BELLS BEACH, Australia (Thursday, Mar. 22, 2007) –The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, the second event on the Foster's ASP World Tour and ASP Women's World Tour, will celebrate its 35th anniversary in the magical amphitheater that is Bells from April 3-13, 2007.

The longest-running surf event in Australia, the annual pilgrimage to Bells Beach continues with the world's best surfers and their fans congregating on the famed break's cliffs again this Easter.

Adding to the already historic aura that envelops the event will be a gala celebration to honor the former Rip Curl Pro champions who have made their mark on the event's 35-year history.

Honorees will include Simon Anderson [1977, 1981], Tom Curren [1985, 1990], Tom Carroll [1986] and Damien Hardman [1988, 1993] among others.

Honorees still donning contest rashvests this year will be Sofia Mulanovich (PER), Megan Abubo (HAW) and reigning world champion Layne Beachley (AUS) on the women's side and defending Rip Curl Pro and world champion Kelly Slater (USA), Mark 'Occy' Occhilupo (AUS), Andy Irons (HAW), Joel Parkinson (AUS), injury replacement Trent Munro (AUS) and current World No. 1 Mick Fanning (AUS) for the men.

"Everything that has happened over the past 35 years has continued to add and build up the huge prestige around the Rip Curl Pro," current World No. 1 Mick Fanning said. "Everyone that has won the Rip Curl Pro has pretty much gone on to do something fairly huge. You've got guys like MP [1973, 1974 and 1975 Rip Curl Pro Champion Michael Peterson], Mark Richards [1978, 1979, 1980, 1982], Kelly Slater [1994, 2006], Andy Irons [2002, 2003] and Occy [1998] – it's pretty much the who's who of surfing. 'The Bell' is a pretty bloody good trophy to have on your mantelpiece!"

To win the Rip Curl Pro and subsequently 'Ring the Bell' is considered one of the sport's highest honors. Fanning rang it as a wildcard in 2001. His best result at the Rip Curl Pro since was an equal 3rd finish in 2003.

"It was an amazing feeling," Fanning said. "Ever since I was a little kid I had been watching people ring the Bell and talk about the feeling you get, so to do it that one time was huge. I wish I was a little bit stronger so I could have lifted it above my head, but I am really excited to try and win it again – hopefully this year."

After a strong finish to his 2006 campaign, Fanning shot to No. 1 on the ratings with a win at the first event on the 2007 Foster's ASP World Tour earlier this month.

"I think that if you can get a good start in the first two events it really helps towards setting up a world title chance," said Fanning. "Being in Australia for the start of the year always helps too and everyone is looking towards getting a really strong result at the Rip Curl Pro."

Chelsea Hedges (AUS), who won an ASP Women's World Title in 2005 and the first event on this year's calendar, is also hoping to post back-to-back victories at home in Australia.

"After seeing Mel Redman-Carr win three events in a row last year, anything is possible," Hedges said. "It will be great to get back down to Bells again. I love surfing on my backhand and I love surfing Bells so it will interesting to see what happens down there."

The ASP Women's World Tour was notably absent from the 2006 Rip Curl Pro calendar but a welcome addition to the roster this year. Beachley, who posted Bells Beach victories in 1994, 1998 and 1999, is among the female competitors thrilled to be back at the prestigious venue.

"I'm really looking forward to getting down to Bells," Beachley said. "It's been a few years since we've been there regularly. I own three and I would love to own four."

A Rip Curl Pro Surf & Music Festival is run in conjunction with the ASP World Tour events. For more information visit and

2006: Kelly Slater (USA)
2005: Trent Munro (AUS)
2004: Joel Parkinson (AUS)
2003: Andy Irons (HAW)
2002: Andy Irons (HAW)
2001: Mick Fanning (AUS)
2000: Sunny Garcia (HAW)
1999: Shane Dorian (HAW)
1998: Mark Occhilupo (AUS)
1997: Matt Hoy (AUS)
1996: Sunny Garcia (HAW)
1995: Sunny Garcia (HAW)
1994: Kelly Slater (USA)
1993: Damien Hardman (AUS)
1992: Richie Collins (USA)
1991: Barton Lynch (AUS)
1990: Tom Curren (USA)
1989: Martin Potter (GBR)
1988: Damien Hardman (AUS)
1987: Nicky Wood (AUS)
1986: Tom Carroll (AUS)
1985: Tom Curren (USA)
1984: Cheyne Horan (AUS)
1983: Joe Engel (AUS)
1982: Mark Richards (AUS)
1981: Simon Anderson (AUS)
1980: Mark Richards (AUS)
1979: Mark Richards (AUS)
1978: Mark Richards (AUS)
1977: Simon Anderson (AUS)
1976: Jeff Hackman (HAW)
1975: Michael Peterson (AUS)
1974: Michael Peterson (AUS)
1973: Michael Peterson (AUS)

2005: Sofia Mulanovich (PER)
2001: Neridah Falconer (AUS)
2000: Megan Abubo (HAW)
1999: Layne Beachley (AUS)
1998: Layne Beachley (AUS)
1997: Lisa Anderson (USA)
1996: Pauline Menczer (AUS)
1995: Lisa Anderson (USA)
1994: Layne Beachley (AUS)
1993: Pauline Menczer (AUS)
1992: Lisa Anderson (USA)
1991: Pauline Menczer (AUS)
1990: Lisa Anderson (USA)
1989: Wendy Botha (AUS)
1985: Frieda Zamba (USA)
1984: Frieda Zamba (USA)
1982: Debbie Beacham (USA)
1980: Margo Oberg (USA)
1979: Lynne Boyer (USA)
1978: Margo Oberg (USA)
1977: Margo Oberg (USA)


WHAT: Media Launch - 2007 Rip Curl Pro Surfing Festival at Bells Beach
WHERE: Bells Beach Carpark, Bells Beach
WHEN: Monday, April 2nd, 2007
TIME: 11am to 12.30pm
WHO: Kelly Slater, Andy Irons, Mick Fanning, Ben Dunn, Layne Beachley, Jessi Miley-Dyer, Stephanie Gilmore and Chelsea Hedges

No comments: