Stab Magazine | Critics Be Damned! Bells Pumped Today!

Watch 'Wildcard: The Moana Jones-Wong Story'


Critics Be Damned! Bells Pumped Today!

Courtney Conlogue and Wilko gas it at flawless Bells.

news // Apr 1, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Bells was absolutely creamy today and the action didn’t disappoint. Courtney Conlogue dropped a 9.03 on top of a mid seven to claim the women’s title. Ratings leader Matt Wilkinson continued his sublime run of form, throwing down a 9.57 on his final wave to eliminate fellow Australian Julian Wilson from the event in round five.

Courts was at home on the groomed walls and stiff offshores, clocking the nine with a vicious two-turn combo in the bowl followed by a bonus double-tag on the closeout.

“It was nice to have some swell and open lines to show finesse and power… I was trying to be heavy footed but also set the rail,” she said. “I think that was key today, setting the rail and laying into your turns.”


Courts deserves every win she gets. WSL/Kelly Cestari

The win puts her 2800 points ahead of the field in first place heading into the Margaret River Pro, while runner-up Sally Fitzgibbons moves up one spot to sixth.

“I love it when my opponents are at their best,” said Sally. “Courtney was in great form and going out and trying to better that, I revel in that challenge. I can’t wait to push my level and get better and better.” Sally also dedicated her performance to friend and fellow south coast surfer, Brett Conellan, who was attacked by a shark two days ago.

In the mens, Wilko waited until the last wave of a slow heat with Julian Wilson to unleash a lightning run of loose, fast and pivoted backside blasts for a 9.57 and a tie-break win.

Wilko Sloan Jule 2

Coupla minutes and needing a big hitter? You don’t go 10 o’clock. You go 12. WSL/Ed Sloane

“That was pretty scary score to need,” said Wilko. “If you need a flat nine, you’re sitting out there going, ‘if a good wave comes I’m gonna get this.’ But a high nine is pretty scary. That wave was so perfect, though. I just connected with every section, and I felt like I surfed it as good as I could have.”

He lines up against fellow goofy Wiggolly Dantas in the quarterfinals, where he’ll have a chance to extend his ratings lead on the field. Though a win over close friend and long time Junior Series adversary Julian, in pumping Bells, will live long in the memory.

“When the waves come they’re unbelievable,” said Wilko. “It’s so clean and the lines, you never really get lines that long anywhere in the world, except for maybe J-Bay.”

In other results, Nat Young threw down a similarly spectacular series of backside stabs to rack up a nine and put wildcard Mason Ho to the sword. He takes on Brazilian goofy Italo Ferreira in heat one of the quarters. While in the remaining round five heats, Mick Fanning takes on Davey Cathels (heat three) and Caio Ibelli lines up against Jordy Smith (heat four). The event is expected to resume in similarly clean and sizey conditions tomorrow or Sunday.

Wilko Sloan Jule

Uh, this might just have been the most perfectly placed and drifted backside turn of the event. Actually, yeah, it definitely was. WSL/Ed Sloane


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Billy Kemper, Mikey Wright, and Eli Olson Walk Into A Bar…

The Vans Pipe Masters heat draw is here. Let's break down the must-watch matchups

Dec 8, 2022

Watch: Kai Paula Has Arrived

Meet the 7th surfer to land a double spin in our final 2022 SEOTY entry.

Dec 8, 2022


Unlocked: ‘Nozvid’ In All Its Glory

Two years and $100K later.

Dec 8, 2022

How To Watch The Vans Pipe Masters

With less than 24 hours to go, we've put together a complete list of rules…

Dec 7, 2022

Watch: Stab’s Best Wetsuits of 2023

Our quest to objectively establish the best men's suit, women's suit, and booties out of…

Dec 7, 2022

Eithan Osborne Belongs On The 2003 World Tour

But he's gotten an invite to the 2022 Vans Pipe Masters, so we caught up…

Dec 7, 2022


“I Could Do Reels And Surf Two Foot Beachies And Hoard Cash But That’s Moral Suicide”

Noa Deane’s thoughts on money, media, airs in glassy waves and more.

Dec 7, 2022

Wildcard: The Moana Jones-Wong Story

The rise and rise of Mrs. Pipeline.

Dec 6, 2022

Watch: Torrey Meister’s Gunslinging SEOTY Entry

"Bull-riding is such a great warmup for surfing big waves."

Dec 6, 2022

Guess Who Else Just Got Invited To The Vans Pipe Masters

3 more withdrawals, and 3 more exciting replacements.

Dec 6, 2022


‘Buying Double Cheeseburgers, Acting Like He’s Hit Some Sections Today’

RAGE 400 drops ft Noz, Chun, Creed, Vinny, Jel, Wado + others!

Dec 5, 2022

What’s Happening To Orange County’s Sand, And Is It Worsening The Waves At Lowers?

Read this to upgrade your understanding of your local beach break and coastal environment.

Dec 5, 2022

Here Are The 15 People Who Qualified For The 2023 CT

After seven events and much groveling, 10 men and 5 women will officially be CT…

Dec 3, 2022

An Ode To Aussie Chick Pros From The Nineties 

A celebration of stoicism, resilience, grit, core lordship, and unconditional love.

Dec 3, 2022

Update: John John Flushes Everyone Down The Haleiwa Toilet Bowl

And the CT qualifications for 2023 are set.

Dec 3, 2022


Riaru Ito Is Cooler Than His Cucumber Garden

Meet our passion pick for the Vans Pipe Masters.

Dec 2, 2022

5 New Surfers Confirmed For The Vans Pipe Masters

Who's out, who's in?

Dec 2, 2022

Unlocked: Kael Walsh, Rolo Montes, And Al Cleland Jr In ‘Saturn’

Quik’s new 20-minute surf film is so good you’ll want to burn a DVD of…

Dec 2, 2022