19 April, 2017 19 April, 2017

The Chairman’s Report – Bells Beach

Jordy finally rings the Bell.

Short of time travel, quantum mechanics and worm holes, the only way to compress 10 years into 40 minutes is by getting there first and beating the clock. And that’s just what Jordy Smith did by winning the 2017 Rip Curl Bells Beach Pro.  

Watching the final ( particularly the last 3 minutes) it felt to me as if time stood still , that again, Smith would be left inches away, closer to his destination (and destiny) but just short.

But when you’ve waited 10 years to arrive, you know how to beat minutes and, more importantly, the opposition standing in your way.

By winning the 2017 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Pro, Jordy Smith has officially arrived to challenge for the World Title. No doubt.

A carve of champions.

He shook off a buzzer beater win against an in-form Zeke Lau in the semis, as well as what appeared to be a lack of fitness, and re set in the final against Caio Ibelli with an undeniable belief and focus. When you’re packing a 9.77 and 9.13 as keeper scores, it shows intent. Not that Ibelli lacked any of his own. The Brazilian was more than capable of carving out the required 9.28 for the win, and having taken care of John Florence in the semis, confidence was never going to be an issue.

The WSL commentary team spoke of Smith’s board having too much length, too much rail, but he stuck with it. And he would have felt vindicated as it made all the difference. With more board came more variety: Layback hacks, big full carves and high risk lip surfing. Ibelli answered back with more zip and at times, more speed, but on deep ocean walls, down carves and brute strength pushes back harder. 

Caio Ibelli gave a noble fight.

I know this moment is all about the SAFFA! But what do you make about the failures of Slater, Fanning and Parko?  Did the soft walls of Bells expose their lack of zip? Are they simply getting too old? Is this the first tangible sign of the era’s end? A changing of the guard. In Caio Ibelli and Zeke Lau, we had two rookies in the semis and JJF and Jordy now fully occupying their roles as the mature surfers on tour, in their prime. Maybe I’m a mean old curmudgeon but right about now, I bet Slater, Parko and Fanning would trade their pensions for a time machine!
And now to Brazil where it’s anyone’s guess as to what will unfold at the Oi Rio Pro. The dumpy and shifty beach breaks make it hard to pick an outright favourite. Let alone the free radical of e.coli stomach bugs stalking the contestants. Both Florence and Smith are past champions and you can be sure that the Brazilian storm will be ready to blow up. 

Kelly still has the moves.

But for now, I’m going to enjoy some time travel of my own and go back to the heat analyser and re-watch the waves that made history, and Jordy Smith the 2017 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Champion. Ring-a-ding-ding!

See you in Brazil.

Rookie Ezekiel Lau is the new force on tour.

John John has been claimed impossible to beat – can Jordy take him down?

Zaffa pride 100.

Jordy en route to an epic floater in the finals.


  1. Andrew
    19 April, 2017 at 4:04 pm · Reply

    What a historic win! Jordy has done exactly what he needed to do and have a good run in Oz. It’ll hold him in good stead for the pacific leg…..maybe…just maybe we have a full blown title contender this year!!!!

  2. Alex
    19 April, 2017 at 4:56 pm · Reply

    Epic win for Jordy! Was worried his smug bell-ringing gesture might tempt Karma to send Caio a steaming set but that didn’t happen and Jordy’s rail game was an unstoppable force of power and precision. Woulda been sweet for the headline-writers had Ibelli rung the i-Bell…. His time will certainly come – anyone with 3-1 win record over JJF is definitely to be reckoned with. For the time being it’s time to fly the SA flag and hope that Jordy builds on this foundation to bring home a title.

  3. Name (required)Craig
    19 April, 2017 at 6:00 pm · Reply

    Yeah. Jordy is hungry in 2017. Like J-Bay, there are few that can match Jordy at Bell’s. Won’t be his last victory ringing the bell.

  4. Deryckf
    19 April, 2017 at 7:22 pm · Reply

    Shot Glen – Another stellar performance by Richie Porta and the Judging panel for their interference call on Zeke. Thankfully better heads prevailed.

