First all-Aussie final since Barton Lynch and Damien Hardman in 1993!
In deteriorating three-foot waves at Bells’ better neighbour Winkipop, North Stradbroke Island surfer Ethan Ewing has won the Rip Curl Bells Pro on its sixtieth anniversary.
Ewing’s painterly frontside turns carved a swathe through his side of the draw. The twenty five year old destroyed Owen Wright’s fairytale farewell in round one, dominated two-time world champ Gabriel Medina, enjoyed a little of the judge’s wind behind his back in his semi with current champ Filipe Toledo, and was untroubled in the final as he easily dispatched Newcastle’s Ryan Callinan.
Brazilian surf fans, as well as the reigning world champ Filipe Toledo, were made apoplectic after Ewing and another Australian Jackson Baker appeared to be generously overscored in their heats against the small-wave wizard.
Still, a fine win for Ewing, whose late mama Helen Lambert, won the event in 1983.
“There’ll be a parade in the main street of Stradbroke Island tonight,” said commenter and ’78 world champ Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew.
“This is the one I’ve wanted to win…I’ve been thinking of this since I’ve been on the tour,” said Ewing.
JP Currie’s contest analysis to follow.