BELLS BEACH, Victoria/AUS (Saturday, April 27, 2019) - Courtney Conlogue (USA) and John John Florence (HAW) won the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, Stop No. 2 on the 2019 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) in picturesque conditions with pumping 2 - 3 metre waves on Saturday
Although he fell in the Semifinals to eventual winner Florence in the Semifinals, 2017 Bells Beach champion Jordy Smith (Durban) was a clear standout on the last two days of competition. The South African powered through the unruly 3 - 5 metre waves on Friday, defeating Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) and Kanoa Igarashi (JPN).
In classic Bells conditions on Saturday, Smith overcame Jeep rankings leader Italo Ferreira (BRA) in their quarter-final clash when the Brazilian incurred an interference call and had one of his two counting scores reduced to zero.
Smith’s second-consecutive 3rd place finish saw him solidify his third place in the latest rankings behind Florence and Ferreira, and ahead of Bells Beach runner-up Filipe Toledo and fellow Brazilian and reigning world champion Gabriel Medina.
After carrying an injury for the majority of the 2018 season, former two-time WSL Champion Florence returned to competition with a bang, finishing in 3rd on the Gold Coast and now winning his maiden Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach title. Florence’s trademark power and finesse perfectly matched the huge walls of the last two days.
“It’s a surreal feeling to have won this event,” Florence said. “Especially an event like this where we started at Winki with small waves then to how big it was yesterday and then just totally perfect today. There have been so many different faces and challenges and then surfing against Filipe (Toledo) is always pretty scary.”
In addition to the conditions, the win was not without its fierce opponents as Florence overcame Medina (BRA) in the Quarterfinals, Smith (ZAF) in the Semifinals, and Brazilian contender Filipe Toledo (BRA) in the Final. Florence’s win gives him his career’s best start to the season and he will head to the Stop No 3, the Corona Bali Protected, wearing the Jeep Leader Jersey, a frightening prospect for the rest of the men's CT.
Following an injury-plagued 2018 of herown, and a 9th place result at Stop No. 1 on the Gold Coast, Conlogue is back on top of the podium after winning her third Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach title. The Californian surfed well through the early rounds, but then came into her own on the last two days in the massive surf, standing out from the rest of the field with her committed and critical turns.
“What an event! I went from being out of rhythm with the ocean to the ocean being in the kind of rhythm I enjoy,” Conlogue said. “I was trying to contain my ‘grom froth’ watching the waves all day. It feels incredible to get another Bell, they’re not easy to come by. Every single Bell has its own special path and journey that got me it and this one was definitely an amazing one to win.”
Conlogue defeated fellow Californian Lakey Peterson (USA) in the Semifinal and went on to meet Malia Manuel (HAW) in the Final where she earned the year’s first Perfect 10 point ride to secure her win at Bells. This was Conlogue's second win over Manuel in a Final. The win moves Conlogue from 9th to 3rd on the Jeep Leaderboard.
For full results, images and highlights from the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.
The next stop on the 2019 WSL Championship Tour will be the Corona Bali Protected at Keramas on the East Coast of Bali. The event window will open on May 13 and run through May 25, 2019. The event will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com and Facebook.com/WSL.
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Women’s Final Results:
1 - Courtney Conlogue (USA) 15.83
2 - Malia Manuel (HAW) 14.84
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Women’s Semifinal Results:
Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 14.50 DEF. Lakey Peterson (USA) 9.67
Heat 2: Malia Manuel (HAW) 9.33 DEF. Caroline Marks (USA) 7.80
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Men’s Final Results:
1 - John John Florence (HAW) 14.30
2 - Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.83
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Men’s Semifinal Results:
Heat 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.40 DEF. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 12.84
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW) 16.80 DEF. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.24
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Men’s Quarterfinal Results:
Heat 1: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 12.67 DEF. Kelly Slater (USA) 5.67
Heat 2: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 14.17 DEF. Jacob Willcox (AUS) 13.06
Heat 3: John John Florence (HAW) 16.87 DEF. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.17
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.23 DEF. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 8.40
2019 WSL Women’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (After Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach):
1 - Caroline Marks (USA) 16,085 points
2 - Malia Manuel (HAW) 13,885 points
3 - Courtney Conlogue (USA) 12,610 points
4 - Carissa Moore (HAW) 12,545 points
5 - Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 9,490 points
2019 WSL Men’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (After Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach):
1 - John John Florence (HAW) 16,085 points
2 - Italo Ferreira (BRA) 14,745 points
3 - Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12,170 points
4 - Filipe Toledo (BRA) 11,120 points
5 - Gabriel Medina (BRA) 9,490 points
Dylan Lightfoot and Ariane Ochoa Take QS Titles at Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Surf Classic
South Africa’s Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) and Ariane Ochoa from the Basque region of Spain took out the Men’s and Women’s Qualifying Series (QS) titles at the Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Surf Classic in Port Alfred on Wednesday, with Thomas Lindhorst (East London) and Ceara Knight (Kommetjie) crowned the Junior Men’s Junior Women’s champions respectively.
After two days of horrendous conditions in the Eastern Cape, the weather was calmer for the final day of Stop No 3 of seven on the 2019 WSL Africa Tour, while overhead waves continued to reel down the sandbank at the mouth of the Kowie River.
Lightfoot, ranked No 88 on the QS coming into the event, revelled in the powerful surf and won his quarter-final, semi-final and final encounters with high performance surfing and canny contest strategy to clinch his first QS event title.
