Originally written by Spectator-Observer Partnership
PORTLAND’S Adam Robertson will once again be mixing it with the world’s best surfers over Easter after claiming one of three wildcards places into the 2004 Rip Curl Pro.
On Monday Robertson won his second consecutive Surf Dive ‘n’ Ski Trials, to secure his place among the field.
The Rip Curl Pro, regarded as the most prestigious World Championship Tournament, entered its 11-day waiting period yesterday, with only four days required to complete the event.
Organisers will evaluate conditions each morning to determine the day’s schedule.
The Surf Dive ‘N’ Ski Trials, which were also held at Bells Beach, consisted of eight Victorian hopefuls, seven international Rip Curl Team riders, plus three-time world champion Tom Curren. A round robin system was utilised, whereby each surfer contested three rounds and the highest four accumulated totals then contested a final.
Robertson, 21, was actually trailing on points leading into the decider, but then turned his fortune around with a win at the crucial stage.
The natural footer gained control in the 3ft (1m) conditions, repeating his 2003 victory for another shot at glory.
“I can’t believe it,” said Robertson. “I really wanted to win it again.
I’ve watched the Rip Curl Pro ever since I was born, and it’s such a good event. I’m so happy to be a part of it.
“I feel like I know the wave at Bells quite well, and to do it twice in a row is a really good confidence booster.
“It also gives me a good chance to come up against the main guys, so it’s great to see them close up in the water and try to beat them.”
Last year Robertson made it through to the third round of the Rip Curl Pro, beating world number one Michael Lowe along the way.
The world’s top surfers, such as Kelly Slater, Andy Irons and Taj Burrows, will also be amongst the field.
Sunshine Coast’s Zane Harrison finished runner-up in the Surf Dive ‘N’ Ski Trials and also earned a main event start, while reigning Australian and World Under-18 Champion Ben Dunn was granted the third wildcard position.