March 29, 2022

Fanning to surf at Bells

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.

“Bells is the wildcard I really wanted,” he said.

“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.

“It’s so awesome. It’s something that sits in my heart.”

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.

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Surf Coast Shire Council Acknowledges the Wadawurrung People, and Gulidjan and Gadubanud Peoples of the Eastern Maar, their Elders and leaders past, present and emerging as the Traditional Owners of the skies, land, waters and sea country across our municipality. We acknowledge their care and custodianship for more than 60,000 years, which continues today. We walk with them as we respectfully care for and tread lightly on these lands. We also extend that respect to all First Nations people who are part of the community.