Setting up for a historic 60th

April 6, 2023 BY

Surfing Victoria's Pete Murphy is responsible each year for directing the construction of the Rip Curl Pro.

The exciting views fans enjoyed at last year’s Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach are back again for the event’s 60th year.

All four event grandstands used at last year’s event are back in action, providing spectators with the best panoramic views of the renowned Bells Beach and the world’s best surfers.

Both general spectator stands hold 88 seats each, while Rip Curl’s reserved grandstands each boast 99 seats.

Surfing Victoria operations manager Peter Murphy said general spectator seats may increase on a day-by-day basis.

“We may open up seating in the Rip Curl grandstands, but we will make those calls on each day of surfing.”

Disabled access seating will again be available following major changes made in 2022.

Mr Murphy said several thousand surfing fans were expected to arrive to the Rip Curl Pro event site.

“All the hard yards are finished, our only major concern now is the surf.

Some of the Surfing Victoria set-up crew (left to right): Tom Graham, Pete Murphy, Clint O’Sullivan, site manager Aaron Dyer (below), Cameron Strutt and Jarvis Cininas preparing this year’s Rip Curl Pro. Photo: VINNIE VAN OORSCHOT


The feeling among the crew is that it will be a big year given the milestone of this event.

“60 years since it first started is no small accomplishment, and we have set up the site accordingly to accommodate what we expect will be a bumper crowd.”

Mr Murphy admitted that there were difficulties in setting up this year, but all the boxes were ticked before the 10-day waiting period began on April 4.

“Some of the hurdles we encountered were due to major events such as the Grand Prix, Avalon Air Show, MotoGP at Phillip Island and the Port Ferry Folk Festival, and a delay in setting up some of the structures and obtaining necessary gear and equipment,” he said.

Mr Murphy, who was part of the former setup crew “The Bells Dogs”, said setting up this year’s event had allowed him to reflect on Surfing Victoria’s effort over the years.

“Looking back, there have been a lot players to thank from our perspective.

“All of the different incarnations of the event, whether it be run by Association of Surfing Professionals, or World Surf League, or Rip Curl, we still look at it as the Rip Curl Pro and we get to own that as locals for the rest of our lives.”

The site’s retail store will be the closest structure to the entrance of the event, and the action will also be shown on the big screen at the centre of the Bells Beach carpark.