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18-year-old wildcard knocks out the back-to-back defending Bells champion

Ellie Harrison's dream CT debut just got a whole lot more dreamy.

Having entered the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach as a wildcard after winning the trials earlier in the week, local girl Ellie Harrison could not have dreamed for a better start to the main event, winning her first round heat, which included current world number one Molly Picklum. Then today, in the round of 16, she knocked out defending Bells champion Tyler Wright, who was hoping to make it three bell rings in a row, matching Carissa Moore’s hat-trick of Bells wins between 2013 and 2015.

The 18-year-old showed impressive heat strategy to make sure she ended up on the best possible waves and maximized the scoring potential out of them to give her a heat total of 13.73, knocking out back-to-back champ Tyler Wright in the process.

Having grown up nearby to Bells at Barwon Heads, the 18-year-old is no stranger to surfing at the Victoria amphitheater. However, it is a different kind of stadium she could have found herself in, having grown up playing AFL on the wing for Barwon Heads.

Her CT debut this week is just another added layer to the perfect year she has been having so far. Ellie won the Burton Automotive Pro & Newcastle Racecourse Women’s Pro QS 5000 last month and has already requalified for this year’s Challenger Series where she will hope to make her maiden appearance on the CT a more permanent fixture.

Following her opening round win yesterday, Ellie said: “I’m normally here just watching, being a grom, getting everyone’s signatures.

“Now I’m in the event, everything is so much more, I don’t know, just crazy.”

Can she continue her giant killer streak and cause another upset in the next round when she comes up against the current world number two Johanne Defay in the quarterfinals?

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