Matt Wilkinson wins the 2016 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach

April 3, 2016 | Surfing
Matt Wilkinson: two in a row | Photo: Sloane/WSL

Matt Wilkinson has taken out the 2016 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, in Victoria, Australia. It's his second consecutive win on the Championship Tour.

A stellar start of the season. After claiming the first event of the year at Snapper Rocks, Matt Wilkinson proved he will be chasing a maiden world title with another solid display of surfing at the iconic Australian right-hander.

"Wilko" defeated Jordy Smith in highly challenging six-to-ten foot waves at Bells Beach. He is the first goofy-footer to conquer the title since Mark Occhilupo in 1998.

"I have been trying to win everywhere forever, and it has never happened, and this year I seem to keep picking up trophies, which is making me feel pretty good. I am so happy to be at Bells. I finally got my chance," expressed Wilkinson.

With a grand dose of commitment and efficient vertical backhand turns, Matt got a 9.20 and an 8.17 for his best rides and left Jordy in a combination situation.

"If you improve ten percent in ten different areas in your surfing, you are going to be one-hundred percent better. I am on great boards, I feel fit, my surfing feels really good, and I am making smarter decisions, such as keeping calm in tricky moments. I am just going to keep doing what I am doing and try not to make any mistakes and throw everything into every wave I catch," added Wilkinson.

On the women's side, Courtney Conlogue beat by a narrow margin Sally Fitzgibbons - only 0.10 points - rang the bell and stole the lead in the overall rankings.

"I am really happy to be starting the year with this momentum, a first place win here and a second place win at Snapper. It is a long season ahead and after experiencing last year’s rollercoaster of emotions, this is definitely a high, but I know it is going to be a grind," said Conlogue.

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach 2016 | Finals

1. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 17.37
2. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.16

1. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 16.53
2. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 16.43