With the crowning of a 2014 ASP World Champions, Fantasy surfing has some champions of its own. You already heard from Robbie, one of the top finishers from the women's leaderboard. Now, with the conclusion of the Billabong Pipe Masters, three more success stories emerge from men's Fantasy surfing.
Hometown: Munich, Germany
Favorite Break: Eisbach, Munich and Teahupo'o, Tahiti
Favorite Male Surfer: Steve Ratzisberger (DEU), Gabriel Medina (BRA)
Favorite Female Surfer: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
Sean, Mario and Danny hail from three distinct parts of the world, but they share common strategies when it comes to setting up their Fantasy rosters. They revealed the top three qualities they look for when they're making their picks, and their responses were surprisingly similar:
3. Veteranship: All three Fantasy Team Managers put a lot of weight on how much Tour experience a surfer has and the all-around performances of each surfer as the season progresses. For the Billabong Pipe Masters, Mario had one surfer with at least six years on Tour in each Tier -- Mick Fanning (AUS) in Tier A (12 years), Josh Kerr (AUS) in Tier B (6 years) and Jeremy Flores (FRA) in Tier C (8 years). Danny uses this strategy specifically when deciding his B and C surfers. He favors, for example, Owen Wright (AUS), who's in his fifth WCT season: "He is a great, talented surfer, and after his injury I know that he is on fire this year and can come back stronger than ever."
2. The surfer's strengths with respect to type of wave: From stance to specialty, Sean, Mario and Danny have a lot riding on, well, how the surfers are riding. Danny, for example, picked Gabriel Medina (BRA) for Fiji, Tahiti and Pipe because he "has outstanding tube skills and only a few players know this." Sean looks at stance as the tie-breaker for tough decisions, matching regular footers to righthand breaks and goofies to lefthand breaks.
1. Prowess at the specific event: Above all else, the top Team Managers looked at precedent. It's one thing to do well on a specific type of wave. But each event, in the eyes of these Fantasy players, is a proving ground of its own and they're looking for proof. For the Billabong Pipe Masters, all three surfers picked John John Florence (HAW) in Tier A, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) in Tier B, and Flores in Tier C -- two Triple Crown winners and a former Pipe Master.
Become a Fantasy Team Manager next season by signing up at mct.fantasy.worldsurfleague.com.