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Smith moves up into third round Down Under
- Updated: April 1, 2015
South Africa’s Jordy Smith won his opening heat and advanced directly to Round Three of the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach as organisers opted to run the first seven heats of the second stop on the 2015 Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) in one metre waves at Bells Beach in Victoria, Australia on Tuesday.
Smith, a three-time semi-finalist at Bells, had to come from behind to overtake rookie Keanu Asing of Hawaii and then staved off a late challenge from Adrian Buchan (Australia) as the 30-minute encounter wound down in the waist-high, crosswind surf at the Rincon section of the iconic Bells Beach line-up.
WSL Commissioner Kieren Perrow put the event on hold after Smith’s heat. When conditions did not improve he ended the day’s proceedings without any further action.
Earlier top seeds Kelly Slater (US) and Gabriel Medina (BRA) won through Round One while Mick Fanning (AUS) suffered a shock defeat at the hands of wildcard Mason Ho (HAW).
Elevent-time world champion and four-time Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach winner Kelly Slater (USA) dominated his match-up with Sebastian Zietz (HAW) and rookie Ricardo Christie (NZL), using his experience to claim two 8-point rides, the highest heat total of the day.
‘I watched a couple of heats before to try and judge which waves were the best ones,’ said Slater.’I didn’t catch my first wave until 10 minutes but it was a pretty good wave and then I was in sync for the good ones. 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 Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach, which runs concurrently with the men’s event, sees South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag (Victoria Bay) taking on Malia Manuel (HAW) and (ZAF), Laura Enever (AUS) in the opening heat of Round One.
Picture of Smith in action, courtesy of: © WSL/Cestari