Fantasy Surfing the Gold Coast

My name is Bo Bacot, and I have graciously been given some space here at Grand Strand Sports Report to discuss my passion — surfing. Having moved from Tennessee to North Myrtle Beach when I was ten years-old, I immediately fell in love with the ocean and took up surfing, and I surfed every chance I got across 25 years until I moved back to Tennessee to further my education in 2007. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and I can attest to that with my love of surfing. I miss it. I miss it every single day. Being landlocked, I have had to turn to the internet to get my fill of surfing. I have been following pretty much any contest that is streamed on the web for the last few years, and that is how I got into Fantasy Surfer; creating and maintaining a fantasy surf team that is akin to fantasy football, or any other fantasy sports league.

Here we go! The 2013 Association of Surfing Professionals Tour begins this weekend.  The first contest is the Quiksilver Pro, which will be held on the Gold Coast of Australia at Snapper Rocks. The waiting period (the designated timeframe in which the contest can be held) is from March 2 through March 13.  And with the event fast approaching, it’s time for me to pick my Fantasy Surfer team. If you’re not familiar with the game, you get $50,000,000 to create a team of eight surfers and one alternate, with each of the surfers having varying dollar amounts assigned to them based on their current ranking. Since this is the first contest of the year, all rankings are based on the previous year’s end results. So, without further ado, I give you my team:

Taj Burrow ($9,500,00):  Taj is my number one pick, and should be a definite on anyone’s team. The guy always shows at the Gold Coast. His frontside attack at Snapper Rocks is one that everyone on tour looks to, and no one is looking forward to going up against him in a heat. Over the last four years, he’s amassed two first places, one second place, and a third. Making it into the semis or better for four years is a pretty good track record. Taj will be the man to beat.

Kelly Slater ($11,500,00): It was a close decision between Slater and Adriano de Souza for this second spot. While de Souza is a talent not to be taken lightly, Slater has won the Quiksilver Pro twice in the last five years. Beyond these two firsts, however, his return is a bit spotty: a fifth place, ninth place, and a seventeenth place.  But if there’s ever a surfer who is equally dangerous at every spot on tour, it’s Slater. The winningest surfer in the history of the sport, I feel it would be a mistake not to have Slater on my team.

Dane Reynolds ($1,500,000):  Among the cheapest surfers to pick for this contest, Reynolds is still in my top three picks. Though he’s more the photo-pro now, when Reynolds shows up to contests something outstanding is bound to happen. He’ll either get knocked out in the early rounds from going too big and too hard and just not landing things, or he’ll bust his way through to the final rounds. Even though he only competes in a couple of contests per year, Reynolds always goes full-throttle, and it’s that attitude that is enough for me to want him on my team.

Josh Kerr ($8,500,000): Kerr has really come into his own over the last couple of years, moving from the back of the ASP pack to become one of its premiere talents — ranked number eight at the end of last year.  Though he doesn’t have the greatest track record on the Gold Coast, Kerr did turn in a great performance last year, where he finished third. It was between Kerr and Michel Bourez, and though Bourez has a decent history at Snapper, my gut said go with Kerr.

Jordy Smith ($7,500,000):  Jordy seemed to have an off year last year with the tour, but that doesn’t negate that he’s put up two second places and a third place at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast over the last three years. Smith is a guy who can do it all, but it seems to take the right kind of wave to see him really excel. Snapper is that kind of wave.

Ace Buchan ($7,000,000): Buchan is my first goofy-foot pick for this contest. The guy is a solid surfer and one that I go to in order to fill my team’s mid-ranks all the time. He’s reliable, and especially so on the Gold Coast. Buchan has made it to Round Five or better every year for the last five years: three fifth places and two ninth places. He served me well over the last half of last year’s tour, and I’m counting on him to show here.

Tiago Pires ($3,000,000): Pires is kind of a wild card for me. It was between picking him or Nat Young for this spot, and while it’s Nat’s first year on the tour and he shows great promise, Young placed third at the Quiksilver Pro in 2011. Between a greenhorn and a guy with a bit of experience doing the dance, I had to pick Pires.

Patrick Gudauskas ($1,500,000):  Gaduaskas is really just working as filler at this point. The guy is a solid surfer, but it was really a coin-flip between him and Willian Cardoso.

You might be wondering why Joel Parkinson, currently ranked number one, is not on my team.  Well, he’s got two fifth places and a ninth place across the last few years on the Gold Coast. With Parkinson performing so close statistically to a surfer like Ace Buchan but costing a full $5,000,000 more than Buchan, I felt it was best to go for a cheaper surfer with a similar track record, and use that $5 million difference to help me get Kerr. Mick Fanning and John John Florence are in the same boat as Parkinson.  I couldn’t justify the price for the performance in this venue, but I feel like not taking Florence could be a mistake — that guy can put up results in any conditions.  Adriano de Souza is another surfer who is a solid pick for this contest that I overlooked. It was either him or Slater, and I have to choose Slater in that match-up. There are a myriad of ways to create a Fantasy Surfer team, and this is the team that I think has the best chances to post the highest overall total with the money allotted.

If you’re not already registered on Fantasy Surfer, head over to the site and register for free. It’s been a great way for me to get more invested in the contests, because I’ve aligned myself with surfers that I obviously want to win, as well as with surfers that I chose just based on statistics or remaining monetary availability. If you’re already on Fantasy Surfer, or chose to sign up, look for me under the name “RCBacot.” Hit me up and we can start our own “Grand Strand Sports Report” club. That way we can follow just how well I predict or how far I miss the mark this year. My first couple of years saw me in the top 15 percent and then the top 10 percent.  Last year, I made it into the top 3 percent of the players.

Forecasts hold that there should be a decent, 4-6 foot, swell through the first two days of competition, so we could see the contest run through Round Three by Sunday’s end. Monday, the swell is predicted to drop, so we’ll probably have several lay days called before they wrap the show up on the back of the first new swell that comes through.

Remember, the contest is being run on what is essentially the opposite side of the world.  So, if you’re interested in watching it live on the Quiksilver site, they are going to be 15 hours ahead of us.  If the contest starts 8:00 a.m. March 2 in Australia, then it will stream online here March 1 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard — just in time for you to settle in from a hard day’s work and relax by watching the ocean.
www.fantasysurfer.com

www.quiksilverlive.com

www.aspworldtour.com

 

Bo Bacot grew up surfing up and down the Grand Strand.  For 25 years, he would sneak in a session whenever he could: before and after school, lunch breaks from work, weekends, weekdays, whenever.  Now that he’s moved back to Tennessee to further his education, Bo thinks about the ocean perhaps more than he ever did when it was in his backyard.  If asked, Bo will proudly proclaim that he is the best surfer living in Knoxville, TN.

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One response to “Fantasy Surfing the Gold Coast”

  1. Stone says:

    Great article.

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