Time flies. This year has one event remaining for the ladies on Tour, the Target Maui Pro and, well, it's probably one of the more highly anticipated events of the season. Hawaii is special and Honolua Bay is one of the most dreamy waves on the planet. With the Jeep leader's yellow jersey being passed between Carissa Moore and Courtney Conlogue over the last few events, the World Title will be decided at Honolua and some exciting requalification scenarios will unfold as well. Finally, Maui is your last chance to wrack up Fantasy points and solidify your spot on the leaderboard and at the top of your group.
Honolua is the perfect canvas to lay everything down and should be a lot of fun to watch.
Tier A: Carissa Moore (HAW)
With less then 1,000 points separating Court and Riss, this Title race is intense. Based on Carissa's performance last year in this event I have to start her. She will be relaxed in the comfort of the Hawaiian Island chain she calls home and she'll have a familiarity with winning at this wave, which should ease the pressure of the Title race. Having said that, Courtney has had an amazing year and has posted perfect scores at this wave as a wildcard in her early teens. She also had one of the waves of the year in this event last year. These two ladies are going to go berserk at the last event of the year.
Tier B: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
Stephanie gets a start in this event. It was so good to see her back competing at the Roxy Pro France. I can't wait to see her smooth style light up in Maui. With a bit more time to rehab her injury and the wave offering a perfect righthand point, I think she will want to end the season with a win. She also mentioned in France her potential to be a spoiler for the Title contenders. That should make her matchups with the contenders very entertaining. With Steph sitting at No. 12 on the Jeep Leaderboard she'll be motivated to finish the year in the Top 10 to requalify.
Tier C: Dimity Stoyle (AUS)
Dimity, come on! Dim won't be able to requalify for the elite Tour next year at No. 15 (only the Top 10 requalify) on the CT and no safety net on the Qualifying Series (only the Top 6 on the QS qualify). In other words, she's got nothing to lose this event. I'm hoping the waves are pumping so she can reach her potential and put on a show for the final event of the season (and inspire her to get back here in 2017!).
Tier A: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
Dang it, this is such a tough choice because there are only three ladies in this tier. I'm going to have to sit Sally on this event, not because I don't think she will go ballistic and make it into the Final in this one but because I think the stakes for Court and Carissa are too high for them to want to not advance through every round in Maui.
Tier B: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
Oh my gosh this tier is just as cruel. There is way too much talent to sit anyone. Ok, I'm going to sit Nikki. Keep in mind Nikki found her form in Fiji and continued her roll through North America and Europe. And whenever I do sit her she flairs and smashes the event so... take this one with a grain of salt.
Tier C: Silvana Lima (BRA)
Silvana has had a rough go the last few events. I'm hoping she finds her form in this last stop. She had some amazing performances in the beginning of the year boasting the only 10s of the season until Tatiana Weston-Webb joined that list in France. But because of her run of bad results, I'm going to sit her on my Fantasy team.
Dark Horse: Malia Manuel (HAW)
There are a few options you could look at here. Tyler Wright was amazing in France. So was Coco Ho. But my dark horse pick for this event is Malia. She is going to come into Maui focused and her surfing will suit this wave to the ground. With a few frustrating close finishes this year, I think Malia will piece it together in this event and make a run for the podium.
Rosy Hodge (ZAF) 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.