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Ben Dunn tackles worlds best at Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach

Ben Dunn : photo Surfing Australia/Robertson






Rip Curl Pro

ASP 2004 World Championship Tour

Bells Beach, Victoria, Aus.

6 - 16 april 2004

Contest Area Wave Chart

BEN TACKLES WORLD´S BEST AT BELLS BEACH

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 19 March 2004: - - Friday, March 19, 2004: Outstanding Australian junior surfer Ben Dunn will
tackle the world´s best when he contests the 32nd annual Rip Curl Pro at
Bells Beach (Victoria, Australia), from April 6-16. The 18-year-old from Old
Bar, on the NSW North Coast, has been granted a wildcard entry into the
prestigious event after winning last year´s Under-18 ISA World Junior Title
in South Africa. The all-conquering junior will be up against the world´s
top 45 surfers in his first ever World Championship Tour (WCT) event, the
US$260,000 Rip Curl Pro.

"It´s an amazing opportunity and I´m really looking forward to it," Dunn
said. While the teenager said any result would be a positive one, the
reigning Australian junior champion boasts an imposing record at the famous
Victorian surf break. Dunn won the final event of last year´s Australasian
Pro Junior series in solid 6-foot (1.8m) surf at Bells Beach, and looms as a
serious threat to the world´s best surfers contesting this year´s Rip Curl
Pro.

"I´ve surfed Bells a lot, I´ve competed there a lot, and I feel pretty
confident out there," Dunn said. "I think the wave really suits my style, so
I´m just going to try my best and see what happens on the day."

There is always a chance of an upset victory at the Rip Curl Pro, with four
unseeded surfers winning the annual Easter event in its 32-year history. The
last wildcard to win the iconic event was another outstanding Australian
junior, Gold Coast surfer and current world #4 Mick Fanning, who claimed an
historic victory as a 19-year-old in 2001.

"It´s pretty damn hard, I think I got lucky, but Ben surfs well enough to
cause a few upsets," Fanning said. "It just matters if he gets the right
waves and surfs to his potential."

After being eliminated in the second round of the opening event of this
year´s World Championship Tour (WCT), the Quiksilver Pro on the Gold Coast,
Fanning is looking to atone with a big result at Bells.

"I´m psyched after a pretty average performance on the Goldy," he said. "I´m
going to re-assess my approach and come back stronger at the Rip Curl Pro."

The Rip Curl Pro is the second of 12 World Championship Tour (WCT) events
scheduled for 2004.

There are 48 competitors in this year´s Rip Curl Pro; 45 are the world´s top
ranked professionals, while three are wildcard entrants. Two wildcards will
be decided in the 16-man Surf Dive´n´Ski Trials competition on Monday, April
5.

The Rip Curl Pro is Australia´s longest running professional surfing and
holds a proud place in surfing folklore, stretching back to 1973. The Rip
Curl Pro´s status as one of six Victorian Government-designated Hallmark
Events each year, alongside the
Melbourne Formula One and Phillip Island Motorcycle Grand Prix, the
Australian Tennis Open, the Melbourne Cup and the AFL Grand Final, is an
acknowledgment of its contribution the state´s rich sporting culture.

The Rip Curl Pro would not be possible without the support of Surfing
Victoria, the Surf Coast Shire Council, the Victorian Department of Tourism,
Sport & The Commonwealth Games, and the Association of Surfing
Professionals - plus the supporting sponsorship of Nintendo, Coca-Cola and
Falls Creek.



More Australasian Surfing News available here

Check the latest Australasian Surf Reports and Forecasts

Further information:

Brendan McAloon

RIP CURL Australia

bmcaloon@ripcurl.com.au

Jesse Faen

ASP World Tour

jesse@aspworldtour.com

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