Stab Magazine | Bourez's Beefcake Hams Will Overpower His Spaghetti-Legged Opponents
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Bourez’s Beefcake Hams Will Overpower His Spaghetti-Legged Opponents

John Florence will Zeke Lau the field and more via Stab’s Margaret River Picks. 

news // Apr 11, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 5 minutes

And would you forgive me if, in a moment of overwhelming emotion, I made a last-second change to my Bells Fantasy squad, resulting in a substantial point increase and only a smidgen of guilt?

Because the team that I shared with you two weeks ago, including the likes of Caio, Conner, and ADS, would not be my final decision. Just before Bells’ opening buzzer, my gut told me that despite all the chaos around him, Mick Fanning would prevail at his last CT venue. Also, that little spark-plug Italo was too good to ignore. And so I ditched the dead weight and picking up a couple ringers, leading to a respectable World Fantasy Ranking of 215 (out of 15k).

Heading into Margaret River, one must consider exactly four variables before assembling her Fantasy squad.

Forecast. Forecast. Forecast and Forecast.

At an event with three distinct competition venues–each of which presents a unique challenge to the rider–the projected swell, wind, and tides will play as much of a factor as anyone’s singular surfing ability.

This year we’re looking at a major swell in the opening stages of the event. At first glance, the pulse looks maybe big enough for North Point and definitely big enough (if not too big) for the Box. Your team should reflect the very real possibilities that they’ll be surfing those venues. 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/YZy_FV7xCPo

Last year’s North Point swell was a little too south and therefore non-conducive to the CT format. Until, of course, Seabass’ 10.

Also worth noting are the wildcards, which, more so than other locations on tour, have made a serious dent in past WA events.

In 2017, Jacob Willcox took out Gabriel Medina in Round 2.

In 2015, Jay Davies beat out Medina, Fanning, and Flores en route to a quarterfinal finish.

In 2014, Yadin Nicol eclipsed Slater and Fanning to make Round 5.

This year we’ll be seeing a true grommet, WA’s Kael Walsh, make his CT debut in the Margaret River Pro. He’s got airs, he’s got hacks, and most importantly the kid’s as fearless as they come. Additionally, Mikey Wright’s got the Commissioner’s Wildcard and is slated against Medina in Round 1. That should be… interesting. 

DRIFTWOODPHOTOGRAPHY 10918

Kael might surprise some people. Driftwood Photo

So, with all of that info percolating within our little pea-brains, let’s choose a team!

Keep in mind: Stab uses the OG fantasysurfer.com, not the WSL’s bastardized and inherently fascist version.

John John Florence

This pick needs no justification, but I’ll give you two anyway:

1. Last year – John’s 2017 performance at Margie’s has become a thing of surfing legend, and beyond the loss of his magic Ghost, I see no reason why John shouldn’t repeat the same jaw-slacking maneuvers this year.

2. The Zeke Encounter: After losing at Bells in dramatic fashion, John, when asked about Zeke’s psychological tactics, looked into the camera and said, “…It’s all part of competition. Maybe I’ll do the same thing next event.” If ever there was a situation that could bring out the Andy in John, it was what happened last week in Torquay. I’m thinking he’ll bring an unprecedented energy and focus into this event, leading to the decimation of any Aussie, Brazzo, or Polynesian in his path.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/DiELevRnJFY

Like new scissors through velvet.

Jordy Smith

With a tenuous history at the Margie’s event (best result: quarter), Jordy might not be the obvious pick here, but that doesn’t make him a bad one. Simply put, being structurally solid is an advantage in WA, where large, open ocean swells and a board-chattering breeze will bounce smaller surfers into submission. Leaning on his back foot, Jordy will plow through walls like a methed-up Kool Aid man. Plus, if the wind goes sideways (as it is wont to do in this region), Jordy has no qualms touching fins to horizon. 

Michel Bourez

As a past Margie’s winner and with two quarters under his belt this season, Michel Bourez will enter Margaret River with his beefy hams full of confidence, his luscious grill shining in the West Oz rays. Considering the waves will be solid throughout the event’s early stages, The Spartan will hold a distinct advantage over his spaghetti-legged competitors, making him an optimal addition to your squad. I could easily see him making the final here.  

