The round of 32 is almost complete, the swell is on the rise and the expectations for the last 2 days of competition are high due to the forecast showing a "50 year storm" scenario. Well, a 38 year storm because 1981 was the year Bells was hit by a massive swell. The final was eventually won by Simon Anderson on a new board style, the Thruster.
Bells has been sleepy for the early rounds with heats going back and forth between Bells and Winkipop but with the forecast looking pretty good (the winds aren't amazing) we could see waves in the 10-15ft+ range. This is the type of conditions that will allow the power surfers to step up and show us how to surf in proper waves on the Bells Bowl.
Kelly Slater knocked out Julian Wilson in the 1st heat of the round of 32. This was Slater's 1st heat win of the 2019 campaign and it's what he needed to get the competitive drive back. Connor Coffin carried on where he left off by eliminating Soli Bailey in heat 3. The Californian was a stand out in the slack waves of Winkipop by linking turns together with power and speed. Ryan Callinan surfed with style and precision on his backhand to take out Bourez and continues to the next round. Another Goofyfooter Jacob Willcox, who is a wildcard for the event, took out one of the favourites and current number 2 in the world Kolohe Andino. Kolohe almost got the score he needed in the dying seconds but fell on his final turn to allow Willcox to get a place in the next round. Mickey Wright got taken down by the Hawaiian Rookie Seth Moniz who continues his run. This could have been one of the heats of the event but Wright looked a bit stiff and out of sorts and the conditions didn't really allow both surfers to put the show we were hoping for. The Brazilians in the 1st few heats of the round of 32 were pretty much up against each other. Peterson Crisanto was up against Michael Rodrigues in a very close and well surfed heat, Peterson just edged through. Toledo took out Ibelli with rail turns in another closely fought heat and Deivid Silva took out Wade Carmichael. Both surfed well but the Brazilian's back hand hits were too much for the powerful Ozzy.
The rest of the round of 32 will continue on Friday (10pm tonight our time) and with the swell peeking we could see some amazing surfing go down, lets just hope the winds cooperate. The Final day of the waiting period on Saturday show the swell decreasing slightly with 8-10ft and with lighter winds so we could see an epic finals day... but who will be there? It's a tough one to call but I think we'll see at least one goofy foot in the final along with either Slater or another strong regular footer like John John, or Coffin, or Jordy or even Zeke Lau... your guess is as good as mine!?
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