After scintillating action at Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia earlier this month, the WSL Championship Tour returned to Aussie land for the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach event in Victoria. Thanks to the 50-year storm, conditions were awesome throughout, as Courtney Conlogue and John John Florence showed out in six-to-eight foot conditions.
After missing Bells Beach last year as a result of a foot injury, American Courtney Conlogue was back with a vengeance at the second stop on the tour, nabbing her third Bells Beach crown after defeating Malia Manuel in the women’s final with a score of 15.83 to 14.84. Along the way to her 2019 Bells Beach title, Conlogue landed the first 10-point ride of any man or woman on the CT this season.
Conlogue previously won Bells Beach in 2016 and 2017. She’s now third overall in the world standings through two WSL events.
Blenders rep and rising star, Lakey Peterson, started off hot at Bells Beach, soundly defeating fellow American, Sage Erickson, in the Round of 16 with a score of 15.5 to 9.0. She then edged out Coco Ho in the quarters, setting up a dramatic semifinal with eventual champion, Courtney Conlogue.
Sadly, Lakey was deeply troubled by a back injury that flared up Friday night, leading to a visibly uncomfortable performance against Conlogue in the semifinal heat. As a result, she fell, 9.67 to 14.50.
Peterson is coming off a scorching-hot 2018 WSL campaign that saw her placing 1st at Corona Bali Protected and Roxy Pro Gold Coast; 2nd at Corona Open J-Bay and Oi Rio Pro; and 3rd at Surf Ranch Pro, thereby ending the last season as the world’s #2 overall. Get well soon, Lakey!
The men’s side of the Bells Beach competition produced a pulse-pounding, nail-biter of a final that was epic for all in attendance.
After scoring a massive quarterfinal win over reigning world champ, Gabriel Medina, and dispelling of the 2017 Bells Beach victor, Jordy Smith, Hawaii’s John John Florence continued his excellence in the finals. Brazilian Filipe Toledo trailed in the closing stages but valiantly caught a final wave with only 12 seconds left, needing a 6.98 to win. He fell just short, earning a 5.90 from the judges, leaving Florence victorious.
This was Florence’s first Rip Curl Pro title. He now has the CT lead for 2019.
That’s it for Bells Beach! We can’t wait for Corona Bali Protected in Indonesia on May 13, where Blenders sponsored athlete, Lakey Peterson, looks to repeat after her 2018 win. Stay with us!