The Roxy Pro France saw yet another exchange of the Gold Jersey from Courtney Conlogue back to Carissa Moore. Tyler Wright finally found some form in an event win, jumping two spots up to 5th place over Bianca Buitendag and Johanne Defay while Stephanie Gilmore dropped to 12th in her CT return.
Our Tier B LOCK Tatiana Weston-Webb may have finished 2nd for the event, but she flat out won in fantasy, scoring us and hopefully our readers 112.7 FPs! That's +8.66 over Tyler Wright (104.04) and worthy of a pat on our backs. We also hopefully deterred you from Lakey Peterson (22.03) and Stephanie Gilmore (53.44) due to risks while our Sleeper Johanne Defay did some damage (76.17) at 9% started.
We head to Hawaii in a close race between the top two. Regardless of what you've read, this is a two-lady bout between Moore (59,500 points) and Conlogue (58,600). With only 900 points separating them, there are a few scenarios that can unfold to determine the Title.
Carissa Moore Wins If:
- Moore makes the F
- Moore makes the SF and Conlogue doesn't win the event
- Conlogue doesn't make the SF
Courtney Conlogue Wins If:
- Conlogue makes the SF and Moore doesn't make the QF
- Conlogue wins event and Moore loses the SF or earlier
*A surf-off will determine the Title Champion if Moore fails to make the QF and Conlogue loses in the Final. Now that'd be something.
On deck is Honolua Bay on the island of Maui, Hawaii. This is a point break (over reef) that offers a solid 6-8' right-hand wall during an average November. It will best suit surfers with a good AHS in right, point break conditions in the overhead range (versatility won't play a big factor). All things considered, the Target Maui Pro lines up well for both Title contenders - Moore and Conlogue - and they are two of the most competitive surfers on tour. Each will likely put up solid points, so taking the WSL Fantasy win won't hinder on Tier A. More than ever this year, your Tier B squad will make or break your team. Keeping that in mind, it's onto the Outlooks...[xt_tab style="xa-default" ][xt_item title="WSL Fantasy" icon="Select Icon---"]We have a 2015 Surf-Stats Clubhouse Women's France Champion! Congratulations - World's Sexiest Losers - you've won $10 in free credits for FANTASURF.com! Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know when you join up at Fantasurf.
World's Sexiest Losers crushed the competition at France, beating our Surf-Stats Gut Instincts team with 315.63 fantasy points. WSL (that looks familiar) ranked 897th overall for the event and is in the books as our 2015 France Champion. Here is the winning team:
Want to be a WSL Fantasy Champion and Win $10 Towards Cash Prize Fantasy Surfing at FANTASURF.com?
Join our Group: Surf-Stats Clubhouse for Women's Fantasy - Password = fantasy, play against us and other Surf-Stats data-heads to win! Now, back to what you came for...
LOCK: Carissa Moore (14.8 Proj AHS for 113.9 Proj Pts / 57% Start) - It's really, really close between Moore and Conlogue in projections and the Title race, but our model favors Carissa. While Courtney has a much better AHS (15.83) over her career in HAW, her 3 QSFW shows some cause for concern. In contrast, Moore has taken a 14.47 Hawaii AHS and turned it into a second-ranked 33 QSFW (to Stephanie Gilmore's 36 - but Steph has surfed more events). It's obvious that Carissa is in tune with Hawaii, regardless of which island - she won the Maui Pro last season and in 2008 made the QF at just 16 years old. It'll be close between her and Conlogue, but she'll get the nod from us - Lock it.
*Update: With the new start percentage for Moore at 57%, Conlogue is looking like a sneaky pickup. Watch the trend, though; if Moore surpasses 65%-70%, she's absolutely on your team.
