The Plus-27 Club Won Today (Mostly) - Stab Mag
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Bronte Mac caused the biggest upset today, beating current #4 Tatiana Weston-Webb at her own game. Photo by WSL

The Plus-27 Club Won Today (Mostly)

Veteran wisdom prevails on day 3 of Bells.

news // Apr 13, 2022
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 4 minutes

The women’s round of 16 ran today. Eight heats. At Bells. 3-4 feet, burgery mostly.

Here’s the gist of it

  • Every single rookie was eliminated from the draw; Luana Silva, India Robinson, and Gabriela Bryan.
  • Tour vets: Steph Gilmore, Sal Fitz, and Courtney Conlogue, currently below the MYC, have closed the distance with much of the middle of the pack falling out of the mix.
  • Tyler Wright collected the highest heat total of the event so far, 17.24 points in R/16H4.
  • Conditions improved, but were slow (again). Learning: High-stakes is no substitute for high-performance.
Brisa, not in the 27+ club, was an exception to the rule. Photo by WSL

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before…

If you were a female CT surfer older than age 27, you probably won your heat today. 

Steph, Sally, Tyler, Carissa, Johanne, and Courtney all advanced through the round of 16, ending hopes of seeing fresh faces in the quarters or better. 5/8 of those eliminated today were under the age of 24; three of them were rookies. The rest of this competition may feel like Deja Vu on the women’s side — in the remaining field, there are four previous Bell ringers (Steph, Courtney, Riss and Sally). With the exception of Silvana Lima in 2009, the previous 12 Bells trophies have been awarded to one of those four surfers.

But who looked good today?

Bronte Macaulay hammered a string of backhand turns to post her highest two-wave total of the season so far – a 15.66, which left current #4 Tati-WW in combo-land. It was perhaps the only surprising result today. Tyler Wright also looked sharp, posting 17.24 points in R/16H4 against Gabriela Bryan and the highest heat total of the event so far. 

17-year-old Hawaiian rookie Luana Silva surfed solidly and put up a respectable fight until the dying moments against Brisa. Ultimately, her efforts fell half a point short of the requirement. All the rookies — India, Gabby and wildcard Alyssa — posted heat totals north of 12, and all of them lost.

Welcome to the big leagues, I suppose.

Luana can hold her head high — it was a good scrap. Photo by WSL

Come-ups

  • Heat replay: R/16H3, R/16H4, R/16H5.
  • Monster maneuver: Carissa Moore layback @ 22:40 in R/16H5.
  • One-liner: “Jams it off the pepper” – Rabs on Bronte’s backside snap.

Bronte Macaulay in the quarters makes me happy. Charges like a maniac, has an incredible backhand and seems like an all-round great human being. “It was always going to be a hard heat against Tatiana,” she said post win. “She’s got a really good backhand but I was just so excited to surf. I was feeling really competitive before that heat and I haven’t felt competitive for a while so it was exciting to be out there.” 

Get ’em Bronte. 

Keep the fire burning, Bronte. Photo by WSL

Letdowns

  • In the gutter: Lakey Peterson (9.00 heat total) R/16H1.
  • Blind mice: Carissa Moore R/16H5.
  • Lulls are the enemy.

Waves. Jeez today was slow. Real slow. Despite the fact that this is a consequential surf event, high stakes are no substitute for high performance. Cramming both the men’s and women’s tours into a 10-day window will always create the risk of having to run the event in sub-optimal conditions. Doesn’t matter if you’re Kelly Slater or Kenny Crabstance, grovelling in slop is never especially entertaining.  

C’mon horizon, do something. Photo by WSL

Gamble Ramble

Mikey C’s Betonline.ag roll comes to an end. Today 0/3, Loss -$60

  • Malia Manuel to beat Sally Fitzgibbons (bet $20 to return $30) LOSS
  • Gabriela Bryan to beat Tyler Wright (bet $20 to return $55) LOSS
  • Lakey Peterson to beat Courtney Conologue (bet $20 to return $30) LOSS
And there goes my money. Photo by WSL

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Women’s Round of 16 Results:

  • HEAT 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.84 DEF. Lakey Peterson (USA) 9.00
  • HEAT 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 12.93 DEF. Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.60
  • HEAT 3: Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 15.66 DEF. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 10.90
  • HEAT 4: Tyler Wright (AUS) 17.24 DEF. Gabriela Bryan (HAW) 13.37
  • HEAT 5: Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.60 DEF. Alyssa Spencer (USA) 12.07
  • HEAT 6: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 14.90 DEF. India Robinson (AUS) 13.23
  • HEAT 7: Brisa Hennessy (CRI) 13.57 DEF. Luana Silva (HAW) 12.26
  • HEAT 8: Johanne Defay (FRA) 13.00 DEF. Isabella Nichols (AUS) 11.26
It’ll be back on tomorrow, most likely. Photo by WSL

Upcoming

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Women’s Quarterfinal Matchups:

  • HEAT 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) vs. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
  • HEAT 2: Bronte Macaulay (AUS) vs. Tyler Wright (AUS)
  • HEAT 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
  • HEAT 4: Brisa Hennessy (CRI) vs. Johanne Defay (FRA)

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Men’s Round of 32 Matchups:

  • HEAT 1: Griffin Colapinto (USA) vs. Owen Wright (AUS)
  • HEAT 2: Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Nat Young (USA)
  • HEAT 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Jackson Baker (AUS)
  • HEAT 4: Ethan Ewing (AUS) vs. Lucca Mesinas (PER)
  • HEAT 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Mikey Wright (AUS)
  • HEAT 6: Connor O’Leary (AUS) vs. Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
  • HEAT 7: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Joao Chianca (BRA)
  • HEAT 8: Barron Mamiya (HAW) vs. Morgan Cibilic (AUS)
  • HEAT 9: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Mick Fanning (AUS)
  • HEAT 10: Frederico Morais (PRT) vs. Callum Robson (AUS)
  • HEAT 11: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Deivid Silva (BRA)
  • HEAT 12: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
  • HEAT 13: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Imaikalani deVault (HAW)
  • HEAT 14: Jack Robinson (AUS) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
  • HEAT 15: Jake Marshall (USA) vs. Samuel Pupo (BRA)
  • HEAT 16: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Ryan Callinan (AUS)

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