The ASP Womens World Tour got a little bit of a jolt a few weeks ago when an eighth event was added to the current schedule. Now instead of a long layoff between the NAB Beachley Classic in Australia and the Hawaiian leg of the tour, the women are headed to Peru. Enter the Mancora Peru Classic.
The long left hand point break has been likened to Lower Trestles, and surely favors hometown hero Sofia Mulanovich – who helped make the event become a reality. She holds a distinct advantage over her competitors, but the same was said about Layne Beachley at her namesake event (and that didn't turn out so well for her).
So with a high performance left hand spot in warm waters, who are the favorites to do well at this event?
Fantasy Surfer Breaks down the top picks for the Mancora Peru Classic, Oct 30 – Nov 4:
Sofia Mulanovich – Current Fantasy Surfer Value: $7,750,000:
With the event in her own backyard, you have to consider her the favorite right now. But will the added pressure of the hometown crowd and support have a reverse-effect on the 2004 world champ? We'll see, but Mulanovich is a savvy competitor with nerves of steel. She should at least make the Quarterfinals rather easily.
Silvana Lima – Current Fantasy Surfer Value: $8,250,000:
When is this girl ever going to catch a break? She's made three finals in a row, and raised the performance level on tour, all while taking a backseat in the headlines to tour newcomer Stephanie Gilmore. Lima currently sits a mere 82 points behind Gilmore in the overall ratings, so a world title and the respect she deserves ar well within her grasp. If you were going to put your money on one surfer in this event, Lima would be the one.
Chelsea Hedges – Current Fantasy Surfer Value: $7,750,000:
Hedges seems to have slipped a little bit from her early-season form, but this event had been basically gift-wrapped and laid out in front of her. She is one of only two goofyfoots on tour and this wave perfectly suits her. If she doesn't make a run at this event, then her chances at the world title could be done, so expect a big result. She should make the Semifinals rather easily if the swell stays up.
Jessi Miley-Dyer – Current Fantasy Surfer Value: $6,250,000:
Goofyfoot number 2. That's something that can't be overlooked when handicapping this event. Miley-Dyer did well in 2006 in France when the event was held in small left peaks. Look for her to keep that going with a decent result in Peru. She has some powerful hacks that she can unleash on these waves, so some big seeds could be taken out by this youngster.
Jacqueline Silva – Current Fantasy Surfer Value: $4,000,000:
Another surfer who will be feeling a bit of a hometown advantage. Silva is from nearby Brazil, so it's pretty good bet she's been in this neck of the woods before. She's an experienced veteran who can still pull a few tricks out of the bag. More of a darkhorse pick, a quarterfinal finish might just happen if the cards align for her.
Stephanie Gilmore – Current Fantasy Surfer Value: $7,500,000:
The current ratings leader and name that is on the tip of everyone's tongue when you mention women's surfing. Can she hammer down another great result and solidify her position at the top of the ratings? We'll all be getting our first look at an event featuring a predominantly left-hand wave, so we really don't know for sure. With her talent, it's hard not to imagine her doing well.