And Michel, Jack, Josh and Stu to lose…
How’d you go picking winners in France? If you had a lousy team, don’t whimper or glow like a Halloween pumpkin at us.
Two weeks go, and based entirely on statistics, we suggested either Gabriel Medina or John John Florence would win and that Kolohe Andino would be the prized dark horse.
The school teacher Balyn McDonald, whose website sings according to numbers not emotion, has a bank of stats on the Portugal event that make for compelling reading. Of course, like Scotch and avocados and most of the other things in life that are special, you learn to cultivate a taste for statistics.
First, a few caveats.
Regarding John John winning a consecutive world title. Only four surfers have “gone back-to-back with titles in the modern era,” says Balyn. “Tom Carroll and Tom Curren, Andy and Kelly.”
Jordy: “He has never won two contests in a season.”
Gabriel: “Only one goofyfooter has won in Portugal and he’s no longer on tour, Kai Otton.”
Where’s that leave us?
“Mick has won the event twice (the only surfer to do so) and he ranks near the top for Event Average Heat Score (2nd), Beachbreaks (2nd), Left/Right Peaks (5th) and 6-8′ waves (6th).”
On current form, Gabriel Medina is bringing the house down. He’s won the last two events (if y’count the pool), has the second-best form over the past three events, second-best win percentage for 2017 and fourth-best Average Heat Score for the season.
Ah, but if Gabriel is second, who is first? John John! Form, winning percentage and average heat scores.
Oowee, take out your wallet!
Now here’s who you should avoid, according to the numbers.
Michel Bourez: Averages less than ten points a heat here, and ranks in the bottom three for beachbreaks and left-right peaks.
Josh Kerr: “He’s ranked lowest of all full-time tour surfers and has the worst win percentage to match.”
Jack Freestone: Three consecutive last-places and seven last-places for the year. Ninth worst on Average Heat Score over the last three events too.
Stu Kennedy: Dead last on current form. Stu is averaging 9.45 in heats over the last three events.
Who you think gonna flash at Portugal?