North Narrabeen surfer Davey Cathels has received the first
wildcard entry into the 2012 Rip Curl Pro presented by Ford. The
21-year-old natural footer will be competing in his first-ever ASP
World Tour event.
Cathels, who already has plenty of impressive junior titles to
his name - including a thrilling victory over the world's top
junior surfers at the Oakley World Pro Junior in Bali, Indonesia in
October, 2011 - says he's both nervous and excited about the
opportunity to perform on surfing's biggest stage.
"I'm feeling a little bit of both," he said. "I've been injured
for a while, so I'm just excited to get back in the water out at
Bells and get a few waves."
Cathels is coming back from an ankle injury that kept him out of
the water for ten weeks. He's spent the past two weeks surfing and
training around his North Narrabeen home. As one of two Rip Curl
Pro wildcards, Cathels will face either the No. 1 or No. 2 seeded
surfer in the world in his Round 1 heat.
"Hopefully I'll be back at 100 percent for my first heat,"
Cathels said. "I just want to make the most of this opportunity to
surf against two of the best surfers in the world. I can't wait to
get out there in front of the crowd and put on a good show."
The second men's wildcard spot will be decided by the Wingman
Men's Trials. Twenty of Victoria's finest local surfers will be
vying to have a crack at the world's Top 34 in the main event,
including Surf Coast residents Nic Muscroft, Jack Perry, and Harry
Mann, as well as Steve Noble (Cape Paterson), Caiden Fowler
(Mornington Peninsula), and Mitch Baker (Phillip Island).
Meanwhile, former Victorian Women's Trials winner Nikki Van
Dijk, 17, from nearby Phillip Island, Victoria, is looking to once
again punch her ticket into the Rip Curl Women's Pro presented by
Ford Fiesta. Van Dijk will be competing against Kelly Laity (Sandy
Point) and local Surf Coasters Amy Stewart and Zoe Clarke in a four
woman "super heat" for the sole wildcard spot. The winner of the
Victorian Women's Trials will face four-time women's world champion
Stephanie Gilmore in the first round of the main event.
The Rip Curl Pro is presented by FORD with partners the
Victorian Government, Telstra, Tooheys Extra Dry, Jim Beam,
Sea-Doo, Skullcandy, Surf Coast Shire, Tracks, Fuel TV, Ozmosis,
Official Forecaster Coastalwatch Plus and co-managed by Surfing
The 2012 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach will be webcast LIVE via www.live.ripcurl.com and
broadcast live on Fuel TV in Australia and Portugal, ESPN in Brazil
and MCS Extrême in France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Switzerland, Africa
and Mauritius. You can also watch the event live via the Rip Curl
Live Events iPhone app, available free in the iTunes App Store.