Bells Beach ready for the battle of the underdogs

March 22, 2016 | Surfing
Bells Beach: a surf gem in the heart of Victoria | Photo: ASP

It's that time of the year. The endless right-handers of Bells Beach are ready for the world's best surfers. Mason Ho and Dusty Payne will replace Filipe Toledo and Jack Freestone, who recently got injured.

The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach 2016 hits Torquay, Victoria, from March 24th through April 5th, with Matt Wilkinson on top of the rankings. He has been training hard with Glenn Hall to step up his game.

"We've found a good balance over the last few months. Glenn has helped me realized that I don't want to wonder if I could have done better on tour. I'm still having a lot of fun, but I'm taking better care of myself, and that has translated into results," explained Wilkinson.

This year, Bells Beach will see more changes in the Round 1 draw. Alejo Muniz, Bede Durbidge, and Owen Wright join Toledo and Freestone on the no-go list. Their positions will be replaced by Sebastian Zietz, Stuart Kennedy, and Adam Melling.

The women's competition kicks off with Tyler Wright at the top of the leaderboard. She will attack the defending champion, Carissa Moore, knowing she is competing in home waters.

"I'm focused this year. 2015 was a bit of an off year for me, and I've had a few close years on tour with regards to the title, but that's my goal for my next few seasons. 2016 is off to a good start, and I aim to keep it rolling at Bells," added Wright.

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach 2016 | Round 1 Match-Ups

Jeremy Flores (FRA), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Davey Cathels (AUS)
Julian Wilson (AUS), Stuart Kennedy (AUS), Adam Melling (AUS)
Italo Ferreira (BRA), Kanoa Igarashi (USA), Dusty Payne (HAW)
Gabriel Medina (BRA), Conner Coffin (USA), TBD
Mick Fanning (AUS), Keanu Asing (HAW), TBD
Adriano de Souza (BRA), Michel Bourez (PYF), TBD
Kelly Slater (USA), Kai Otton (AUS), Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
Joel Parkinson (AUS), Taj Burrow (AUS), Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Kolohe Andino (USA), Miguel Pupo (HAW)
Nat Young (AUS), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Ryan Callinan (AUS)
Josh Kerr (AUS), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Matt Banting (AUS)
John John Florence (HAW), Jordy Smith (ZAF), Jadson Andre (BRA)

Rip Curl Women's Pro Bells Beach 2016 | Round 1 Match-Ups

Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Chelsea Tuach (BRB)
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Malia Manuel (HAW), Alessa Quizon (HAW)
Carissa Moore (HAW), Keely Andrew (AUS), TBD
Courtney Conlogue (USA), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Laura Enever (AUS)
Tyler Wright (AUS), Sage Erickson (USA), Coco Ho (HAW)
Joanne Defay (FRA), Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), Bronte Macaulay (AUS)

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