LOCK: Tyler Wright (14.45 Proj AHS for 94.97 Proj Pts / 30% Start) - It happened, in unbelievable fashion. Tyler Wright, dreadful heading into France, turned a full 180º to win it and move up as our Lock for Maui. It's a very close call between Tyler and Tatiana Weston-Webb; both were dominant at France, Wright taking the real-life victory while Webb took home the Fantasy W. They had similar performances as well, with a 14.01 and 14.45 event AHS respectively, but we're leaning towards Wright. Last year at Maui she dropped the second-best FP total (114.06) with a 14.81 AHS, losing to Carissa Moore in the F. She's got the #2 ranked HAW career AHS at 14.99, a 22 QSFW and a slew of momentum coming off the event win. Tyler's 14.45 frontside AHS is a key metric at Honolua's right-or-die point as well. All things indicated are going her direction, but it's hard not to look West - as in TatiWest. The Hawaiian local has been sharp in her rookie year and could be poised to play spoiler for the Title players. She'll look to keep her spot in the top 10 and can't afford to miss a beat. With no CT Hawaii history to her name, there isn't much data to strengthen the projection, so we think she'll do better than her proposed line. Based on the wave direction, though, we're still giving it to Tyler. Here's a visual of their respective AHS depending on wave direction:
Wright is much worse on her backside, but has a slight edge in Right conditions over Webb.
It's A Trap
Lakey Peterson (13.07 Proj AHS for 88.31 Proj Pts / 36% Start) - Lakey, on paper, looks like a strong candidate for Tier B in Maui. But let's remember the last time we advised against her - when the waves go overhead. Lakey becomes significantly worse when the surf exceeds 6' - check out her AHS line: 4-6' = 14.09 / 6-8' = 11.88 / 8-10' = 8.67. The bottom line is that the bigger the waves, the riskier Peterson is. The forecast looks good for her style, showing only 2-4' for the opening weekend, but after that there will be lay days. And after the lay days, it looks like there will be some sizable conditions. If that forecast proves true Lakey may have an easy R1, but after that she'll be in for a quick exit. Buyer be warned.
* Our previous Trap was Stephanie Gilmore, who has withdrawn from the event due to injury. Here is our initial analysis anyway, as there were some interesting insights:
Stephanie Gilmore (OUT) - There was uncertainty around Gilmore heading into France and (relatively speaking) she tanked. We assumed she wouldn't be sharp, but she looked terrible, getting outfoxed by Sage Erickson for an early exit. Even though Gilmore's been statistically very good in Hawaii (14.31 AHS and a 38 QSFW) she's been surfing here for a long time with her last win coming in 2009. Is 27 years old enough to say age is catching up? Not for normal human life expectancy, but possibly for even the best female surfers.
Here's a weird breakdown of shelf-life for the Women's CT (for better or for worse - these are just the numbers; please no hate-mail, if you can manage):
- Average age of the top 10: 21.5
- Average age overall: 22.94
- Average age of the bottom 7: 25
Also, consider recent retirements in Women's Surfing - here are some notables with age during final season:
- Jessi Miley Dyer - 25
- Claire Bevilacqua - 28
- Chelsea Hedges - 28
- Rebecca Woods - 29
- Silvana Lima - Still active, but this might be her final season at 31 (as of today, 29 October)
- Sofia Mulanovich - 30 (she also just surfed in a Heritage series a few months ago - at 30 years old! She surfed against Lisa Anderson who, at 46, we get the heritage part, but dang - 30? Heritage?)
This doesn't spell a bright future for the 27 year old Gilmore. If this year's injury is any foreshadowing of what's to come - and especially given Silvana Lima's devastating injuries around the same time in her career - it looks like the start of a rapid decline. Even Sally Fitzgibbons, who will be 25 following this season, is in danger of finishing her career without a World Title. With a scary pack of 21 year olds right on her tail (Lakey Peterson, Tyler Wright, Bianca Buitendag and Tatiana Weston-Webb ), it seems she's through her prime as well. What was Fitz's best finish? 2nd place overall in 2011...at 21 years old. Long story short - don't trust in Steph for Hawaii.
Bianca Buitendag (13.74 Proj AHS for 83.77 Proj Pts / 15% Start) - Bianca is a beautifully suited for overhead, walled conditions to showcase her power. The tall South African has a 14.95 career AHS in Hawaii and in just 1 event here, a 3 QSFW (3rd place finish last year). She also ticks off almost every other forecast conditions category above 13 AHS: 4-8' - 13.36 / Offshore (expected for November) - 13.95 / Excellent Overall - 15.57 / Point/Reef - 13.13. The almost is that last, pesky category: Right-handers. Buitendag is a bit of a risk for Maui due to a stagnant 12.76 Right AHS, but that's a small blip on the radar for the goofy-footer - third place last year is enough to look beyond the hiccup.
