With two events already down and Bells kicking off, the Dream Tour is well underway for 2014. Brazilians have been throwing Acai in the air celebrating Gabriel Medina’s win on the Gold Coast, narrowly defeating an in-form Joel Parkinson. Parko’s big snorkel was sniffing victory all the way until the last three minutes of the final, only to have it snatched away an unstoppable Medina.
Next up Margaret River, I have been reading several articles in social media during and post event in regards to the quality of waves at Margies and if it should be a stop on the World Tour in the future or not. Well to all the pessimists and the haters out there, were you not entertained? As bad as it was to see the whole World Tour get pin-balled through and over the bricks (reef) the entire event, it made online viewing comical and showed the globe that even the best surfers in the world are not immortal and cop a flogging on the reef from time to time. Not only were the athletes head butting and snapping fins out on the reef, they were surfing amazingly and adapting to the Indian Ocean's raw conditions. From JJF’s huge air reverses, and Michel Bourez’s inhuman arcs to Kerzy and Parko taming the same spitting Box just across the bay, the event had more drama than Jersey Shore.
What does all this mean in the scheme of this year's ASP World Title? It's very early days but one thing I know is that when competing on the tour confidence is everything.
But at the end of a long not so gruelling event, it’s none other than the Spartan from Tahiti who took a maiden world tour victory at Margaret River. It was no surprise though, not only does Michel’s surfing suit Margies to a tee, this warrior's Tahitian tootsies could stand on hot coals and have a tea party.
So what does all this mean in the scheme of this year's ASP World Title? It's very early days but one thing I know is that when competing on the tour confidence is everything. I my eyes Gabriel Medina is going to be the man to beat. Gabby thrives on confidence and gains momentum like an old steam train. I wouldn’t exactly say the Gold Coast and Margaret River are Gabby’s strengths and he still managed to notch up a 1st and a 5th.
Nipping at his heels is George Armani (Joel Parkinson), the most stylish surfer on the planet. Joel could have easily won either of the last two events. Both heats he has lost have been controversial. Joel oozes confidence as he runs down those steps at Bells beach. Its no secret that Parko is one of the favourites to shake that Bell off its hinges like Adriano de Souza did back in 2013.
Kelly Slater and another world title, is it possible? Ummm durrrr, of course it is, the thought of Kelly winning another title kind of sounds boring, but at the same time the Dalai Lama of surfing keeps us all wondering and we all want to see more of him. If Kelly wraps his nitty gritty paws around that Bell in two weeks his confidence will be at infinity and probably go on to win another world title.
Beaming with confidence will be Michel Bourez, although it’s hard to back up a win on tour its new ground for the Spartan. All eyes will be on Michel at Bells Beach this year, he is a legitimate World title threat. P.S, If he does get to ring that Bell the entire population of Torquay will be struck deaf.
Although Mick had an average start on the Gold Coast, and copped a good honest ass whooping by the largest cranium in professional surfing (Yadin Nicol) at Margies. He is my pick to win Bells for 2014. Mick responds great to coming from the tail end of the pack. He has been in this situation many times in the past and as long as his confidence hasn’t copped a beating like my head at birth, things are still looking promising for Eugene.
Although Mick had an average start on the Gold Coast, and copped a good honest ass whooping by the largest cranium in professional surfing (Yadin Nicol) at Margies. He is my pick to win Bells for 2014.
Taj, Jordy, Julian, Owen and John John, Honestly I don’t have a clue, take your pick. One of them will be fighting Gabby, Kelly, Parko, and Mick for the World title at the end of the year. All coming off very mediocre start in 2014. All four of them have a title engrained into their scones and are all capable of it, but have struggled to make heats this year. Ouch, a big chink in the confidence amour. However I bet Jordy can't wait to sink his generous bubble butt into the notorious Bells bowl. He was the in-form surfer and the favourite to win here last year and this knowledge will help repair his armour. Just between you and I ladies and gents, he is my second pick to rip that poorly made Bell from its hinges in 2014.
So in a nutshell confidence is the key ingredient to this year's world title. It’s a long year ahead for these athletes. Every surfer on tour will have confidence issues throughout the year but it will be the athlete that bounces back like and old furry tennis ball and enters the water feeling unbeatable each and every heat who ultimately triumph.
Confidence – "The feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something." Oxford Dictionary