First rides at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach 2015

April 1, 2015 | Surfing
Jordy Smith: quietly winning heats | Photo: WSL/Cestari

Kelly Slater and Gabriel Medina survived Round 1 of the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach 2015, in the three-foot surf on offer at the Victorian break.

Seven heats were completed, and a world surfing champion went down. But it wasn't Slater, who managed to steal two 8-point waves from his opponents to confirm the highest heat total of the day and a place in Round 3.

"I watched a couple of heats before to try and judge which waves were the best ones. I didn't catch my wave until 10 minutes, but it was a pretty good wave and then I was in sync for the good ones," explained Slater.

"The tradition here at Bells, winning the trophy and the history here all make it so special. You put everything on the line to try and win here."

The Brazilian champion also got through the difficult Round 1. Gabriel Medina sent 2014 CT Rookie Matt Banting plus Trials winner Joe Van Dijk into the repechage round with a couple good scores.

"Today isn't typical Bells; we're surfing up at Rincon, which can be hard to surf so I'm stoked to win that heat," underlines Medina.

"I've got a good board for this wave and I'm feeling good, that's about all you can do. It's really hard to win this event, especially against all the regular-footers. All I can do is my best, hopefully, I finish with a good result."

Mason Ho caused the major upset of the day. The Hawaiian charger eliminated defending event winner Mick Fanning and Freddy Patacchia Jr, with a sparkling clean, frontside aerial rotation.

"I definitely went into the heat aiming to win. It seemed like anyone could have won that heat, but I got lucky," revealed Ho.

"I'm bummed I didn't get a really good backup score but it's been challenging out there today. It's challenging out there, it was slow and not breaking in the same place as this morning."

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 1 Results:

Heat 1: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.33, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 11.73, Taj Burrow (AUS) 10.63
Heat 2: Brett Simpson (USA) 15.00, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.33, Kai Otton (AUS) 6.00
Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA) 16.67, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 9.06, Ricardo Christie (NZL) 7.73
Heat 4: John John Florence (HAW) 15.33, Italo Ferreira (BRA) 11.47, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 10.17
Heat 5: Mason Ho (HAW) 13.13, Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.10, Freddy Patacchia Jr. (HAW) 13.00
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.76, Matt Banting (AUS) 11.83, Joe Van Dijk (AUS) 8.23
Heat 7: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.33, Keanu Asing (HAW) 13.44, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.20

Upcoming Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 1 Match-ups:

Heat 8: Michel Bourez (PYF), Nat Young (USA), Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 9: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 10: Josh Kerr (AUS), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 11: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Owen Wright (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 12: Julian Wilson (AUS), Kolohe Andino (USA), Matt Wilkinson (AUS)

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