After dominating their respective fields in picturesque Bells conditions, Conlogue rang the coveted Bells trophy for her third time, and Florence clinched his first Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach win.
Celebrating its 58th year running and 50 Years of Surfing at Rip Curl, this year’s Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach culminated with what some called the 50-Year Storm; some of the biggest conditions the event has seen since 1981, a test for every competitor in the field, and a show for the crowd to remember.
In order to claim his first Bell, John Florence overcame Owen Wright (AUS) in the Round of 16, two-time and reigning WSL World Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) in the Quarterfinals, 2017 event winner Jordy Smith (ZAF) in the Semifinals, and Brazilian contender Filipe Toledo (BRA) in the Final.
“It’s a surreal feeling to have won this event,” Florence said. “Especially an event like this where we started at Winki with small waves then to how big it was yesterday and then just totally perfect today. There has been so many different faces and challenges and then surfing against Filipe (Toledo) is always pretty scary.”
“This was definitely the most testing Final day of my career,” continued Florence. “From how big it was yesterday to the matchups today, it was really tiring and needed a lot of energy for the two heats yesterday and three heats today. I was just trying to surf my best and focus on myself, and it worked out. I couldn’t have done it without my team and my family. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone in Torquay for letting us surf your waves. It’s been so fun.”