  5. Jon
    19 April, 2017 at 8:14 pm · Reply

    Thanks for the report Mr Chairman. Fantastic as always!!!
    Im sure a few knapsies were thrown back through the late night live streaming. Seeeeeek!

    Three carves and a floater. Thought I had the stream on repeat during the finals.
    I preferred the progression, speed and power displayed by Teledo. His flow and repertoire is unmatched and underscored.

    Three carves and a floater for the win. Ergh! That will stagnate the sport.
    Three carves and a floater
    Three carves and a floater
    Three carves and a…

  6. Andrzej Kowalski
    20 April, 2017 at 2:04 am · Reply

    I have to eat humble pie. I did not think Jordy was a top five surfer. I owe you an apology Glen. You saw something that I didn’t on the Gold Coast. Jordy has announced himself as a contender, for sure. The Aussie sites are all talking about the Bell ringing claim. Some ex champs are calling it disrespectful. I actually think it’s great. Jordy is fired up, and that’s a good thing. Jordy deserves to ring the Bell for sure. He has been one of best surfers at Bells for ten years. I think back to that Julian Wilson tie-break heartbreak heat, and many others. Yesterday, it has to be said, he did have easier side of the draw. He still had to work for his wins. The other side of the draw that had Kelly, Owen, Mick and John John, kind of ate itself. Lastly, I want to see how Jordy goes in left hand tubes, before I mark him out as a title chance this year. For me JJF and Owen and a few others are bigger threats in Fiji and Tahiti. Rio should be interesting.

  7. Kyle Griffin
    20 April, 2017 at 7:23 am · Reply

    Insightfull write up as always Glen!
    Great confidence boost ringing that bell… hopefully this win sets a high line for Jordy

  8. Name (required)charles
    20 April, 2017 at 7:25 am · Reply

    Great repo Mr Chair….as always. Too many great surfers at the moment to make a certain team pick, one thing which was apparent is the new age of surfing is stronger than ever, the old regime alla mick and Kelly seem to be looking relatively flat and predictable (particularly mick). Think Rio Pro will highlight this even further.

    Thanks for your classic repo G Dog and good luck for Rio, Im coming for that yellow jersey!!

  9. Glen Drysdale
    20 April, 2017 at 12:10 pm · Reply

    Thanks for the feedback guys, always good to share thoughts and opinions on what went down.

    Great to see 3 different event winners after the Oz leg, each event showcased a variety of approach, both mentally and physically.

    The rookies are coming in hard, some of the old guard are looking vulnerable, and with JJF, Jordy and Owen all on a hot streak , we can expect an intense battle for the yellow jersey in Rio.

    Interesting point on Jordy’s ‘disrespectful’ Bells claim Andrzej. I wonder if we’ll see the ‘invisible bell claim’ again?!

  10. Byron
    20 April, 2017 at 1:00 pm · Reply

    Another beaut of a round up Mr Chairman-said it all.

    One of the most interesting years in terms of title chases I can remember .

    In the words of Big Chris from Lock Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels- “There is one more thing-It’s been emotional”

  11. Grant
    20 April, 2017 at 1:42 pm · Reply

    Really enjoying The Chairman’s Report – great addition to the Zag site!
    There’s still a long year ahead for the CT campaigners and judges. No doubt there’s much drama to still unfold…

  12. Mark
    20 April, 2017 at 3:01 pm · Reply

    Yes ding-a-ling!! Well done JS!!! Awesome win and well deserved! As good as it looked those were not easy waves to surf and one had to surf smart heats and be adaptable to the conditions… JS did that best! I wonder if Jordy practices a claim for each event ? The bell ring here, Christ the redeemer in rio… hopefully he will have a Tahitian or Hawaiin hula in his repertoire this year?

  13. Jack
    20 April, 2017 at 7:35 pm · Reply

    Lekka read as always Glen! Stoked for Jordy and amped for Brazil!
    Thanks & please keep em coming bru!

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