Bells Beach, VIC/AUS (Tuesday 22nd March, 2016): Brisa Hennessy (Oahu, Hawaii), Tim Bisso (Guadeloupe) and Tim Stevenson (Jan Juc, VIC/AUS) have claimed wildcards into the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach.
Bisso (19) defeated Samuel Pupo (Brazil) in challenging 2-3 foot waves at Bells Beach today at the Rip Curl International Trials to gain a wildcard into the main event, which begins this Thursday March 24.
A star-studded field of top international Rip Curl grommets including Hiroto Arai (Japan), Oney Anwar (Ind), and Joe Van Dijk (Aus) meant winning the International Finals was going to be no easy feat.
Pupo with his strong air game needed a 7.77 to seal the deal in what was a very even battle between the two finalists. But Bisso used his backhand to his advantage and took the win.
Bisso’s year has already seen him runner-up at the World Junior Championships in Sierra Era, Portugal.
Brisa Hennessy (Oahu, Hawaii) and Tim Stevenson (Jan Juc, VIC/AUS) claimed wildcards into the Rip Curl Pro women’s and men’s events respectively after taking out the ‘Premier’s Active April’ Trials.
Hawaiian Hennessy took out the wildcard into the main event on her first trip to Australia and her first ever competition at Bells Beach, locking in a heat total of 15.17 points.
Placing in second was Victorian Georgia Fish (Flinders, VIC) on 11.73 points.
“This is my first time competing at Bells Beach and at this level so it a really great experience” said Hennessy.
“Bells is a lot like Sunset back in Hawaii, I’m just really stoked we got some good waves.”
Placing in third was Kobie Enright (Tweed Heads, NSW) on 11.57 points with Alana Blanchard (Hawaii) on fourth in 9.60 points.
Surfing through the event from the early rounds, Tim Stevenson was a standout showing his knowledge of the wave.
“I’m stoked” said the local surfer, “absolutely over the moon.”
Stevenson dominated the final putting opponent Cahill Bell-Warren in a combination situation requiring him to score two new waves. With a heat total of 16.56 points, Stevenson took out the event ahead of Bell-Warren’s 8.00 heat total.
“We didn’t have to jostle for position with the priority system which was nice”
“This is the first time I have surfed a 2 person heat before so it was a new experience for me, but I was happy to get a couple of waves early and get the win.”
Stevenson quit competition surfing 4 years ago, however found the fire again and began competing again last year.
“I lost the sting to compete a few years ago and had a run of bad results. I had a couple of years off working and did a few surf trips and got the hunger back eventually.”
“I’m just stoked to get a chance to surf in the main event and hopefully we get some good waves.”
The Premiers Active April Trials is presented by the Victorian Government and supported by Surfing Victoria and the World Surf League.
The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, the second of the three-stop Australian leg of the WSL Championship Tour, will run from March 24th to April 5th, webcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the WSL app.
For more information, log onto WorldSurfLeague.com