BELLS BEACH, Victoria/Australia – Tomorrow marks the commencement of the 2011 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach presented by Ford Ranger and Ford Fiesta and the 50th Anniversary of competitive surfing at Bells.
The world’s best surfers have descended on the small Victorian town of Torquay for the second stop on the 2011 ASP World Title season.
Kelly Slater (USA), 39, reigning 10-time ASP World Champion and defending four-time Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach winner, celebrated the historic spirit of the event at today’s press conference, recounting his childhood memories of Bells.
“As a kid in the States I saw a lot of film of this event,” Slater said. “I got an idea of what the wave was like and that it was like surfing in an arena. I thought of it like two gladiators battling with fans watching from the cliffs. I remember watching Tom Curren and Occy’s (Mark Occhilupo heats, and I couldn’t wait to come here.”
Slater responded to queries regarding his campaign for an 11th ASP World Title in characteristic fashion.
“If I wasn’t hungry to win an 11th ASP World Title, then I wouldn’t be here,” Slater said.
Slater will take on Kai Otton (AUS), 31, and Championship Moves Trials winner Adam Robertson in Round 1 of competition.