Australian surfing legend Mick Fanning has entered the draw for next month’s Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.
The three-time world champion will enter the competition as a wildcard for the 59th edition of the world-famous Torquay event, competition organisers announced today.
This year’s Pro will be Fanning’s first event as a professional since his retirement following the 2018 Bells Beach classic, and he said he was thrilled to return to the surf at such a special venue.
“Obviously, I did Narrabeen last year but Bells is the one I was really aiming for. It’s a place that is really close to my heart, and if I was ever going to take a wildcard, it would be there, so I’m pretty fired up.
“Personally, I really like the wave at Bells. The speed of it, the wide open canvas, and the fact that it is a right hand point break. I love everything that comes with Bells, the history, the cliffs, the gathering of everyone down in the car park.
Fanning has rung the bell four times at the WSL event. A fifth win would move him level with the Gail Couper’s all-time record.
Meanwhile, world number two Barron Mamiya will also enter the draw, after three-time WSL champion Gabriel Medina withdrew.
Two wildcard spots remain in both the men’s and women’s competitions, which will be decided at a local trials event on April 7.
The Rip Curl Pro kicks off on April 10.
Surf Coast Times breaking story here.