The Rip Curl Pro is the longest running professional surfing contest in the world, and this year will be the 54th running of the event.
Since the 60’s surfers have been flocking to the famed Bells Beach in Torquay, Victoria for the annual Easter championships. In 1973 Rip Curl put up the prize money that turned the event into Australia’s first ever pro surfing contest. Every Easter trademark swells roll into The Bells Bowl providing consistent waves for the world’s best to battle it out and deliver a show for the thousands of fans lining the beach and grandstands.
The natural amphitheatre, where red clay cliffs drop into the powerful Great Southern Ocean, make it an atmosphere unmatched anywhere in the world.
THE BELL: The prize – The Bell – is one of the world’s most famous sporting trophies and the honour roll reads like a who’s who of competitive surfing.
Names like Michael Peterson, Simon Anderson, Mark Richards, Damien Hardman, Mark Occhilupo, Kelly Slater, Andy Irons, Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning are permanently etched. The Rip Curl Women’s Pro champions list is just as impressive, with the likes of Lisa Andersen, Pauline Menczer, Layne Beachley, Stephanie Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons and Carissa Moore.
“No kook has ever won at Bells,’ Hawaiian surfer Shane Dorian declared after ringing the coveted bell trophy in 1999, and no kook ever will.