World Tour Surf-tistics: Brazil
A comprehensive statistical guide to Stop 3 of the 2010 ASP World Tour
No rest for the weary: Just two weeks after Kelly Slater made things interesting down at Bells ... er ... Johanna, the World Tour circus makes its way to the beaches of Brazil for Stop 3. And no one's wearier than ESPN Surfing's own statistician, Mike Newman. Once again, he's crunched all the numbers to give you some statistical insight on who should be filling out your Fantasy Surfer roster. Check out his analysis and surfer rankings and let us know what you think in the Comments section.
Santa Catarina Preview Gallery
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Despite a perceived stepchild status as a swell-challenged event that is occasionally skipped by the tour's big names -- Slater, Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson all have given it a pass in recent years -- Brazil has been a part of the tour since day one. And while no event was held here in 1979 or 1983-85, there were multiple events held here in 1988-1991, resulting in 36 total.
In 2010, 34 of the 45 surfers currently on tour have past results here. Six have won and five have reached the semifinal. Unlike many of the other stops on tour, the group of surfers sharing the biggest points isn't limited to just three or four. There are 17 surfers who have shared the big points available in the quarters, semis and finals.
This is likely due to the variety of beach breaks that have hosted the event over the years. Unlike the classic points and reefs that make up most of the dream tour and favor local knowledge or veteran experience, the venues of Santa Catarina resemble the kind of shifty, fickle sandbars mere mortal surfers contend with at most beaches, which might be why it's the only event on tour that's never seen a plus-19 heat score. It favors strong paddlers able to cover a lot of ground and properly read the currents, but let's face it: There's also a little more luck involved at Brazil than elsewhere on tour.
Case in point: The Aussie contingent features the usual suspects -- Mick Fanning (two wins), with a win percentage of 87, Taj Burrow (three wins) at 78 percent, Bede Durbidge (one win) at 75 percent and Joel Parkinson at 66 percent. But Mick Campbell, Adrian Buchan, Tom Whitaker and Kai Otton all have been runners-up in Brazil. Kieren Perrow has surfed here only five times, but took third once and fifth once.
In the U.S. field, a similar dynamic is obvious. Sure, Kelly Slater has won Brazil three times in 11 tries, with a win percentage of 72. But Damien Hobgood has a one win and a second in eight tries (win percentage of 62), and Brazil is the site of Taylor Knox's lone Tour victory (1996) in his long and illustrious career.
There are comparatively few surfers with four or more starts who have a complete lack of solid results in Brazil. Dean Morrison is one of them -- in five attempts, he's won just four heats. Luke Stedman also struggles here -- just two heat wins in five tries.
Finally, the smart money would probably be on Adriano de Souza to go deep. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that a win on home sand would mean more to the Tour's Brazilians than any other nationality, and in addition to finishing runner-up to Slater here last year, he's coming off two equal fifths this season. The home-crowd advantage could be what he needs to finally earn the win knowledgeable Tour watchers know he's due.
Highest Combined Heat Scores at the Santa Catarina Pro:
Highest Scores Posted at the Santa Catarina Pro:
Lowest Scores Posted at the Santa Catarina Pro:
2010 Santa Catarina Rookies:
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