The Cascais Women's Pro wrapped with a shakeup in the World Title standings and added requalification hopes being tossed in the air. The Roxy Pro France will continue with the same theme of exciting matchups and consequences on either end of the rankings.
The World Title can be won by Courtney Conlogue (USA) in France, only if she clinches victory and Carissa Moore (HAW) finishes lower than 9th place. The ladies will arrive in France more rested and acclimatized to the conditions in Europe, with over a week to get settled in the French beachbreaks. The race is on!
Here are my start sit predictions for the Roxy Pro...
Tier A: Courtney Conlogue (USA)
Courtney is on a roll and with her win at Cascais she will be cruising into France in pole position on top of the Jeep Leaderboard. She has a process in place and her success ratio can't be denied. She has won events in the French beachbreaks and can negotiate the place like a local. I think all of these factors will play into her favor and keep her impeccable form rolling.
Tier B: Johanne Defay (FRA)
Last year this time is when Johanne hit her stride. After a win at the Vans US Open this year and a comfort level at Hossegor that feels like home, she will ease into the contest jersey like she did at all the junior events she competed in growing up. That calmness is what helps her produce big scores when it becomes crucial and she will likely bring some fire into this event -- which will make her dangerous in the lineup.
Tier C: Dimity Stoyle (AUS)
I'm starting Dimity again, her technique and flow have been so impressive. Plus, with this being the second-to-last event of the season (and with no reassurance from the Qualifying Tour), Dimity needs a big result. I'm hoping she smashes through a couple of rounds in this event and climbs up the rankings.
Tier A: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
I'm going to sit Sally, I think Carissa is going to come out guns blazing at this event. With an event win in France previously, Carissa's chances of doing well are a little higher than Sally's. I still think Sally is going to get Quarters or better, so you just need to pick the higher heat-scorer out of the two.
Tier B: Tyler Wright (AUS)
Ahhhh this tier sucks! I'm going to sit Tyler, I started her in Portugal and she ripped but got knocked out early. I think if I sit her she will do well. Good old reverse psychology. Also something to note, Tyler made back-to-back Finals in France (2013, 2014). Sounds more like a start to me but I have to sit someone.
Tier C: Chelsea Tuach (BRB)
I was going to sit the wildcard but then I found out the wildcard is next year's rookie on Tour, Chelsea Tuach. Yet, I am still going to have sit Chels. At this stage of the year the other ladies in the draw have a lot more to lose and that will make them ruthless. Also, a few of them have qualified for next year with their QS ranking so that will let them surf without pressure. I am stoked to see Chels in this event, she was also the wildcard at the US Open and I think it's good call on Roxy's part to put their young rider in to get experience for next year.
Dark Horse: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
Stephanie Gilmore, welcome back to competition! I'm so excited to see Stephanie back in the heat draw. I know she has had a long time away but Steph's six World Titles and effortless approach will put her right back in the mix.
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.