We have a new champion! No, not Medina. I’m talking about Aaron’s Picks; the latest event champion in the Surf-Stats Clubhouse. Aaron’s score of 600.97 narrowly put him in the lead over Pest’s Picks to take out 745th position overall and claim the coveted bragging rights until the next contest. Unfortunately, that will only be a few short days due to the tight European schedule, but regardless: Well done Aaron, may this be the first of many.
For the QuikPro, there were some big performances in France all across Tier A, but as usual, it was the teams with the best Tier B squad who moved up the leaderboard. Picking Bede and Wilko would have seemed brave two weeks ago, but it turns out that they were the goods. Let’s have a look at the "perfect" team for France:
Gabriel Medina – 140.46 (9%)
Adriano de Souza – 116.54 (23%)
Bede Durbidge – 121.07 (9%)
John John Florence – 98.20 (50%)
Italo Ferreira – 77.40 (30%)
Matt Wilkinson – 86.18 (11%)
Kolohe Andino – 70.84 (35%)
CJ Hobgood – 49.66 (20%)
The top individual event score went to Rodrigo’s with a respectable 733.75 (his only ‘flaws’ were choosing Jadson over Wilko and Dane over CJ).
The contest in a nutshell:
- The final of the 9%ers, Medina vs. Bede, was basically the form surfer vs. the giant killer. They both deserved to be there, but it was a strange final in the end; Bede (who had previously found success in keeping busy this contest) went more than 10 minutes before catching his first wave. Medina stayed busy, using rail work to keep Bede in combo-land for most of the 35 minutes and finishing him off with a trade-mark air-reverse
- Parko got injured and tanked to a new low
- Toledo lost when it was big and then had to watch from the sidelines as it turned into the perfect conditions for his surfing
- John John redeemed himself just a little and vindicated his believers
- Italo again lost momentum after a few lay-days (as did Mick and JJF)
- Mick Fanning pulled a Slater-like Houdini act to make it out of R3 and was looking like the unbackable favourite for another final appearance before Bede got in the way
- The combination of Jadson/Bede defeated 5/8 of my team (Nat, Mick, Kolohe, Ace, Miguel)
- Kelly peaked too early, has seemingly fallen out of favour with the judges and will most likely risk a fine to miss Portugal (yeah, we’ve heard that last one before)
- Wilko found that concentrating more on heat strategy than wetsuit style can actually pay dividends in career advancement
- Owen and Julian found their mojo again to keep their ‘mathematical’ title chances alive
- Kolohe found his way past Slater and into some lay-day barrels with JJF
- Wiggolly continues to see the RotY title slipping away
At the RoxyPro it was the Tier B show, with many of the ‘big names’ falling early (Courtney, Sally & Steph) to give Carissa the jump on another title. Tyler and Bianca surfed their hearts out to earn spots in the final and I think they’ll both be big names to watch in the title race next year. The final itself was mostly one-way traffic, with Tyler using her experience to structure a well-surfed and strategic heat. Bianca seemed overwhelmed for the most part, but showed a glimpse of the solid surfing that got her to the final with an 8.3 in the dying seconds. Congratulations Tyler!
Here is the ‘perfect’ Roxy Team:
Carissa Moore (55%) – 94.83
Tatiana Weston-Webb (23%) – 112.70
Tyler Wright (29%) – 104.04
Sage Erickson (14%) – 61.24
The winner of the Women’s Surf-Stats Clubhouse for the Roxy Pro was, ironically, Worlds Sexiest Losers with an impressive score of 315.63. It was daylight second as many group members had what can only be described as a ‘poor event’. Congratulations!
