Former World Tour competitor and 2013 Roxy Pro Trialist Rosy Hodge tells us who’s destined to do well at the Roxy Pro Gold Coast, which kicks off March 2. Log on to FantasySurfer.com to pick your team now.
Rosy Hodge’s Picks for the Roxy Pro Gold Coast:
First of all, I think one of the biggest things for Snapper this year is just the banks. Every year you're always wondering what the banks are going to do and where they are going to run the event. This year, with all the cyclones and the crazy weather, it's just going to be a total unknown. There's already talk of them moving down to Greenmount, or D'Bah around the corner. So, I've chosen people for my team who have a lot of experience at most of those breaks and can adapt easily, and then also people who I've seen do well in the past.
1. Steph Gilmore: She took the event win last year, so why wouldn't you pick Steph? She won the event as a wildcard back in 2005 when she was only 17, she's the five-time World Champ, and probably the most consistent surfer out here--plus she's a local. She goes under the radar almost the whole time that the competitive season is off, and then she just switches on. You can really tell that she's having so much fun at Snapper because it's her homebreak and she has a lot of support there. She's definitely my number one pick.
2. Carissa Moore: You can't count her out. She's the 2011 World Champ, she made the final at Snapper as a wildcard in 2007, and she won this event two years back. She's been coming to Snapper Rocks since she was 14--she used to be sponsored by Roxy, so she competed in the Trials even before she was on Tour. I just watched a clip of her the other day, and I kind of wish I hadn't because she was that amazing. The way she is surfing at the moment is just mind-blowing.
3. Sage Erickson: Last year was her first year on Tour, and she finished the year at the top of the World Ranking, so she has some good momentum going into this year. She has really good support, a good head on her shoulders, and she’s really getting the mental game down. Her surfing is incredible. I'm looking forward to seeing her compete in her second year on Tour. I just think she has the right combination of attitude, ability, and the mental capacity to do well at Snapper.
4. Alana Blanchard: The one thing I can say about Alana is that she's so beautiful that her surfing is often underrated. That's what's crazy: She freakin' rips but people don't talk as much about that. I think we are really going to see Alana come into her own this year on the World Tour. She's had a couple cracks at it, but I think sometimes she got underscored or didn't find her footing. This year Alana will have ironed out the kinks and worked out a better strategy, and I think she's going to do well at Snapper.
5. Bianca Buitendag: Obviously she's a Saffa so I really want her to do well, but also she's been groomed on right-hand pointbreaks back home at Victoria Bay, South Africa, so her backhand attack is primed. I think Snapper will cater well to her surfing because when the goofyfooters stay tight in the pocket that's when they look the best out at Snapper and Bianca has the ability to do that. She’s really tall but she’s able to stay tight and do really critical maneuvers. Right-hand pointbreak and Bianca pretty much go hand in hand. Being a rookie is nerve-wracking, but if she comes in with confidence, she has the ability to take down some of the big names.