Matt Wilkinson rings the bell. Photo: Courtesy of WSL/ Ed Sloane
Australian surfer Matt “Wilko” Wilkinson won the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach yesterday, securing his second win on this year’s WSL Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour.
Wilkinson is the breakout athlete of this year’s tour.
“I have been trying to win everywhere forever and it has never happened, and this year I seem to keep picking up trophies, which is making me feel pretty good,” Wilkinson said in a press release.
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During the finals, Wilko got a combined score of 17.37, beating out Smith’s 14.16 combo. Photo: Courtesy of WSL/ Kelly Cestari
He is the first surfer to win the Bells Pro riding goofy in nearly two decades.
The last time a goofyfooter won at Bells was in 1998 when Mark “Occy” Occhilupo took the title.
During the finals, Wilkinson beat out Jordy Smith in surf about 8 to 10 feet.
Smith is back on tour after suffering a back injury and he said he was just happy he made it to the finals.
Jordy Smith took second place. Photo: Courtesy of WSL/ Kelly Cestari
“Last year I had a back injury and struggled through it, but I am glad to make the Final here today,” Smith said. “This year was a little different for me at Bells. I did not have my expectations so high, and I wanted to put on a good performance and surf my best.”
The conditions at Bell’s were not great, or as SURFER’s Sean Doherty put it, the waves “were wobbly, angry, and looking for someone to snot.”
After winning two trophies in less than a month, Wilkinson will definitely be one to watch this year.
The next stop on the Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour is the Drug Aware Margaret Pro on April 8. It is the final stop in Australia.
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