Locals lend a hand at Rip Curl Pro site

March 29, 2024 BY

L-R: Site volunteers Joe Murray, site coordinator Peter Murphy and Tom Graham at Bells Beach. Photos: VINNIE VAN OORSCHOT

Volunteers working behind the scenes to set up this year’s Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach are eagerly anticipating a fantastic experience for spectators, officials, and athletes alike as they prepare for the event.

As many as 15 local volunteers, coordinated by Surf Coast resident and Surfing Victoria operations manager Peter Murphy, began the construction of this year’s Rip Curl Pro live site on March 6, sometimes working close to 12-hour days at a time.

Though the task of preparing the site within the event’s timeframe poses a challenge for Mr Murphy and his team, he expressed gratitude for the opportunity to host a Championship Tour surfing event in his own backyard. He takes immense pride in volunteering his time each year for this cause.

“It’s always an exciting time, it’s a crazy time of year, but at the same time it’s pretty special, we’re lucky to have an event like the Rip Curl Pro here at Bells Beach.

“This year there have been a few challenges due to the heatwave we had earlier this month and the threat of bushfires, which slowed progress for a bit, but we just worked extra hard to get the schedule back on track.

“I can’t do this job alone, so it’s always appreciated when the local boys can give me a hand. Lots of hands makes light work as the saying goes.”


Pete Murphy (middle) alongside local volunteers at the Rip Curl Pro event site. Photos: VINNIE VAN OORSCHOT

Murphy said a major change from previous years will be evident in the grandstands.

Spectators in the event’s three grandstands (80, 100, and 140 people max capacity) overlooking Bells Beach will now be standing areas, instead of seated.

The change comes after the World Surf League (WSL) and Surfing Victoria employed new contractors to install the event’s three grandstands.

Two of the grandstands are corporate and one is for general admission.

Accessibility will remain a focus for the event, with a viewing platform available for people with disabilities alongside the grandstands.


Surfing Victoria operations manager Peter Murphy.


Mr Murphy also said admitting general admission spectators to both corporate grandstands will become a more common practice, but only if seating is available.

“It’s something that we hadn’t really done in recent years, but we’re really keen to fill up those grandstands.

“As it stands, we still have the grandstand on the beach for general admission spectators and the whole beach too, but if we’re not filling the corporate grandstands then we’ll make sure they’re filled.

“It really is the best view at Bells.”

Other common facilities to return to the site in 2024 include The Big Screen for live site viewing, the site’s main hub featuring an athletes lounge and officials/commentary booth, as well as a dedicated athletes’ storage and warm up area at the base of Bells Beach Car Park.

Major sponsors will also have pop-up activations and merchandise points.

The event’s long-running tradition of free entry to the Rip Curl Pro for residents in the 3228 postcode will continue in 2024, while out-of-town visitors will need to pay $35 for a blanket festival pass, $10 for concession holders, and $15 for a day pass.

All children aged 16 and under can also enter the Rip Curl Pro free of charge.

For all site and ticketing information, click HERE.