20/05/2011 | by Alex Dick-Read
The wave gods smiled on this year’s annual Easter surf bonanza at Bells Beach in Victoria, Australia. At fifty years-old, Rip Curl’s WCT event in the still-pristine amphitheatre encompassing Bells Beach and Winkipop, is the longest running pro surf contest in the business. Whichever way you look at it, this year’s event could hardly have been better.
Plagued in past years by cold, onshore or small conditions – often all at once – the hugely respected stop on the circuit also took some flak for failing to meet the heightened expectations of the ‘Dream Tour’. But not this year, with Easter as late as anyone can remember, the event had a run of five days of soild Southern Ocean swell, relatively warm (even sunny, on occasion) weather and favorable winds. At one point the swell dipped to around 4ft, and it peaked in the 8ft range, but generally it pumped in the 6ft-and-perfect range for most of the time. The final, between Gold Coasters Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson, was held in flawless 6ft+ offshore Bells Bowl, and we think it’s really worth a watch: