How did it start?
Back in 1973, Rip Curl founders Doug "Claw" Warbrick and Brian Singer approached the Australian Surfriders Association to make the existing Easter contest a professional surfing competition. Since that time, the event has continually evolved to the world event it is now. Today, the ASP World Tour's best 34 male surfers will be at Bells over Easter to compete. The ASP World Tour started at the Gold Coast a month ago and next heads to Rio de Janiero, Brazil in May.
Who to beat?
At round one on the Gold Coast, Australian Taj Burrow won and will be hoping he can ring the Bell at the end of this competition. To do so, he will have to defeat defending champion, Joel Parkinson and the other contenders. Two-time ASP World Champion, Mick Fanning, rising stars Owen Wright, Gabriel Medina and Julian Wilson, and of course 11-time ASP World Champion, Kelly Slater are all must-watch surfers during the event.
The ASP Women's World Tour's best 17 surfers will also be taking on the swells. NSW surfers Sally Fitzgibbons and Laura Enever have already impresed at the start of the competition.
As with most sports, the athletes are under many pressures. Part of their support network is the new ASP chaplain Abe Abrahams. Abe will be traveling with the tour, caring and supporting the surfers. In the past, this has included making meals for the surfers and their families, providing encouragement, grief counseling and being a friend. The role of the chaplain is diverse but invaluable. (christiansurfers.org.au)