Show's over; There's nothing more to see here, folks. After an unprecedented display of dominance by Kelly Slater on the 2008 ASP World Tour, the dust has finally begun to settle in the Fantasy Surfer ranks. Now it's time for all of that statistic tedium, huge risk, and blind faith to pay off for a lucky few. It's time for the Fantasy Surfer Grand Prize to be distributed to this year's champion: Ashleigh Drummond of British Columbia, Canada.
Ashleigh clocked in with a top eight event total score of 6493, and averaged 759.5 points per event. Pretty impressive.
Ashleigh wins two round trip tickets to the North Shore as well as five days of accommodations in Billabong's pimped-out pad overlooking Pipeline. The house sleeps 12, so the winner is welcome to invite friends on their own dime.
Not to mention a SURFER staff photographer will be commissioned to spend a day with the group capturing any surf session or memories along the way.
Thanks to all for playing, and congratulations to our Grand Prize Winner, Ashleigh Drummond. We caught up with Ashleigh to find out a little bit more about her and how she did it.
How long have you been surfing?
I've been surfing about three years. I grew up here and ruptured my Achilles and couldn't skate and snowboard so I moved here and started surfing.
I actually just got out of the water at Wick Beach. It's kind of my local spot on Vancouver Island.
So how long have you been playing Fantasy Surfer?
This is my first year playing.
No way. Do you think you had a stroke of beginner's luck?
Umm…not really. I studied a lot, and I was super into it. I opened a sushi restaurant here and we'd play all of the events and we had events at the restaurant based around it giving away shirts and hats, but I kept winning so I was like, "Shit! Oh no! I keep winning…" So I'd have to give the prizes I won away to the customers.
It was pretty funny. We had a good crew join our clubhouse called The Floathouse. We were going to have a surfboard to give away for the final event at Pipe but then I won that too. Ha.
Explain to us your team name.
The Ukeegirlz. I'm from Ucluet, British Columbia and there are a bunch of good girl surfers here, and none of them had computers so I just wrote a name representing all of us.
How do you think you won Fantasy Surfer in 2008? You beat a lot of people.
It's hard to say, but I would pick who I thought would make it to Round Three, then if there were wildcards I would sort through them. I never wanted to have anyone out in the second round. And I wouldn't look at it until the night before, otherwise I'd spend too long trying to figure out my team and make the wrong choices.
I thought about Fantasy Surfer all the time. The night before Pipe Masters I had a dream that Jamie O'Brien did super good, so I woke up and changed my team at 4 AM and that's what kind of made me win. I think I had Kalani Chapman before that.
It's all about Round Three. And picking low owned guys – like Adriano did me really well – and sometimes I'd just try to pick Miky Picon and Luke Stedman and stuff – I looked at statistics and percentages. I looked on ASP's website to find their history.
Did you have any team staples?
I had CJ pretty much every event and Ace Buchan. I think Ace has a good chance for the title next year. He's kind of the underdog. No one really thinks of him, but he surfs well in every type of surf. I had Bobby Martinez on my team a lot too. It was basically: CJ, Bobby, Slater, Kai, Ace, and Adriano as my staple guys.
Was one event really tricky for you?
Brazil messed me up big time. I had a team full of Brazilians. Brazil made me so mad. That was the worst contest of the year – like 10 of the top surfers even showed up. I can understand why they didn't. I mean, it's crappy surf so I can see why…
What's your biggest advice for people competing next year?
I don't know. I don't really want to give away advice. I guess just pick low guys, and make it to the third round. Instead of thinking about who might win the whole event, be willing to pick a Brazilian here and there. Like Heitor Alves.
So who are you taking to the North Shore?
Probably my boyfriend – he was pretty stoked. And he's a good surfer so he'll be happy to surf some water.
How do you think the ASP's new format will affect your Fantasy Surfer Strategy for next year?
I think it's going to be crazy and kind of starting fresh all over again. I think it'll be good though, but you're going to want to take the top 16 because they'll probably make it to the Round Three.