The final was a see-saw encounter with all four competitors delivering great scores before Lightfoot posted a 6.55 (out of 10) that saw him overtake eventual runner-up Luke Slijpen (Hout Bay) to secure victory, with Durbanites Chad du Toit and Slade Prestwich having to settle for third and fourth places.
The 1,000 points for the win moved Lightfoot into the lead in the WSL Africa regional rankings after three events and the Jeffreys Bay surfer will also improve his position on the international QS leaderboard when the latest ranking are published tomorrow.
The Japanese women have been on a tear in South Africa and the Women’s final at Port Alfred was stacked with the trio of Shino Matsudo, Ren Hashimoto and Julia Nishimoto. Ariane Ochoa (ESP) was the dark horse in the lineup, but she did not let that deter her from putting on an impressive performance.
Ochoa opened her encounter with an excellent ride of 8.50 out of 10 which immediately put pressure on her competitors. She steadily built her score, backing it up with a 5.80 to walk away with her first QS win in South Africa and the second of her career
The Junior Men’s final featured four of the country’s top 18-and-under surfers with the spoils going to Thomas Lindhorst from nearby East London who was chased all the way to the heat-ending siren by Capetonian Luke Slijpen, the reigning WSL Africa Junior Men’s champion, who ended second.
Luke Thompson (Durban) repeated his third place result at the previous event in PE last weekend and Eli Beukes (Kommetjie), last weekend’s winner, finished fourth this time around.
In the Junior Women’s final, the South African duo of Ceara Knight (Kommetjie) and Zoe Steyn (East London) dominated the 25-minute match-up while Japan’s Shino Matsuda and Minami Nonaka, who have been the inform surfers in the 18-and-under women’s events, struggled to find their rhythm.
Knight surfed incredibly well throughout the contest and carried the momentum from PE all the way to her second consecutive final. She found the best wave of the heat for a 7-point ride and backed it up with a 3.75 for a total of 10.75 out of 20. It was just enough to edge out Steyn by the closest of margins to take her first QS1,000 win in her career.
Knight holds the top spot on the WSL Africa Junior Women ranking heading into the third junior event on the WSL Africa Tour, the Zigzag Durban Surf Pro from May 10-12.
Along with its WSL Africa rating, the Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Surf Classic is also the second of four stops on the City Surf Series (CSS). The CSS events embrace sustainability and transformation programs such as the Surfing South Africa Learn To Surf outreach project in collaboration with Caltex, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and Ocean Pledge.
Ocean Pledge will assist in creating ‘Blue Events,' while the NSRI will be educating members of the public, competitors, local schools and surf outreach programs about ocean safety and ocean awareness.
More information, results, images and video footage will be available from www.worldsurfleague.com and on the free WSL App.
The next event on the WSL Africa Tour is the Zigzag Durban Surf Pro from 10-12 May, which is also Stop No. 3 of four on the City Surf Series (CSS).
Royal St Andrew Hotel Port Alfred Surf Classic Men’s Final Results
1. Dylan Lightfoot (ZAF, Jeffreys Bay) 13.55 points
2. Luke Slijpen (ZAF, Hout Bay) 12.75
3. Chad du Toit (ZAF, Durban) 10.50
4. Slade Prestwich (ZAF, Durban) 10.35
Royal St Andrew Hotel Port Alfred Surf Classic Women’s Final Results
1. Ariane Ochoa (ESP) 14.30 points
2. Shino Matsuda (JPN) 12.75
3. Ren Hashimoto (JPN) 9.35
4. Julie Nishimoto (JPN) 7.50
Royal St Andrew Hotel Port Alfred Surf Classic Junior Men’s Final Results
1. Thomas Lindhorst (ZAF, East London) 11.75points
2. Luke Slijpen (ZAF, Hout Bay) 10.70
3. Luke Thompson (ZAF, Durban) 10.25
4. Eli Beukes (ZAF, Kommetjie) 9.50
Royal St Andrew Hotel Port Alfred Surf Classic Junior Women’s Final Results
1. Ceara Knight (ZAF, Kommetjie) 10.75 points
2. Zoe Steyn (ZAF, East London) 10.65
2. Shino Matsuda (JPN) 6.60
3. Minami Nonaka (JPN) 3.15
WSL Africa Rankings (After event #3 – Royal St Andrew Hotel Port Alfred Surf Classic)
1 Lightfoot,Dylan Jeffreys Bay 1840 points
2 Faulkner,Joshe Jeffreys Bay 1420
3 Du Toit,Chad Durban 1310
4 Slijpen,Luke Hout Bay 1145
5 Prestwich,Slade Durban 805
1 Teal Hogg uMhlanga 805 points
2 Tanika Hoffman Cape Town 780
3 S’nenhlanhla Makhubu Durban 765
4 Zoe Steyn East London 720
5 Sophie Bell Salt Rock 680
WSL Africa Junior Rankings (After event #2 –Royal St Andrew Hotel Port Alfred Surf Classic)
1 Eli Beukes Kommetjie 1525 points
2 Thomas Lindhorst East London 1420
3 Luke Thompson Durban 1310
4 Luke Slijpen Hout Bay 1170
5 Karl Steen Durban 880
1 Ceara Knight Kommetjie 1750 points
2 Zoe Steyn East London 1170
3 Kayla Nogueira uMhlanga 815
=4 Sarah Scott Kommetjie 695
=4 Tayla De Coning East London 695