Surfers at Bells Beachhead into the waves as a sunny day on the southern Victoria coast turns into a warm evening. Located 100 km (62 Miles) south-west of Melbourne on the Great Ocean Road near Torquay, Bells Beach is the home of the world’s longest-running surfing competition. The Rip Curl Pro Surf & Music Festival, formerly known as the Bells Beach Surf Classic, was first held here in January 1961 and has been an annual event at Easter every year since 1962.
I watched several surfers bound down wooden steps onto the beach then into the surf with little if any hesitation. The water would be cold for sure, but one after another they would jump into the waves and paddle out of sight.
It reminded me of the end of a classic (but cheesy) movie from 1991 called Point Break. To the amusement of my friend Madelaine, I stood on the beach and reenacted the final scene as best I could from memory. In it, FBI detective Johnny Utah, played by Keanu Reeves, has finally tracked down his criminal nemesis and fellow surfer, Bodhi, played by Patrick Swayze, at Bells Beach where a record storm is producing lethal waves.
In the end, Utah releases Bodhi who makes an impassioned plea to catch one wave in the “50-year storm” that he had mentioned several times throughout the movie. Knowing Bodhi will not emerge from the massive waves alive and is in-fact surfing to his death, Utah walks away and throws his FBI badge into the ocean.
Watch the final scene of Point Break, supposedly filmed at Bells Beach (though it’s actually a beach in Oregon, USA. Fun fact: A remake of the movie was released this year and seems to have been a flop.
See Bells Beach using Google Street View.