Easter is a time to get away and unwind with the family or friends. For me, there’s no better place than Easter back at home on the Surf Coast. With the world’s greatest surfing event the Rip Curl Pro held at Bells Beach every year, the town of Torquay in Victoria sees a huge influx of visitors seeking to watch the professional male and female surfers in action. There’s not many sports in the world where you’ll see professional athletes on the streets, in the surf lineups or in the carparks that are happy to have a chat or take a selfie with their fans. The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach is one of those events. Dig out the RayBan glasses and let’s go!
I first attended the event over 20 years ago as a teenager. I think it was about 1995 or 1996 as a youngster where I even helped construct the grand stands for the spectators to sit in. I also used to work for Rip Curl so I was lucky enough to get access all areas back in the day as well. For me, the event gave the town of Torquay a huge buzz in the most positive sense. The feeling of going out to Bells Beach with all the history behind the event (this year was it’s 55th running) and watching the professionals surf fantastic waves while the crowd is cheering on the sand, is hard to beat. Seeing the lines of swell when driving over the hill on Bells Boulevard gives a huge rush of excitement to see what the natural amphitheatre will produce. With the way surfing has innovated, the professionals have so many tricks up their sleeves it makes it so exciting for any sport lover of all ages to watch. One of the things I love about the event is that anyone can attend: families, parents, children, day trippers etc. as it’s not that far of a drive from Melbourne. It gives a huge sense of community as well.
The event these days however has become highly commercialised, with a number of sponsors compared to only one for many of its years. The likes of Samsung, which sponsors the World Surf League (WSL), along with Corona Extra and Jeep make up just some of the big names now behind the sport.
I encourage anyone to get down to Torquay in the years ahead. When the event is running, make sure you get out there early otherwise you’ll risk not being able to get in. With Bells Beach being a nature reserve, it has a limit of the number of people that it can handle. Most of all, head out there, have fun and head into town afterwards to enjoy the festivities!
Special thanks must go to Rip Curl for putting on another stellar event, along with the WSL, Samsung, Corona and Jeep for supporting such a great cause. Lastly, thanks to Calibre Australia for providing me with some stylish casual gear from their new Autumn/Winter collection to wear to the event!