Photo: Dunbar / WSL
MELBOURNE, VIC/AUS (Thursday, August 5 2021) – The World Surf League (WSL) today announced that the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach will return in 2022 to its traditional date of the Easter Weekend. In its 59th year of competition, the event will open the Australian leg of the WSL Championship Tour (CT) for the first time in over two decades.
In 2020 and 2021, WSL made the difficult decision to cancel the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic but is excited to say the event will return in 2022 and beyond. This is thanks to a new three-year deal that was signed between the WSL and its longtime partners Rip Curl and the Victorian Government earlier this year. The deal secures this iconic event into the future and ensures that WSL World Title hopefuls will have to navigate the notorious Bells bowl and that the coveted bell will be rung for many Easters to come.
“We’re stoked to see the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach return in 2022,” said WSL APAC General Manager Andrew Stark. “Bells is one of the most historic events on the WSL calendar and to have it back in its traditional time of the Easter Weekend is so important to the WSL. To miss it this year was a shame but we thank Rip Curl, Visit Victoria and all of our partners for the event for their understanding amidst the global pandemic and ongoing support and we can’t wait to return in 2022 and see one of the world’s best ring that bell.”
“Running The Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach and hearing the Bell ring on the victory day is in the top 3 objectives for us in 2022,” said Rip Curl’s Chief Brand and Marketing Officer Neil Ridgway. “It brings so much deep joy to surfers across the world at so many levels and it’s the heart and soul of our brand. I’m sure that the WSL and the Victorian Government will move mountains to make it happen. Having said that, we know the realities of playing in world sport in the Covid world. Fingers crossed.”
Victorian Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula said Victorians were excited about the return of the world’s best surfers to the famous breaks of Bells Beach.
“The Rip Curl Pro is renowned around the globe and much loved by Victorians – it’s fantastic that we’ll be kicking off the Australian leg of the world league in 2022,” Mr Pakula said. “The best female and male surfers love coming here, and we can’t wait to welcome them and all the fans who will be making a beeline for Victoria’s beautiful Surf Coast. We’re proud of our standing as Australia’s major events leader and we’ll continue to back icons like the Rip Curl Pro which provide enormous exposure for our state and a significant boost for local businesses.”
“Bells Beach at Easter is like the AFL Grand Final in September or Test cricket on Boxing Day. It’s more than just a sporting event, it’s part of our identity, and whilst the cancellation was understandable and necessary, we are very glad to welcome the Rip Curl Pro back home for 2022,” said Surf Coast Shire Council Mayor Cr Libby Stapleton. “The Rip Curl Pro has produced some amazing memories for so many in our community and there is always a buzz when the tour is in town. The fabled Easter swell, combined with the beautiful natural amphitheatre, make Bells Beach a spectacular location for the competitors and spectators and we look forward to hosting the 2022 return of the Rip Curl Pro.”
The 2022 WSL CT will include 10 regular-season events in seven countries, starting in January at the world-famous Pipeline in Hawai’i, for the first-ever men’s and women’s joint event at that legendary break. The CT will return to G-Land, Indonesia, which is back on the CT for the first time in 24 years for the men and for the first time ever for the women, and conclude in August at the infamous Teahupo’o in Tahiti before the second-annual Rip Curl WSL Finals in September, where the WSL Final 5 men’s and women’s surfers will face off for the undisputed World Title.
2022 WSL Championship Tour Schedule*
- Pipeline, Hawai’i – Jan 29 – Feb 10, 2022
- Sunset, Hawai’i – Feb 11 – 23, 2022
- Peniche, Portugal – March 3 – 13, 2022
- Bells Beach, Australia – April 10 – 20, 2022
- Margaret River, Western Australia – April 24 – May 4, 2022
Mid-Season Cut – 36-man and 18-woman fields reduced to 24-man and 12-woman fields.
- G-Land, Indonesia – May 28 – June 6, 2022
- Trestles, USA – June 15 – 22, 2022
- Saquarema, Brazil – June 15 – 22, 2022
- Jeffreys Bay, South Africa – July 9 – 18, 2022
- Teahupo’o, Tahiti – August 11 – 21, 2022
WSL Final 5 determined to battle for the undisputed men’s and women’s World Titles.
- Rip Curl WSL Finals, location TBA – Sep 7 – 18, 2022
*All tour stops and dates are subject to change due to applicable COVID-19 related restrictions, including global travel restrictions.
The health and safety of athletes, staff, and the local community are of the utmost importance and the WSL has a robust set of procedures in place to keep everyone safe. These plans are unique to each Tour stop.
Visit worldsurfleague.com/2022 for more information.