The Billabong Pro Tahiti is in the books, delivering some incredible performances from the world's best. For Fantasy Surfing there were expectations met, surprise performances and a number of letdowns.
The biggest performance without a doubt came from last year's victor and reigning World Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) who, despite finishing runner-up, topped the Fantasy Surfing point total. His takedown of John John Florence (HAW) in Round 3 earned him the highest two-wave heat total of the entire event -- with 19.00 points -- and is being called one of the best heats of the season.
Jeremy Flores (FRA), who battled back from injury to win the event, was on fire. Though Flores has turned a few solid results for the season, his head injury seemed to scare away Fantasy team managers: Only 19 percent started the French charger. His performance had a significant impact on those that anticipated his courage at Teahupo'o.
Owen Wright (AUS) continued to be a solid choice in barreling, lefthand reefbreaks. In Fiji earlier this year, he made history when he scored two perfect, 20-point heats. In Tahiti, fought his way to the Semifinals and was the only goofyfoot to earn two sets of bonus points (20.00) for skipping both Round 2 and Round 5. Among the regularfooters, Kelly Slater (USA) and Josh Kerr (AUS) were the only two to skip elimination rounds.
Tour vet and soon-to-be retiree C.J. Hobgood (USA) was another standout. He had his best result of the season and earned the only perfect 10 of the event in Round 3. By event's end, Billabong honored him with the Andy Irons commitment award,
As a points-earner in Fantasy, however, Hobgood finished lower than Slater, Kerr and Italo Ferreira (BRA) who exited a round before him. Ferreira continues to surprise in Fantasy Surfing, but tied at No. 8 on the Jeep Leaderboard it's more surprising he continues to be started by few teams. Only 10 percent of players selected the talented rookie.
Alongside the pleasant surprises, Tahiti also saw disappointments. The biggest were the Top 3 seeds heading into the event -- Adriano de Souza (BRA), Mick Fanning (AUS) and Julian Wilson (AUS) -- all of whom lost in Round 3.
Don't forget to set your Fantasy Surfing lineup before the Hurley Pro at Trestles, which will stream LIVE here and on the WSL App beginning September 9. If you're new to the game, be sure to check out Ross Williams' Start 'Em, Sit 'Em column.