The 2015 Fiji Pro became one of the most historic contests in professional surfing history, as event champ Owen Wright (AUS) recorded two perfect heats. Meanwhile, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) brought one of the most inspiring performances of the season to the Fiji Women's Pro, battling injury to win the event for the second consecutive year.
As the Championship Tour heads into the back half of the season, Fantasy Surfing points gain have even greater impact on your overall standing. The biggest takeaway from Fiji? Take the free advice.
If you read Ross Williams' Start 'Em, Sit 'Em you probably had a good event, as every single one of his starts made it to Round 3. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) made it all the way to the Quarterfinals, doubling down on 20-point bonuses with wins in Round 1 and Round 4.
Owen Wright (AUS) surfed in every single round of the event on his road to victory. But with perfect heats in Round 5 and the Final, Wright didn't need to skip any rounds to add bonuses to your bottom line. Only 19 percent of managers picked the goofyfooted, Australian tube hunter, so those teams had a good chance at pulling away from the rest of the pack in this event.
Semifinalist Jeremy Flores (FRA), Williams' dark horse pick, earned his best result of the season in Fiji and surfed his way into the No. 2 overall position on the Fantasy event leaderboard. Flores may have finished equal third, but points-wise he came out ahead of Julian Wilson (AUS), who surfed in the Final.
Joel Parkinson (AUS) also had his best finish of the season, making it as far as the Quarterfinals and, with his perfect 10 in Round 4, earning one of the best scorelines for the event. Parkinson managed to come in fourth overall in Fantasy, just behind Wilson and ahead of Taj Burrow (AUS), both of whom surfed further into the event.
Of all surfers to exit in Round 3, the biggest shockers were Jeep Rankings Leader Adriano de Souza (BRA) and World No. 2 Filipe Toledo (BRA). Their Fantasy points were equally disappointing to the respective 28 and 34 percent of teams who decided to start the frontrunners of the Brazilian Storm.
The unexpected heroes of the event, Italo Ferreira (BRA) and Dane Reynolds (USA) had incredible performances and points to match. Started by only seven and six percent respectively, the rookie and wildcard caused major ripples on both the elite and Fantasy rankings. Ferreira eliminated 11-time World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) in Round 5 and Reynolds took down De Souza in Round 3.
Sixty-nine percent of Fantasy teams bet along with Rosy Hodge that Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) would return to form in Fiji. And return she did, earning the highest Fantasy score on her road to victory at the Fiji Women's Pro.
Hodge also made the right calls on Tier C surfer Laura Enever (AUS) and dark horse Bianca Buitendag (ZAF). Started by 25 and seven percent respectively, the Aussie and South African chargers rose to the occasion in Fiji. Buitendag surfed her way to runner-up in the event and in Fantasy points.
Heavy-wave charger Laura Enever (AUS) was defeated in the Quarterfinals, but earned the fifth-most Fantasy points overall. Enever finished ahead of Semifinalist Lakey Peterson (USA) in total points earned.
Rookie Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) continues to impress in events and on Fantasy teams. Like Enever, the young Hawaiian was also defeated in the Quarterfinals, but she managed to earn earn the fourth-highest point total.
Don't miss the Top 34's venture into the open, traveling halfway around the globe for Stop No. 6 the J-Bay Open, which begins July 8, 2015. Meanwhile, the Top 17 prepare to face off at Huntington Beach for the Vans US Open of Surfing starting July 27, 2015. Both events will be broadcast LIVE on the World Surf League homepage and the WSL App.