It wasn’t all high fives and Strider interviews; in every contest there has to be a loser. Some surfers burnt us bad, but hopefully they were few and far between for Wash-Up readers. Below are the worst possible selections for the QuikPro and RoxyPro contests in format: SURFER (START%) - SCORE
Kelly Slater (22%) – 46.41
Filipe Toledo (35%) - 15.83
Miguel Pupo (4%) - 20.03
Adam Melling (2%) - 18.14
Wiggolly Dantas (22%) - 17.13
Joel Parkinson (45%) - 13.36
Aritz Aranburu (1%) - 7.59
Dusty Payne (14%) - 5.66
Courtney Conlogue (18%) - 54.79
Bianca Buitendag (17%) - 20.04
Lakey Peterson (40%) - 22.03
Chelsea Tuach (0%) - 13.13
*I only managed to score 166.50, so maybe women’s WSL fantasy just isn’t my thing
The Fantasy Wash-Up’s Team Breakdown:
The Fantasy Wash-Up’s managed to redeem a little status in France, scoring 567.40 in total and climbing 305 spots from 952nd to 647th overall.
Medina (how was he only 9% for France, honestly?), John John, Kolohe, Dane (he was only slightly behind CJ as a top Tier C option) and to a lesser extent Fanning (although he had me worried in R3) all came through for me.
Both Pupo and Nat fell in consecutive heats to the Jadson train. Ace looked great early, but he was no match for a rampaging Bede Durbidge. Tier B was pretty savage, though, so I can’t complain too hard; at least I didn’t have Parko or Wiggolly, who both sucked despite looking like decent options going into the contest.
The Surf-Stats - Numbers Team, representing the projected totals of the cold, hard data, predicted a total of 750.91. While this score was only really possible with the perfect squad, the team still scored well, earning 3rd place overall in the clubhouse and besting my own Wash-Up team.
Wiggolly and Pupo definitely let the team down, but with JJF and Italo making the top team, as well as Dane and Kolohe in the C's and Medina and ADS in the A's, I think it would be safe to say that the numbers definitely didn’t let us down. The Numbers Team finished with 588.57 points and justified all of the hard work done by the Stats Team. Well done Surf-Stats!
The Numbers Team came 3rd (out of 28) in the Surf-Stats Clubhouse, well in front of the Surf-Stats Gut Instincts team (16th, 521.53 points) and the Fantasy Wash-Up (10th, 567.4 points). There is a detailed wrap-up of how some of the Surf-Stats predictions fared here.
World Champ Update
Bede made sure that, after beating Mick, he was going to minimise the damage to his mate’s title aspirations by beating Julian. Unfortunately he couldn’t get the job done with Gabriel, who jumped two spots after his big win. With Owen, Julian and Adriano all missing their opportunity to get a jump on Mick’s 5th, Fanning narrowly retained the leader’s jersey going into Portugal. It’s hard to know what will happen in the race until after Portugal, but it’s safe to say that players such as Owen, Julian, Filipe and Gabriel will have to win the next two events to truly stand a chance. What is more likely is a 2-horse race between Mick and Adriano, with Mick having the upper hand at this point. I personally hope that it comes down to Pipe, as there’s nothing like a World Title race being decided at the biggest venue in the sport.
As for the women’s tour, it’s officially a neck and neck race between Courtney and Carissa. Carissa would have to be the favourite going into Hawaii, but the numbers are so close and the quality of competition is so good that nothing is guaranteed. I will do a short Wash-Up article looking at the final women’s event closer to the waiting period.
The European Leg
The European Leg continues with a very short turn-around at Portugal on the 20th. Reigning champion and 2015 tour leader Mick Fanning will be the man to chase, but there will be a full Wash-Up analysis in the coming days. Until then, I’ll let you ruminate over the following questions: Why doesn’t Kelly Slater call himself Robert? What do we have to do to get some more of Occy in the commentary booth? Which John John will show up? Will Parko make the blacklist? Why do I ask questions that I rarely bother answering anyway?
See you in the water,
The Fantasy Wash-Up (Balyn McDonald) grew up on the east coast of Australia, nourishing his passion for surfing through a diet of empty beach breaks, Taylor Steele VHS cassettes and poor amateur competition results. If you buy him a beer he’ll most likely bore you with the reasons why goofy-footers have it harder on tour. He has recently spent more time building his fantasy team than actually surfing, a fact which is particularly sad considering he is only ranked 952nd. His surprisingly good surfing/WSL tour related Facebook page, The Fantasy Wash-Up, can be found here.