I know, I know; my post-event articles have disappeared like Julian’s title aspirations. Sorry. Life’s been getting in the way.
If, for some masochistic reason, you crave more surf-stats content, then my old-man social accounts on Facebook or Twitter give readers more regular intel, such as FSS leaderboard shout-outs, last-minute injury news, and random stats.
Anyway, Rio’s around the corner, and those fantasy teams aren’t going to pick themselves…
There is a WSL/surfline break breakdown on the Rio event here, but we also like Nick Carroll’s summation from Coastalwatch a few years ago. Partly because it’s a good overview, and partly because he mentions the potential of the Barrinha right-hander before it blew everyone’s mind last year:
At one end of the beach there’s a long North Narra style left with a series of solid though slightly fractured sections, at the other there’s a right-hand wedge with plenty of muscle. Both spots are in the play for the event. Like Rio’s beachies, it’s exposed to heavy south groundswells which are common this time of year. Expect it to favour power and variety, with natural footers maybe having an edge in the right wedge.
Nick also mentions the advantage for natural-footers, and well he should; only regulars have won the event since it moved back to Rio in 2011 (Kalani Robb was the last goofy to win a Brazilian CT event way back in 2000).
For the purposes of our event metrics, we will be running averages in beach breaks that offer waves in both directions from 1-6′.
The official forecast is calling for small, contestable waves with less-than-favourable winds for the first half of the waiting period:
Thursday:Overhead S swell with favorable AM wind. Likely run day.
Friday: Well overhead SSW swell builds with light onshore wind. Possible run day.
Saturday: Easing, but overhead, SSW swell with light AM wind. Likely run day.
Sunday: Head high to overhead S swell with light AM wind. Likely run day.
Monday: Fading S swell leftovers. Likely off day.
It’s worth noting also that Rio has the smallest waiting period (9 days) of the (ocean) season. With two contests to run (needing at least 5 days of surfing), you can almost definitely expect to see a few heats run in small/lumpy surf, and you’ll almost definitely have a fair chunk of the contest run by Sunday evening. Pick your teams accordingly.
Also, I’m yet to hear on the conditions of the banks at Barrinha, but I think I speak for everyone when I hope that we can again see some of the magic that we witnessed last year.
Surfers OUT :
Leonardo Fioravanti – suffered his second dislocated shoulder (technically the same one twice) at a warm-up session at the Box during the Margis contest. He recently underwent surgery and will be out for a few months by the sounds…
Mikey Wright – He’s out again with his ongoing back issue. Seems to still be surfing though?
Tyler Wright – still slated to return at J-Bay.
Caio Ibelli – will be replacing Leonardo for at least a couple more events. Could he requalify?
Frederico Morais – again takes a replacement spot for Mikey based on his 2018 CT ranking.
Keeley Andrew – continues to replace Tyler.
Mateus Herdy – the world junior champ and Julian Wilson eliminator at DBah is back, this time in his home event.
Men’s Wildcard – Alex Ribeiro is currently ranked 4th on the QS, and has surfed in this event twice before (2015/16), finishing in 25th place both times. Alex’s average heat score at this event is 6.76 (that’s for 2 waves)
Women’s Wildcard – Taina Hinckel will surf in her 2nd Rio Pro, after a 17th place in 2017.
Wildcards Ribeiro and Hinckel will surf in heats 6 and 3 respectively:
Also, If you don’t want to wade through the confusion of seeding, brackets and tiers, but want to play around with possible match-ups in future rounds, then check out fantasy surf bracket.
RIO Pro Men’s Metrics
[table id=293 /]
Filipe – Small waves? Air winds? Previous winner (2015/2018)? Check, check, check. I’m actually struggling to think of any reasons to leave him out…
Adriano – comes in at a bargain price, but with value attached. ADS has won here twice (2011/2017) and doesn’t stack up too badly in the event metrics. How’s his injury, you ask? I have no idea.
Yago – stunned the world with his wildcard heroics in 2017, only to back it up with a 5th last year. Yago suits the conditions, the forecast, and has runs on the board here.
Gabriel – let’s be honest; JJF and Jordy are both just as good, but Gabe represents better value across the board in these conditions. The only thing he doesn’t have is a win at this event (John has 2, Jordy 1).
Flores – with an average result of 17th at this event, and a win % of less than 30, Jeremy hardly screams ‘solid’ for the Rio event. His stats for small waves and beach breaks aren’t amazing either.
Wade – I know, right? Finalled here last year; what am I thinking? Well, I’m thinking that the Gosford Grug isn’t going to get the same conditions as those he enjoyed in his rookie outing. In fact, these conditions play to most of his weaknesses.
Deivid – he’s won a single heat (20% win) after two appearances in this event.
Ribeiro – a zero win percentage over 4 heats at this event, and an average combined heat score of 6.76 loom fairly ominously over Alex at Rio.
Here’s the thing about data-driven fantasy selections: they almost always guarantee you a safe, bankable score. What they don’t earn you is a winning score, a score that takes risks with an against-the odds darkhorse-come-good. For that, you need to back yourself with a solid sleeper pick. Here are my non-data-based suggestions:
Call me crazy, but even among the Filipes/Johns/Italos/Jordys of the top tier, Ryan Callinan seems to hold his own. I can’t wait to see him tear into some fin lefts.
Julian, Gabe. They’re not dark horses; they’re the mid-tier surfers that will make up 90% of team selections. You should probably have them too, but it will be the non-obvious sleeper option that will separate the fantasy wheat from the chaff in the mid tier. Yago is another solid option, and Slater’s warming up, but they’ll be popular. Seth Moniz is our gut-instinct dark horse, especially if you got him cheap.
Tricky Ricky Christie got a plucky 5th at Rio in 2015, beating Adriano and Jordy along the way before losing to event winner Filipe in the quarters. He could be just the sleeper your team needs. He could also crash and burn here just as easily. Actually, I’m not even picking him.
Fantasy Surf Sessions is just about to begin it’s Phase 3 gameplay upgrades, which will introduce player clubhouses, make some minor interface refinements, and allow for players to look at one another’s teams after lock-out. It’s probably the most exciting set of changes we’ve made since our initial launch, and we’ll keep you updated as to when they go live.
Until then, make sure you log in and set your team so that you’re in the running for our event prizes (yep; every single event).