Preview: 2009 Billabong Pro Mundaka

Uno, dos. One ASP World Tour Euro leg contest in and we’ve already got a narrower title race on hands—though not quite the quality of European surf we expected, yet that is.

With two victories in a row, Mick Fanning obviously has the bullseye on his back from the rest of the top 45. And he’s chopped Parko’s ratings lead even further. With two seventeenths in a row Parko is obviously the one who has to bounce back hard at Mundaka. He’s capable of it too—being in the finals last year with CJ Hobgood.

Though the two Coolie mates [Parko and Mick] are the only ones with over 5,000 total points to date, do not count out the rest of the top 10. CJ Hobgood won Mundaka last year and is sitting at third. Bede Durbidge is turning around a slow start to the season by putting himself in the semis of the last two events. And you can never dismiss Kelly Slater’s chances of going on a tear at a moment’s notice—especially now that he’s rounding out the top five. Don’t forget about Bobby Martinez either—he’s taken Mundaka twice already in his young World Tour career.

All the boys are getting into the Euro mentality and enjoying the finer things in European life. With a lack of surf lately, don’t be surprised if a few of them seem to be a bit partied out.

The biggest factor in all of this might be where the event gets held. If Mundaka is going richter, it’ll be long left barrels. If it’s not really happening there the contest site will get moved to one of the beachies around Euskadi. As we saw with the Quiksilver Pro France contest, being able to adjust to below average beachbreak is crucial.

As of right now it’s not looking too hot for swell for the first half of this week, but there seems to be something on the horizon in the Atlantic. Plus they’ve got till October 17th to wrap this puppy up. Stay tuned to the latest swell forecast at MagicSeaweed.com.

With Pipe awakening this past week, we’re all hoping for another title deciding heat in December…

You can watch the entire Billabong Pro Mundaka live at BillabongPro.com/Mundaka09/ and be sure to stay tuned to transworldsurf.com for the latest from Spain.

Here’s whose rounding out our Fantasy Action Sports League surf teams. Set your team up now at FantasyActionSportsLeague.com.Whose on your FASL team? Lets hear your picks in the comments below.

Chris Cote

Winner: One of the Hobgoods. I know it’s a copout if I don’t say which one, so if I’ll say CJ—he’s on a roll as of late. The real winner will be all of us surf fans—Mick and Parko! Old friends battling it out in Europe! Epic! This is the time of year when a title race really heats up, and we all can’t wait to see what happens.

Best Rookie Performance:
I loved how Kekoa “Bam Bam” Bacaslo says “f—k you” to everybody on the epic video that insurfnews.com made, so I gotta back him. But I also agree with Justin’s point that nobody pushes Barca into a corner— he’ll come out with some fire.

Shocker:
A European will make the final.

Casey Koteen

Winner: Taj Burrow will get his first World Tour win in a while.

Best Rookie Performance: Tim Boal is coming off his best result of the year, a 9th in France, and has spent more time in Spain than any of the other rookies.

Shocker: I have no idea if the draw allows for this, but if it does we’ll see a Parko/Fanning final showdown. Last year those two accounted for seven of the ten highest scoring waves of the comp.

Aaron Checkwood

Winner: CJ won last year by beating Parko—he’s good at Mundaka and he also excels in small beachbreaks like Bakio if it goes there. I have a feeling he’s gonna do it again and make the ratings that much more interesting. Pipe’s gonna be exciting this year.

Best Rookie Performance:
Tim Boal looks strong for this event because he’s at home in Europe and is doing well this year with only one 33rd to his name. Great guy in the beachbreaks as well.

Shocker: I think another one of the European guys will make a strong bid this year and I believe it’ll be Mikey Picon with his frontside tube riding attack.

Justin Cote

Winner: Bobby Martinez. Even though he doesn’t speak a whole lotta Espanol, Mr. Martinez will tap into his Latin roots and rule the lefts of Mundaka. And if it’s not held at Mundaka, I’m over watching the world’s best battle it out at crappy Bakio beach.

Best Rookie Performance: Sitting in the #30 position, Dustin Barca has his back against the wall and like a wounded animal could be dangerous in the long barreling lefts of Mundaka.

Shocker: Kelly doesn’t show up if it ain’t real Mundaka.

Carl Steinlder

Winner: Ace. I think the waves will be small and he surfs really well with power and speed to impress. Traditionally does well on the Euro leg.

Shocker: Marlon Lipke. Gonna make it to the quarters at least and end his string of 33rds, doesn’t want to be mentioned in the same class as Basnett.

Best Rookie Performance: Tim Boal again. I rallied for him in France and since Mundaka is only about two hours away from his home he’s still in his comfort zone and going to do well.

Ryan Brower

Winner: It’s hard to go against CJ—he won it last year and he’s finished in the top ten of every single event this year. Mr. Consistent is gonna be on the podium with Bobby Martinez hovering around the semis or finals as well.

Best Rookie Performance: Gotta stick with Michel Bourez—Tahitian-bred backside barrel riding yet still has the beachbreak arsenal if Mundaka isn’t doing it’s thing.

Shocker: Webcast land and the local crowd will have a shocker when they’re subjected to our own Carl Steindler honeymoon bronzing himself Euro style at the event site. You’ve been warned…

Nick Jiampa

Winner: CJ Hobgood rips the small racy walls to win the comp and pull within striking distance of Fanning and Parko.

Best Rookie Performance: Marlon Lipke will take out a couple of tour vets en route to a solid result.
Shocker: Fanning loses early on.

mundaka11