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2002 Rip Curl Pro WCT event set to go at Bells Beach

Mick Fanning 2001 event champion : photo Tostee


2002 RIP CURL PRO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SURFING TOURNAMENT SET TO GO

The wait is almost over

Only a week now remains before the attention of millions of surfing fans around the globe will be focused on the 30th anniversary Rip Curl Pro at Victoria´s Bells Beach - the second Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Championship Tournament (WCT) of 2002.

Questions hang in the air.

Can Australia´s 2001 Rip Curl Pro champion Mick Fanning become only the fourth back-to-back winner of this country´s oldest professional surfing contest?

Will Hawaiian veteran Sunny Garcia equal Australian great Mark Richards with a record fourth Rip Curl Pro victory?

After a three-year break from fulltime competition, can American Kelly Slater give his bid for a seventh world title a massive boost by winning his second Rip Curl Pro, eight years after his first victory at Bells Beach?

Or will one of the other 45 competitors emerge from the chilly Southern Ocean to ring the coveted bell as the 2002 Rip Curl Pro champion?

Those questions will be answered some time between Tuesday March 26th and Sunday April 7th when the 30th Rip Curl Pro is fought out over seven rounds of intensely-anticipated competition.

"I´m looking forward to going back down to Bells, getting some good waves, and enjoying myself again", said humble defending champion Mick Fanning.

"Everyone´s surfing really good at the moment and anyone can get through so it´s going to be hard. Guys like Parko, Taylor, Sunny, and Deano......anyone can win. I´m just going down to do my best and have fun", he added.

With US$250,000 prizemoney and vital world championship points at stake, only four full days are required to complete the Rip Curl Pro, but the organising committee plans to make full use of the 13-day waiting period to ensure the event is held in the best possible surf conditions.

In line with this, 2002 has seen the event´s mobility increased. In case the traditional base of Bells Beach has no surf, the Pro can be moved as far afield as Phillip Island in the east or Johanna Beach in the west.

A pre-event media launch for all Melbourne media will be staged at Melbourne Aquarium - Monday March 25 at 12.00 noon.

Surfers in attendance will include 2001 World Champion CJ Hobgood, Sunny Garcia, Kelly Slater, Mark Occhilupo, Mick Fanning, and Joel Parkinson. All Melbourne media are welcome to attend and invitations will be sent out later this week.

The 2002 Rip Curl Pro is proudly brought to you by the Victorian State Government, Life Savers, Promite, Ansell, Coca Cola, Tooheys New, Vodka Cruiser, and Surfing Victoria.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Torquay / Bells guide ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

--- Swell chart ----- Wave animation ----- Scripps Global anim. ---
--- Synoptic Analysis ----- WAM Global ----- Satellite/Wind ---

For event information, contact:

RIP CURL PRO MEDIA : Gary Dunne

Pre-Event (before March 25):

Phone: 03 5261 0000 (from overseas, dial 613 5261 0000)

Email: gdunne@ripcurl.com.au

During Event (from March 25 to April 7):

Phone: 03 5261 5722, or 0438 613 327

(from overseas, dial 613 5261 5722, or 61 438 613 327)

RIP CURL PRO TV INFORMATION : Adam Sharp

Pre-Event (before March 25):

Phone: 0408 027198 (from overseas, dial 61 408 027198

Email: asharp@ripcurl.com.au

ASP INTERNATIONAL MEDIA LIAISON: Jesse Faen

Pre-Event (before March 25):

Phone: 0407 189 289 (from overseas, dial 61 407 189 289)

Email: jesse@aspworldtour.com

During Event (from March 25 to April 7):

Phone: 03 5261 5722, or 0407 189 289

(from overseas, dial 613 5261 5722, or 61 407 189 289)

Tour Photographer:
Contact Pierre Tostee/ASP World :

tostee@aspworldtour.com, +61 422 266132.

Adam Sharp - Rip Curl.

WCT-Contests - Surfersvillage.

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