m) surf at Margaret River in Western Australia today.

It was Ross’s biggest career victory and could not have come at a better time for the powerfully built surfer who fell short of requalifying on the ASP World Dream Tour last season and also recently lost his major sponsorship deals!

“ I was so pumped to win this event and I can’t believe how good I feel right now” said an elated Ross after his win.

“I’ve made the semi’s the last two years here and I knew coming here I was a really good chance to win, I’ve trained hard leading into this event and it has really paid off for me in a big way.”
 
“Without a major sponsor the cash that comes with winning ($US20 000) will make my year of competing that much easier and I wanted to prove to everyone out there right now  that I am worth sponsoring and capable of big results!”

Ross surfed the ASP Dream Tour last year but failed to requalify. Today’s result has him exceptionally well placed for requalification this year.

“That’s my aim for sure and now I’m winning I want to get on a roll and string together a lot more excellent results.”

With the lead  see sawing in a  high scoring quality  final, Melling opened with an excellent 8.67 ride and looked to have control when he backed that ride up shortly after  with a strong 6.07 ride.

Ross opened with a 6.77 score, remained patient and found the finals best ride when he scored an outstanding 9.43 at the twenty minute stage of the 30 minute final.

Ross unleashed all his power on this ride combining two massive bottom to top turns sending fans of spray  high off the wave and it was immediately clear to the large crowd on the hills of Margaret River that he had taken the lead with that ride.

While Melling searched for an achievable 7.54 to regain the lead, he fell on a few critical turns late in the final and was forced to settle for second on a score line for each surfers top two scoring rides of 16.20 (out of a possible 20) for Ross and 14.74 to Melling.

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Melanie Redman-Carr 

Veteran Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Dream Tour surfer Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS/WA/Dunsborough/33 years of age) today won her fourth Drug Aware Pro at Margaret River defeating rising Hawaiian star Coco Ho (17 years old/North Shore Ohau) in clean 1.25m (3 to 4 feet) surf.

Redman-Carr’s local knowledge and experience at the break saw her select the superior waves in the final which she won comfortably with a combined top two wave final score tally of 12.60 To Ho on 7.67.

“I have really surprised myself winning here today” said Redman-Carr.

“The younger emerging girls here have been ripping and I was sure I’d be eliminated in the opening quarter final today when I faced Carissa Moore (Haw); she has been the form surfer all week and I thought she’d win the event”

“The waves were really fun out there today and I’m sure my local knowledge helped out a lot” added Redman-Carr.

Redman-Carr opened with a 5.83 ride and was never seriously challenged by Ho who had difficulty finding the right waves to deliver any high scores at all.

Redman – Carr  sealed the final with 3 minutes remaining when she used her priority on a clean righthand breaking wave, scoring the finals top scoring ride of a 6.77.

That left Ho chasing a very difficult 8.10 and with no waves in the final few minutes the 2009 Drug Aware title was Redman-Carr’s.

Redman- Carr’s experience includes finishing second on the ASP World Tour on two occasions, the last time in 2006 and she officially retired from full time  professional surfing this year following the birth of her daughter Willow last year.

Being a local girl with an affinity to the surf here at Margaret River she accepted a wildcard into this event and went on to win $US 4000 in prize money.

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