Johanne Defay (12.85 Proj AHS for 77.7 Proj Pts / 10% Start) - Defay carries a lot of risk in the form of her Tier B competition - there's simply too much talent in the same pool. But her heat draw against Bianca Buitendag and Alessa Quizon is favorable. Johanne has proven she has what it takes to be among the CT elite, and coming off a string of two 5th place finishes, she looks primed to take a shot at a QF or better. The risk is that everyone else shines just as bright in the conditions Defay would favor. Right-hand point-break is a forte not just for her, but plenty of other ladies in the Tier. It's a high risk pick, but the low start percentage is favorable.
As per usual, we're not looking at too many great options in Tier C. At France, the current members put up an average of 36.81 event points with Gilmore-slayer Sage Erickson leading the way with 61.24. She was followed by Dimity Stoyle (59.34) and Alessa Quizon (35.84). While 2/3 beat out event favorite Courtney Conlogue (54.79), we certainly can't expect that again. It's also important to note that while Erickson took home the Tier C bacon through the SF, she only outscored Stoyle by 1.9 points and needed an extra two heats.
LOCK: Alessa Quizon (11.45 Proj AHS for 39.78 Proj Pts / 20% Start) - Quizzy is coming off a QS win in Peru and the shuffled heat draw has swapped her out of the TW² HoD (Tatiana Weston-Webb/Tyler Wright Heat of Death) with our previous LOCK, Dimity Stoyle (she's now up against a much more favorable Bianca Buitendag and Johanne Defay). While the Peru W was in Left conditions, that momentum will carry, and our model gives Alessa more FP anyway. Lock it, as she now has the best chance in Tier B of winning R1.
Dimity Stoyle (11.39 Proj AHS for 37.88 Proj Pts / 14% Start) - Dimity has been on an absolute (Tier C-level) tear. Following a long stretch of 13th place finishes, Dim finally broke through at Trestles placing third. She's followed with two successful 9th place events heading into Maui. Given the new heat draw (vs. Tyler Wright and Tatiana Weston-Webb), Stoyle all of a sudden has a worse chance at blitzing R1 than Alessa Quizon. Both could break free from the Tier status-quo, but now we like Alessa's odds a bit better.
It's A Trap
Laura Enever (10.64 Proj AHS for 29.09 Proj Pts / 21% Start) - Clearly, something is going on here. This is the third event Laura Enver has been our Tier C Trap because she's had the highest start percentage. What is the deal? She hasn't done anything to prove she can consistently win, her only success came in a Left-hand location and she missed the last event with a dislocated shoulder. Holy cow, fade like it's going out of style (interesting aside: The Fade haircut did go out of style).
*For anyone who failed to notice, Silvana Lima will now be in Tier B. Worth a look? Probably not, especially against Carissa Moore in R1.[/xt_item][xt_item title="Fantasy Surfer" icon=""]
So we've been dogging Tyler Wright for most of the season, but let's not forget it's been absolutely warranted. She was floundering and had seemingly lost her way before France, but now it seems Wright may be back on track. We'll analyze what the best move will be heading into HAW - strategy will depend on whether or not she's already on your team.
Other than that, the Gold is back with Carissa Moore and the World Title looks to be about 70% in the bag. All she has to do is make the Final or Courtney Conlogue to not make the SF. We might even see a surf-off! Either way, it will be very exciting to watch the Title unfold. Moore and Conlogue are two of the most fierce competitors on tour, so don't expect either one to back off now, and you definitely
want one of them on your team.
It all comes down to this, the Target Maui Pro. CT #10 will showcase Honolua Bay, a beautiful right, point-break that the rest of us can only dream of surfing as 50% of the crowd. But we can sure enjoy watching.
