Gabriel, Julian to win; SeaBass and Ian Gouveia to surprise, says former WCT surfer and Fantasy Surfer winner Blake Thornton…
The Pipe trials are live in a junky north swell.
That’ll wrap in a day, just in time for a six-to-eight-foot north swell for the main event.
WSL commish says they’ll milk its tits and finish Monday.
You’ll remember our pledge three months ago to turn five c-notes into many thousands of dollars via surf gambling in the back half of the WCT season. With a $500 deposit and the advice of former WCT surfer and 2015 Fantasy Surfer champion Blake Thornton, BeachGrit planned to beat hell out of Australia’s betting agencies.
The gambling angle appeals because: All the odds for WCT events are set by non-surfers using statistics and nothing else. There is no insider trading, no quarter given to the surf forecast, no nod to a surfer’s affinity with a particular wave.
So who we going to throw our shekels at?
“First, a juicy multi,” says Blake. “The forecast means, typically, better Backdoor and at the size it’s forecast, it’s going to be pretty perfect and running. So I’m basing my bets around that.”
Round one multi #1: Pat Gudauskas into SeaBass into Jeremy Flores into Owen Wright. Bet: $50. Payoff: $787
Reason: “Pat needs a result and he’s the strongest out of the three in his heat. Pat’s a better barrel rider than Willy Cardoso and Michael Rodrigues. Sea Bass is a machine out there. He’s got Kanoa Igarashi, who’s great, but in a barrel riding contest out there, he should get the nod. Jeremy Flores, for obvious reasons: a former Pipe Master, amazing barrel rider. As for Owen (against Keanu Asing and Yago Dora), all of the stuff I’ve been seeing from Pipe is of Owen. And we all know how good his backhand is. Maybe there’s a mental barrier there after everything he went though but he is looking comfortable.”
Round one multi #2: Jordy into Kelly into Joan Duru into Joel Parkinson. Bet: $50. Payoff:
Reason: “Jordy is the strongest at Backdoor against Morais and Pupo. No reason needed for Kelly and Joan is unassumingly strong in barrels. Joel? There’s going to be a fairytale finish to his career, yeah?
$50 on Julian Wilson at $7.50: Former Pipe champ. Wants a title so bad it hurts.
$50 on Gabriel Medina at $4.75: “Amazing on his forehand and backhand and he rises on big occasions. It’s all in front of him to capture.”
$50 on Jeremy Flores at $21: “A former champ who’s patient and knows the joint. The only thing I can see hurting him is if it’s inconsistent.”
$20 on Sea Bass at $21: “Everyone knows how good he surfs. It’s a matter of him surfing smart heats and not making dumb decisions. Definitely a potential winner.”
$50 on Joan Duru at $67: “This is a juicy one. He’s a phenomenal barrel rider and a standout whenever Le Grab is pumping. No one had him in the mix at Sunset at Sunset and he finished third.”
$50 on Kelly Slater at $13: “Obviously a threat.”
$20 on Ian Gouveia at $67: “Bloody Ian Gouveia! If we’re going to throw money around, and we might as well ’cause it’s the last event of the season, he’s an amazing barrel rider and I don’t see the forecast delivering anything but six-to-eight-foot barrels.”
Pipe Invitational Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Ryan Callinan (AUS), Makai McNamara (HAW), Jamie O’Brien (HAW), Bruce Irons (HAW)
Heat 2: Kiron Jabour (HAW), Imaikalani Devault (HAW), Nathan Florence (HAW), Sheldon Paishon (HAW)
Heat 3: Barron Mamiya (HAW), Torrey Meister (HAW), Ian Gentil (HAW), Ian Walsh (HAW)
Heat 4: Tanner Hendrickson (HAW), Mason Ho (HAW), Michael O’Shaughnessy (HAW), Takayuki Wakita (HAW)
Heat 5: Soli Bailey (AUS), Wyatt McHale (HAW), Noa Mizuno (HAW), Hank Gaskell (HAW)
Heat 6: Joshua Moniz (HAW), Finn McGill (HAW), Evan Valiere (HAW), Lahiki Minamishin (HAW)
Heat 7: Jack Robinson (AUS), Benji Brand (HAW), Koa Smith (HAW), Justin Becret (FRA)
Heat 8: Ethan Ewing (AUS), Billy Kemper (HAW), Dusty Payne (HAW), Koa Rothman (HAW)
Billabong Pipe Masters Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Frederico Morais (PRT), Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 2: Owen Wright (AUS), Yago Dora (BRA), Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 3: Italo Ferriera (BRA), Joan Duru (FRA), Caio Ibelli (BRA)
Heat 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), TBD
Heat 5: Julian Wilson (AUS), Tomas Hermes (BRA), TBD
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Connor O’Leary (AUS), TBD
Heat 7: Wade Carmichael (AUS), Griffin Colapinto (USA), Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 8: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Michael February (ZAF)
Heat 9: Michel Bourez (PYF), Ezekiel Lau (HAW), Ian Gouveia (BRA)
Heat 10: Conner Coffin (USA), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Jesse Mendes (BRA)
Heat 11: Kolohe Andino (BRA), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Joel Parkinson (AUS)
Heat 12: Willian Cardoso (BRA), Michael Rodrigues (BRA), Patrick Gudauskas (USA)