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Jordy Smith became the first South African to win the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach when he overpowered Brazlian Caio Ibellie in clean 2.5-metre surf.
Smith’s sixth championship tour win elevated him to second in the world-title race behind reigning champion John John Florence.
Smith was rapt to win the world’s longest-running professional surfing competition after finishing second at Bells last year.
“I can’t even believe it – second last year and now this – it’s amazing,” he said.
“I was stoked to have made it into round four and then every heat after that was a bonus.”
Smith amused the crowd when he pretended to ring the trophy bell after cementing his lead in the final with a high-scoring ride.
“I tried to take it easy and not take things too seriously, as you may have been able to tell from some of my claims in the final.
“This is an absolute dream come true. I’ve been working on winning this event for 10 years now and to get it today is incredible.”
Smith won with his two best waves scoring a combined 18.90 out of 20, with Ibelli finishing on 17.46.
“I wasn’t sure how many opportunities I was going to get with the high tide so I just took every wave I could,” he said.
“Once I got the nine a bit of the pressure dropped and then, sure enough, Caio kept coming. He is an amazing surfer and has been so on point this event.”
Smith said the “pieces of the puzzle” were coming together for him after injury and rebuilding phases in recent years.
“My family and wife are right behind me and I couldn’t do it without their support.”

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