Immediately following the completion of the Quiksilver Pro France, the entire Top 45 packs up and heads south to the Spanish town of Mundaka for the Billabong Pro. With only a 1 or 2 day window between the end of the Quiksilver Pro France and the start of the Billabong Pro Mundaka, it will be critical for each Fantasy Surfer user to log in and make sure that their teams are updated between events.
The break at Mundaka is quite a bit different than France, so it will likely take a much different team to succeed than in France. Usually, the Billabong Pro has 1 or 2 days of excellent surf surrounded by days upon days of difficult conditions. Those difficult conditions can range anywhere from small-sized Mundaka to the beachbreaks of nearby Bakio. But with as much waiting around as goes into it, once the event does score decent surf at Mundaka – it all becomes worth it. The key to choosing a decent squad for this event it to find surfers who survive in the early rounds and beachbreak relocations until they can shine in the later rounds at Mundaka.
BILLABONG PRO MUNDAKA WILDCARDS:
Hodei Collazo (Spain)
Tiago Pires (Portugal)
Manoa Drollet (Tahiti)
Aritz Aranburu (Spain)
At this time, Travis Logie and Damien Hobgood have withdrawn from the Billabong Pro. Hobgood has been replaced by 1st alternate Trent Munro, and Logie has been replaced by Spanish surfer Aritz Aranburu, who also surfed in the Quiksilver Pro France as a wildcard.
Fantasy Surfer's hot picks for the Billabong Pro Mundaka (Oct 1-14):
Mick Fanning – (current Fantasy Surfer Value: $12,500,000) – Last year, Fanning made the quarterfinals before being dismissed from the event by close friend Joel Parkinson. If these two match up again this year, it will be yet another all-time battle. The key to Fanning's success will be winning his Round 1 heat, (he's the only surfer this year to win all of his Round 1 heats), and relaxing before the final few rounds begin their grind over the 14 day waiting period.
Bobby Martinez – (current Fantasy Surfer Value: $8,000,000) – Why didn't we see this coming last year? Martinez dominated the field on the final day of competition at Mundaka in 2006 to win the whole event. His style suits the wave well, and he has the stamina to surf several heats in one day – a crucial element in the final days of competition. A solid choice to repeat his performance this year.
Dean Morrison – (current Fantasy Surfer Value: $8,000,000) – Dean could be the darkhorse pick at just about every event on tour. He sneaks under the radar on a fairly regular basis, and isn't usually selected by more than 10% of Fantasy Surfer users at any event. Take advantage of that fact by picking up a fairly consistent performer at an event that is usually fairly erratic.
Tom Whitaker – (current Fantasy Surfer Value: $7,000,000) – Last year, Whitaker scored what many believe was the wave of the event in perfect 6-foot Mundaka tubes. That potential to score waves like that seemingly at will makes him a surfer to keep your eye on at Mundaka.
Adrian Buchan – (current Fantasy Surfer Value: $4,750,000) – Each event, Buchan seems to improve some little aspect of his surfing. Last year, he was just getting over his nerves in his third event of his rookie year when he lost to Taj Burrow at this event. Don't expect the speedy goofyfoot to have that same hang-up this year – he's intimidated by nobody this year.
CJ Hobgood – (current Fantasy Surfer Value: $6,750,000) – A lined up left and a stylish goofyfoot. What better combination could you ask for? Hobgood has had a mediocre year so far, but will have the odds stacked in his favor at Mundaka. For a surfer of his value, you could do a lot worse.
Kelly Slater – (current Fantasy Surfer Value: $11,500,000) – Kelly won the Billabong Pro Mundaka in 2003 when he made a run at the world title. Conditions were challenging, but Slater was persistent in the face of his other title challengers. With a renewed interest in winning his 9th world title, Slater will more than likely be very focused coming into this event.