What To Expect When You’re Expecting: Quik Pro / 2019 WCT Season
Snapper, er, DBah kicks off today. Here’s what statistics tell us about who will win.
Event one is soon to dawn. Let us celebrate.
Snapper Rocks Dbah, will soon close to the unworthy... and, ironically, sent over to Snapper.
We will be herded from the water, driven like cattle towards a pop-up village of merchandise, or towards saloons where we’ll dissolve each afternoon, burnt-red and drunk. For our price of admission, we’ll expect to be dazzled.
Rumours will swarm the contest arena. Security personnel will become jittery. The champions will arrive, delivered by a convoy of Range Rovers, to a disco strobe of flashing iPhones.
There’ll be new faces among them, easily recognisable by the wild, almost feral, glint in their eyes.
Seth Moniz. Son of Tony, brother to Kelia and Josh. The Fourth Hawaiian.
Peterson Crisanto. Emerges from a six-year stoush with the Qualifying Series.
Deivid Silva. Another Brazilian. That makes eleven.
Soli Bailey. Byron Bay local. Looking to prop up Australia’s competitive ranks.
Macy Callaghan. Finished second in her last CT appearance in 2018.
Brisa Hennessy. The first from Costa Rica.
But this new assembly will be mere shadows among the returning giants. Sprightly and enthused these sporting men and women will be after their extended hiatus. And how deserving they are, how willing we are to understand, how unquestionably we accommodate their need for additional recovery time from another grinding year of high-paid labour. Traveling the globe. Surfing. With friends. Daily.
How dreary an existence...
The women are, unsurprisingly, foaming at the mouth to share an increased prize purse, which will lift them from poverty.
“This is incredible, and I am thrilled,” said Stephanie Gilmore.
“The women on tour deserve this change,” said Kelly Slater.
Nonetheless, fat, white men with cigars will scoff at the poisoned patriarchy under their smoky breath, their attention stolen by the countless Brazilian G-strings lining the shore.
What can we expect? The anticipation is titillating.
Therefore, we must glide over the event’s recent history to sate our hunger and quieten our wild dreams for what is, as some people will whisper to you in private, the greatest show on earth.
Snapper Rocks. A world title predictor?
Kind of, yes, for the women at least. Seven out of the past ten winners went on to win that year’s world title.
For the men, not so much. Only two recent winners of the Quiksilver Pro went on to claim number one status.
Over the past decade, six of the men’s winners have hailed from Australia, as well as seven Australian women.
You’d have to scroll back 19 years to 2000 before a Hawaiian male (Sunny Garcia) won the event. If you’re curious as to the whereabouts of the beloved Mr Florence in recent years, his best result was third in 2017.
Brazilian women also tend to miss the party. Jacqueline Silva was its last winner in 2004. Tatiana, are you reading?
Which foot forward?
The last men’s goofy to win the event was Owen Wright in 2017. In total, three of the past ten men’s winners have won Snapper on their backhand.
However, their female counterparts do far worse. It was 2007 when the last right-foot forward surfer (Chelsea Hedges) outshone all others.
Recent conquerors of Coolangatta
Over the past decade, one Mr Taj Burrow has extracted the most impressive results from the wave. Taj won the event twice in that time, obtained a second place and two thirds. And remember, he missed the last two years.
For the women? Steph. Obviously. She’s racked up five wins, one second and one third place.
Best of the current lot
Let us examine the top five men and women of 2018 and review their Gold Coast performances.
Medina: 7 appearances, 64% heat win percentage, 1 final, 1 win
Wilson: 11 appearances, 61% heat win percentage, 2 finals, 1 win
Toledo: 6 appearances, 61% heat win percentage, 1 final, 1 win
Ferreira: 4 appearances, 47% heat win percentage, 0 finals, 0 wins
Smith: 11 appearances, 53% heat win percentage, 1 final, 0 wins
The data above points to Medina. In addition, his five most recent performances at the Quiksilver Pro are 13th (2018), 3rd (2017), 13th (2016), 13th (2015), 1st (2014), which, despite not reading fabulously, does put him ahead of the others. Snapper has been an elusive beast in recent years, and has escaped the grasp of any one male surfer.
If you said Steph was the best performing women’s surfer at Snapper Rocks, you’d be correct. Mostly. But more on that below.
Gilmore: 12 appearances, 75% heat win percentage, 7 finals, 6 wins.
Peterson: 7 appearances, 53% heat win percentage, 2 finals, 1 win
Moore: 9 appearances, 71% heat win percentage, 2 finals, 2 wins
Weston-Webb: 4 appearances, 40% heat win percentage, 0 finals, 0 wins
Defay: 5 appearances, 41% heat win percentage, 0 finals, 0 wins
I admit, all of the above screams Ms Gilmore. Her last five Gold Coast results are equally magnificent: 5th, 1st, 5th, 2nd, 1st.
But we must compare with Lakey. Her respective results read: 1st, 2nd, INJ, 5th, 3rd. These numbers are impressive, if not superb.
And so, I ask you, who will win?
The money is heading towards Filipe and Steph, but is it warranted?
What about Italo, the 2018 Stab Surfer of the Year?
Is it wise to ignore the American women: Lakey, Caroline and Courtney?
Has the Knee of Florence sufficiently healed?
Can Jules go back-to-back?
While the forecast is reasonable, the sand at Snapper is dubious. For every heat that is run at Duranbah, less emphasis can be placed on previous Snapper-based results. Doubt is cast.
Turn your mind to which athletes shall benefit from a switch to the beachbreak over the hill. Recalibrate your predictions. Fiddle with your fantasy picks.
Regardless of location, let us recline and relax, and drink it all in.