John John Florence: using his skill to win heats | Photo: Sloane/WSL

Round 1 of the 2016 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach brought a few surprises. Kelly Slater, Jordy Smith and Taj Burrow will have to surf the repechage heat to continue in competition.

Matt Wilkinson is the man of the moment. The Australian is fitter than ever, and his new attitude is paying off. The winner of the Gold Coast event is through to Round 3.

"Hopefully, I can keep the leader jersey for a while. That kind of success early in the year shows what the hard work can do, and I want to keep doing it. We will see how well I can do this year," expressed Wilkinson.

Joel Parkinson joins fellow countryman in the next round. The former world champion sent Sebastian Zietz and Burrow to the decisive win-or-lose clash.

"Bells is one of those places where you have to surf safe enough to get a score. If I had to find another one of those waves, I'd lose the heat because I might not have gotten another opportunity. You just have to be on the best waves," added Parkinson.

Kai Otton defeated Alex Ribeiro and Slater. The Australian proved he is a force to be reckoned with, and will likely keep impression the crowd at Bells Beach.

"Any heat you have with Kelly you have to bring your A-game. Especially in these conditions today, it was pretty incredible out there. The heat just went really lully, and that benefited me. Kelly can get a 7.5 any day of the week so that fact that the waves cooperated for me, I was blessed," concluded Otton.

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach 2016 | Round 2 Match-Ups

Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Tim Stevenson (AUS)
Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Mason Ho (HAW)
Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Timothee Bisso (GLP)
Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Ryan Callinan (AUS)
Stuart Kennedy (AUS) vs. Matt Banting (AUS)
Conner Coffin (USA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Keanu Asing (HAW) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)

Anthony Vandenberg has once again participated in the Shackleford Challenge 2018 in Cedar Island, North Carolina. This time, he had a close encounter with a shark.

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