FRANCE & MUNDAKA PREVIEW Is Kelly a Sure Bet for France? Pick Away!

Kelly Slater has officially turned the 2007 Foster's World Championship title hunt on its head. With his victory at the recently completed Boost Mobile Pro, he has vaulted to 2nd place in the overall ratings behind Mick Fanning. A mere 230 points separate the two, while several contenders lurk close behind them.

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When the Quiksilver Pro France kicks September 20th, the chase for the world title will heat up again and we'll get a good look at who the contenders for the title are and who is out of the running. In 2005, Andy Irons declared "Game On" with Kelly Slater and went neck and neck with him for the world title until Slater clinched it in Brazil. Last year, the title was all but sewn up by the time the tour headed to Europe. But this year there are still several contenders left.

The past few years, the Quiksilver Pro France has been held in the thumping beachbreaks near Hossegor. If that trend continues, expect to see the surf vary anywhere from 3 to 8 feet. Solid peaks are the norm in this area, and the surf can fluctuate wildly with the tides. The difference between an all-time heat and an absolute shocker can vary in the swing of one tide push. The competitors that are alert and prepared for such changes usually gain a bit of an advantage and can do quite well here.

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.

At this time, wildcards for both the Quiksilver Pro France and Billabong Pro Mundaka are unknown, but they will be available as soon as they are announced.

First, here are Fantasy Surfer's hot picks for the Quiksilver Pro France (Sept 20-30):
CJ Hobgood – (current Fantasy Surfer Value: $6,750,000) – The Boost Mobile Pro was a definite turning point in Hobgood's year. Granted he usually does pretty well there, it was good to see that the former world champ still has that spark when he needs to kick it into gear. Hobgood can dominate tiny conditions as well as macking barrels – both conditions that he's likely to see during his heats in France.

Jeremy Flores – (current Fantasy Surfer Value: $5,750,000) – Kelly Slater does well in the US, Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson do well in Australia. And the South Africans shine in South Africa. So why shouldn't Flores shine on his home turf in France? His national pride will swell and he'll put on a show for the crowd that will cheer him in every heat. A solid pickup at his current price considering he's ranked #9 overall at this point.


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