Screen Shot 2018 04 10 at 8.52.44 AM

Name one man who can twerk it like Michel. I dare you! Photo: WSL

Owen Wright

After watching O-Dawg in the first two events, I’m convinced he has the most powerful and controlled backhand on tour. That plus the fact he’s an absolute animal in the tube make him an obvious pick for the WA event. So long as Owen doesn’t spend many more nights in the boot, he’ll be a fearsome competitor at this venue. 

Italo Ferreira

With 14.6 points, Italo has the highest heat score average in 2018. His next closest competitor? Michel Bourez with 13.3. Clearly, Italo is hot right now, and with a low purchase price no apparent weakness in his game, I can’t imagine why anyone would leave the part-time plumber off their Fantasy team.

Griffin Colapinto

Despite a Round 3 departure at Bells, Griffin proved again, and again, that he has otherworldly firepower and ain’t afraid to use it. Assuming they’ll run at spots beyond Main Break, a well-rounded repertoire is necessary for success in WA, and few on Tour have the aggregate Air, Carve, and Tube abilities of the young Californian. Mathematically he’s still on pace for a World Title, and I can’t foresee a more likely outcome for 2018.

Ezekiel ‘Goliath’ Lau

Hate him or rate him, the Hawaiian feels no remorse about the hassling scandal and plans to bring the same sense of ferocity to the upcoming event. Surfing-wise, I can’t think of a Tour location that better suits his power-based approach, making him a no-brainer addition to my squad. He will eat Freddy and Kolohe alive. 

Mikey Wright

I think it’s always healthy to have one wildcard on your squad (unless your options are a 16-year-old and a guy named Carl), and it’s hard to imagine a better fit than Mikey Wright in WA. Having already beaten John and Medina this year, Mikey will look to capitalize on his momentum and sever the field with his party-in-the-back hacks. He’s got John and Wade in Round 1 which will be… interesting.

 

The Women

Johanne Defay

This year has been a weird one for the gals, with Carissa and Tyler falling early in the first two events. I figure this event will follow that trend, resulting in a rather unlikely champion: Johanne Defay. After watching her tear apart Bells with a vicious forehand wrap, I’m convinced Johanne’ll tackle Main Break with an unmatched ferocity. Landing floaters on “the bricks” etc. Go Frenchie!

 

Screen Shot 2018 04 10 at 8.22.24 AM

 

She’s ready. Photo: WSL

Okay, that’s all I got. No changing this time. Happy punting! 

 

Margaret River Men’s Pro Round 1 Matchups:


Heat 1: Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Connor O’Leary (AUS), Keanu Asing (HAW)

Heat 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Tomas Hermes (BRA), Ian Gouveia (BRA)

Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Miguel Pupo (BRA)

Heat 4: John John Florence (HAW), Wade Carmichael (AUS), Mikey Wright (AUS)

Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Joan Duru (FRA), Kael Walsh (AUS)

Heat 6: Julian Wilson (AUS), Jesse Mendes (BRA), Dave Delroy-Carr (AUS)

Heat 7: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Conner Coffin (USA), Michael February (ZAF)

Heat 8: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Yago Dora (BRA) 

Heat 9: Adrian Buchan (AUS), Griffin Colapinto (USA), Willian Cardoso (BRA)

Heat 10: Italo Ferreira (BRA),  Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Michael Rodrigues (BRA)

Heat 11: Kolohe Andino (USA), Frederico Morais (PRT), Ezekiel Lau (HAW)

Heat 12: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Michel Bourez (PYF),  Patrick Gudauskas (USA)

 

Margaret River Women’s Pro Round 1 Matchups:


Heat 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Silvana Lima (BRA), Coco Ho (HAW)

Heat 2: Carissa Moore (HAW), Sage Erickson (USA), Bronte Macaulay (AUS)

Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Keely Andrew (AUS), Mikaela Greene (AUS)

Heat 4: Lakey Peterson (USA), Caroline Marks (USA), Paige Hareb (NZL)

Heat 5: Tyler Wright (AUS), Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), Macy Callaghan (AUS)

Heat 6: Johanne Defay (FRA), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Malia Manuel (HAW)

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