Who To Bet On: The Billabong Pro, Tahiti
The swell forecast is not ideal. It’s rarely gonna push past head high. That is, of course, if forecasting is to be trusted (the ocean doesn’t care for such things). Either way, it’s unlikely we’ll enjoy a Code Red or similar. So, to liven up the not-quite-amazing event that shall be, you can throw some […]
The swell forecast is not ideal. It’s rarely gonna push past head high. That is, of course, if forecasting is to be trusted (the ocean doesn’t care for such things). Either way, it’s unlikely we’ll enjoy a Code Red or similar. So, to liven up the not-quite-amazing event that shall be, you can throw some cash in the mix. Even the lightest flutter will take you from enjoying a pretty cool webcast with some suds, to pulling your hair out and screaming, pacing around the room while your man paddles back out. But Stab recommends only one thing: Gamble responsibly. And to assist you, Stab turned on the lights of Luke Munro’s telephone. Mun is an ex-world tour star, a close pal of Kelly’s, and now the authoritative surfing voice at TopSport.
Oh, and just so you know: Owen Wright, Glenn Hall, Tiago Pires, Dusty Payne and Raoni Monteiro have all withdrawn due to injury. So, We have the two trials winners, Alain Riou and Anthony Walsh. Then, the two ASP replacements due to withdrawals, being Patty Gudauskas and Yades Nicol. Then, the three event replacements due to withdrawals, being Nathan Hedge, Jocelyn Poulou (local) and Ian Walsh…
Says Mun overall: “Ok, Chopes. I can’t make up my mind here, I’m usually pretty opinionated. But I was opinionated for Bali, and it ended up being like throwing a dart at a board and hoping for the best. Kelly’s a clear favourite at $5.50. After Fiji, Chopes is probably his strongest event. John John is $8, but based on the forecast not being big, I don’t think he’s anywhere near as big a threat when it’s three or four feet out there,” (if it gets big howevs, ain’t a safer bet).
On the brevity of favouritism: “It’s amazing, you go back to Bali and Jordy was $7, and this event he’s $26. That’s what’s so cool about the surfing tour, a guy can literally be the favourite one event, and then $26 at the next event.”
Darkhorses: “Anthony Walsh. And Alain Riou. Nathan Hedge gets a run, and Jocelyn Poulou and Ian Walsh. I’m not too sure about Ian Walsh, and while the Tahitian wildcard is a goofyfooter, I don’t think he’s quite as classy as Anthony and Alain out there. I think Alain and Anthony could be genuine threats all the way up to the semis. They can easily make the quarters or a semi. I’m not sure I can see them winning it, but I mean, in round one Alain’s drawn Jordy (Smith) and Travy (Logie), I’ve got him there as equal favourite with Jordy to win that opening round heat.”
It’ll be a goofies game: “If it’s smaller, it’s 100 percent gonna be a goofyfooter’s event. The smaller it gets, the harder it is for the natural-footers to compete out there. You just have to make so many more adjustments, and there’s no way you can compete with the goofyfooters if there’s any sort of crumble or tight barrels. I hate to say it but I’ve got a feeling that with the swell forecast being three or four foot, it might be someone like Gabriel Medina’s event. And looking at the market he’s $31 at the moment, I might have to actually bring him in a little bit if we start getting some money. I really doubt we’ll see another final like last year (Mick and Joel), given the forecast. There’s no way that natural-footers will fill the finals.”
Top guys to watch: “All goofyfooters. It’s just too hard to thread barrels and make barrels on your backhand out there when it gets that little bit smaller and more compact. So, Gabriel, Miguel Pupo, Alain, Anthony, the Hobgoods, Adrian Buchan, Kai Otton.”
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Nat Young (USA), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Nathan Hedge (AUS)
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Travis Logie (ZAF), Alain Riou (PYF)
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Kolohe Andino (USA), Anthony Walsh (AUS)
Heat 5: Kelly Slater (USA), Brett Simpson (USA), Ian Walsh (HAW)
Heat 6: Mick Fanning (AUS), Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), Jocelyn Poulou (PYF)
Heat 7: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 8: Michel Bourez (PYF), Kai Otton (AUS), Yadin Nicol (AUS)
Heat 9: Josh Kerr (AUS), Gabriel Medina (BRA), Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 10: C.J. Hobgood (USA), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 11: Julian Wilson (AUS), John John Florence (HAW), Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 12: Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Damien Hobgood (USA)
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