Carissa Moore ($9.5M / 250 Proj FS Pts) OR Courtney Conlogue ($9M / 200 Proj FS Pts) - With no events to follow, you're free to go-for-broke here. Break the bank but make it worth it. We like Moore for the event win, but at -$.5M, Courtney might be a better option if she gets her projected 200. It would be an expensive extra 50 points for Carissa, but 50 points is 50 points. Manage it, though, and if you can put the extra $500k to work elsewhere, take Conlogue and pray. Both should have a great event and though we favor Moore, it's a 40/60 toss-up. They're neck-and-neck for the World Title - expect battle mode, just don't not have one of them.
It's time to throw caution to the wind - be bold with your value picks but smart at the same time. It's a tight rope to walk, but here are our suggestions at base price.
Coco Ho ($4M / 97 Proj FS Pts) - Coco Ho fared well at France, finishing 7th for 125 points. She was also on 39% of teams, so it would appear everyone was in on the secret. For Maui it might be much of the same, especially since there was a value jump. While it would be a good idea to pick up Ho, it might not be a bad idea to let her go. France was an above-average performance and entering her decline, those will start becoming more rare. She's a tough call, but we're going to let a majority take the risk.
Wild Card TBD ($1.5M / 50 Proj FS Pts) - It's always a good value to grab the Wild Card, this helps free up budget elsewhere. Even if they lose, they'll get you the most points per dollar at a 3.33 - there will be two to choose from if Laura Enever (shoulder) withdraws from the event - so make a good choice. We'll have their stats up as soon as we know who it will be.
Malia Manuel ($5M / 100 Proj FS Pts) - Malia Manuel ranks high on our PP$ values - coming in at a flat 2.00. This is great for anyone looking to cash in on the medium prices. Malia works well in overhead, right-breaking surf and as a local Hawaiian, she'll literally be right at home. Manuel be representing our team for sure.
Bell Curve Belles
Johanne Defay ($7M / 120 Proj FS Pts) - Defay has been a keeper since winning the Vans US Women's Open back in July. An undeniable talent, she's gaining momentum and the maturity that will make her a serious competitor on tour. We haven't decided if she'll make our Maui roster yet, but we definitely enjoy having too many options - and Johanne is one.
Tyler Wright ($7.5M / 190 Proj FS Pts) - Tyler Wright finally came back to Earth with that France win. It seemed like she might never recover from a lost season and was a safe fade all the way. But now, we're back on the fence about Wright - has she returned to form? Will she fall back into the funk? Honestly, we don't know. She's got great numbers in Hawaii and took second place last year to Carissa Moore. Another thing to note about Tyler is that she's finishes her seasons strong: In the last two years, Wright has finished the final three events at 3rd, 2nd, 5th (2013) and 1st, 3rd, 2nd (2014). So she's definitely on the debate table, but the risk is still there and it's hard to feel confident even after FRA.
Tatiana Weston-Webb ($7M / 125 Proj FS Pts) - Tati. West. We only wish there were more events this year for her to pounce on. She's been gutsy and technical all year and so much fun to watch. Tatiana may be from Kaua'i, but Hawaii is home and she'll feel familiarity for the first time on the CT. The masses will be out in full force for Webb and she'll be feeding on their energy. She's an absolute must-have for Maui and will be fun to watch, backside-be-damned.
Silvana Lima ($3M / 75 Proj FS Pts) - We took the bait last time and it hurt. The decline is real for Silvana Lima and she's way out of range for any more success. Officially 31 years of age, it's very unlikely she'll finish the season strong and may not be back next year. We'd rather take the Wild Card and Injury Replacement (pending Laura Enever's status) for $1.5M each to free up 1/8th budget (a whole roster spot!). That could be the difference between Bianca Buitendag and Lakey Peterson. Even at $3M, we'll be avoiding the headache and suggest you do the same.
Dimity Stoyle ($4M / 60 Proj FS Pts) - Dimity isn't projected for a lot of Fantasy Surfer love, and though she probably will have a better event than Silvana Lima, the price difference would make it a wash. Dimity is a great play for other fantasy sites, but not those based on event rank.
Lastly, we only like Lakey Peterson if the forecast is holding at ≤ 4-6' - otherwise Bianca Buitendag would be a solid bet. We provided cause for alarm for Lakey in France when the forecast was going to be 6'+ and we were right on the money. At this point, we can't trust her to get the job done in big surf, but home she rounds that out for future success. [/xt_item][/xt_tab]