WSL: Tyler Wright and Felipe Toledo win Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach
Tyler Wright (AUS) and Filipe Toledo (BRA) won the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, the fourth stop on the World Surf League 2022 Championship Tour. After previous runner-up finishes at the event, it was the first win at the iconic Bells Beach for both surfers. The morning saw three-to-four foot conditions with competition finishing in two-to-three foot waves in the afternoon.
Tyler Wright claims 15th CT event win
Two-time WSL Champion Tyler Wright (AUS) claimed her 15th CT event win and her maiden Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach title.
In the last heat of the event, Wright took on three-time Bells winner and reigning five-time WSL Champion, Carissa Moore (HAW), in what was their third Bells Final together.
Wright posted an 8.93 (out of a possible 10) in the opening seconds of the heat then backed it up with an 8.00. It is Wright’s first CT victory since the opening event of the 2021 season, boosting her to second on the world rankings.
“Honestly this means the world right now,” Wright told WSL. “I want to start by thanking the Wadawurrung people for having us here on their country this week. This is an emotional win for me. I’ve won two World Titles but this win feels almost as big for me. I’ve been competing here and walking down those stairs for 12 years now and to get the win, with a lot of my family here, I’m over the moon and beyond stoked.”
“It’s been a long four years for me recovering from what I went through (post-viral syndrome) and I’m only just feeling like myself in the water again,” said Wright. “There’s been multiple times where I just wanted to give up. I worked so hard to be here, and I’m just so beyond grateful to have the support I had, and the love and the care as well. It is more than a win, it’s the only event I ever really wanted to win and here I am and I’m pretty over the moon and beyond stoked.”
5x WSL Champion Moore Back to World No. 1
Five-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) headed into the Final looking to add to her three Bells titles, but was unable to find the same rhythm as her opponent in the Final. From the second-place finish, Moore leaves Victoria with the yellow leader jersey and heads to Margaret River.
Toledo wins Bells, moves to top spot on CT rankings
“Finishing runner-up to John John Florence (HAW) at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach in 2019, the last time the event ran, Filipe Toledo (BRA) came into the 2022 event with one thing on his mind: to ring the iconic Bell,” according to WSL.
In the Final, Toledo came up against 2022 CT rookie Callum Robson. Toledo claimed his maiden Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach title and takes the top spot on the world rankings ahead of the Margaret River Pro, an event where he is the defending winner.
“Finally we are back at Bells,” Toledo told WSL. “The last few years we haven’t been able to come here because of everything that has been going on and we’ve missed you Bells. I’m really happy to be back here, it’s been an amazing week. I couldn’t be happier with this birthday present. After I beat John (Florence) I had that extra confidence going into the next few heats which was exciting. It was cool to share a Final with Callum. I’ve been coming here for nine years trying to get a Bell and this guy is in the Final in his first year, which is crazy. Really impressive. This is hard, it’s hard to keep the momentum, and the rhythm going from contest to contest so hopefully we can keep it going.”
Although he was unable to take the top spot, 2022 CT rookie Callum Robson (AUS) claimed second place at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, taking down names like Mick Fanning (AUS) and Jack Robinson (AUS) along the way. Robson is now in sixth place on the rankings.
Mid-season Cut Update
After the first five events of the 2022 CT season, the new Mid-season Cut reduces the CT fields to the Top 22 men and Top 10 women, in addition to two men’s and two women’s wildcards (one season wildcard and one event wildcard), according to WSL.
Following the fourth stop on the 2022 CT, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, the first competitors to make the cut are officially locked. The next stop on the 2022 WSL CT, the Margaret River Pro, will be the final opportunity for the remaining CT surfers to make the Mid-season Cut.
Women’s Mid-season CT Qualifiers: Carissa Moore (HAW); Tyler Wright (AUS); Brisa Hennessy (CRI); and Lakey Peterson (USA). Remaining six spots will be determined at upcoming Margaret River Pro
Men’s Mid-season CT Qualifiers: Filipe Toledo (BRA); Kanoa Igarashi (JPN); John John Florence (HAW); Kelly Slater (USA); Barron Mamiya (HAW); Italo Ferreira (BRA); Caio Ibelli (BRA); Ethan Ewing (AUS); Miguel Pupo (BRA); Seth Moniz (HAW); Callum Robson (AUS); Griffin Colapinto (USA); and Jack Robinson (AUS). Remaining nine spots will be determined at upcoming Margaret River Pro
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Women’s Final Results:
1 – Tyler Wright (AUS) 16.93
2 – Carissa Moore (HAW) 10.57
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Women’s Semifinal Results:
HEAT 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) 14.23 DEF. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.90
HEAT 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.50 DEF. Brisa Hennessy (CRI) 13.77
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Men’s Final Results:
1 – Filipe Toledo (BRA) 14.74
2 – Callum Robson (AUS) 12.94
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Men’s Semifinal Results:
HEAT 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 10.73 DEF. Ethan Ewing (AUS) 4.10
HEAT 2: Callum Robson (AUS) 11.86 DEF. Jack Robinson (AUS) 11.50
Next Stop: Margaret River Pro
The next stop on the 2022 WSL CT is the Margaret River Pro, which opens on April 24 and holds a competition window through May 4, 2022.
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.