March 23, 2024

Locals triumph

Not one but two local wildcards will compete at this year’s Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach following this afternoon’s (Saturday, March 23) Rip Curl Pro Trials event.

Torquay’s Tully Wylie and Barwon Heads’ Ellie Harrison will take their place among the world’s best surfers in the Rip Curl Pro from Tuesday, March 26 with respective wins in the male and female divisions.

Both Wylie and Harrison produced stellar performances on the waves at Winkipop, relying on local knowledge and discipline to secure the top score in their respective Finals.

Today marked Wylie’s second Trials win following his maiden victory in 2022, while Harrison, a rising star of the World Surfing League’s Challenger Series last year, will make her first appearance at the Rip Curl Pro as a result of today’s win.

Wylie (16.46) edged out fellow Torquay Boardriders Club (TBC) member and last year’s Trials winner Xavier Huxtable (13.93) in the final with a pair of eights, while Todd Rosewall (10.50) and Willis Droomer (10.27) placed third and fourth in an all-TBC final heat.

Wylie scored an 8.43 on his second wave to set the tone for the rest of the field, which was further bolstered by an 8.03 on his final run, taking his total to 16.46, finishing ahead of Huxtable’s 13.93.

Harrison came into the female bracket at the semi-final stage, being one of the Rip Curl’s team-nominated athletes.

She capitalised on the advantage with a strong 14.67 performance to secure a spot in the final, before securing a slim victory over fellow Rip Curl athlete Anon Matsuoka, 12.63 to 11.23.

Harrison is in red-hot form following a win at the Newcastle Racecourse Women’s Pro last weekend and will be an athlete to watch next week at the Pro.

Australian George Pittar outperformed Alister Reginato, Dylan Moffat, and Mikey McDonagh in a separate third field filled with Rip Curl-nominated male athletes, to be named the third wildcard.

The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach is expected to begin at first light on Tuesday, March 26.

Head here for more event information.

Read Surf Coast Times story here.

Image credit: L-R: This year’s Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Wildcards George Pittar, Ellie Harrison, and Tully Wylie. Photo: NOAH CLIFFORD

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