Yeowza! This doesn't get any easier. What did I learn from the Roxy Pro? Well, all the girls have done offseason training and are looking on point. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) is a rookie who's already in the Top 5 on the women's Championship Tour. Silvana Lima (BRA) is looking fierce. Knowing all of this after one event let's get into our Start 'Em and Sit 'Em scenarios for the Rip Curl Women's Pro Bells Beach...
Tier A: Carissa Moore (HAW)
It's extremely hard not to pick Carissa after watching her dismantle the Final at Snapper. She also went home with the Bells trophy last year. If she does win Bells, she will have won 3 events in a row since her victory at the Target Maui Pro. Yikes. But that's all speculation and sensationalism, maybe a passion pick? We will see what happens at Bells.
Tier B: Silvana Lima (BRA)
This is a tricky Tier, with two former event winners among the pack -- Lima and Sally Fitzgibbons. Things got even trickier after the Gold Coast Fantasy results, in which the rankings got jostled around.
But I have to go with Silvana. She is deadly at Rincon, where I would say 87 percent of the women's heats are run. It's highly rippable, but also a tricky wave to master. Bells Bowl, in contrast, is pretty straightforward. Plus, Silvana knows both waves well and boasts a tattoo of the Bells trophy on her ribs, so I'm not sitting her this time.
Tier C: Sage Erickson (USA)
For my Tier C pick, I'm going with Sage. She surfs Rincon (the California version in Santa Barbara) and Ventura's C Street all the time. I would have to say conditions are comparable between those breaks and Bells. Sage also seems hungry for a result and I think Bells will suit her surfing. With some help from coach Glenn Hall (IRL), Jarrad Howse and 3-to-4 soy flat whites, Sage will be in the sweet spot for this event.
Dang it, here we go again. Disclaimer: I got roasted by my Sit 'Em picks at the Roxy Pro. So chances are if you are on this list you're going to prove me wrong and advance with flair and ease. However, I have to sit 3 people -- so here they are.
Tier A: Tyler Wright (AUS)
To make a choice between Tyler and Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) I looked at last year's Bells results. Tyler made the Final by narrowly beating Steph in the Semis, so the choice is a hard one to say the least. I think both women will end up in the Top 3 at this event so we're just clutching straws now. Still, I'm going to sit Tyler because she made the Final at Bells last year and the year before that.
Tier B: Courtney Conlogue (USA)
Oh good grief, look at Tier B and try to single a person out. This is tough.
I'm going to sit Courtney because if she sees this, she may get fired up enough to win the event! I would be stoked if she won because she injured herself at Bells last year and had to leave the competition early.
Tier C: Laura Enever (AUS)
I picked Laura as my Dark Horse for Snapper, but I will sit her for this event. I will definitely be picking her for places like Fiji and Hawaii, but for Bells I'm going to sit this play out. Not because I don't think she is going to carve the face off of Bells, but because I'll put her in my starting lineup elsewhere.
Dark Horse: Dimity Stoyle (AUS)
Naaaaa na!! Dimity Stoyle. What a legend. She's my Dark Horse pick for Bells. She's been surfing Tea Tree on the Sunshine Coast the last little while and I'm feeling some good juju for her.
South African Rosy Hodge competed on the World Surf League (WSL) Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour (CT) from 2007-2010, before joining the WSL broadcast team. She weighs in on who she thinks should round out your Women's Fantasy Surfing lineup ahead of each CT event. Make sure to set your own Fantasy Surfing lineup before the women hit the water at the Rip Curl Women's Pro Bells Beach, broadcast LIVE on the World Surf League homepage April 1 - 12, 2015.