There are currently seven men battling to be the 2014 World Champion of surfing. And you thought three was a crowd. Gabriel Medina, Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, John John Florence, Taj Burrow and Michel Bourez all have a mathematical chance at the last ASP World Title ever — next year it’ll be the WSL, duh. So here we stand. Two events left. Seven surfers contending. Three French hens, two turtle doves and a crown in a pear tree. Sure sounds like a confusing Christmas.
Luckily, the ASP hired Will Hunting — Rain Man was too expensive — to figure out the math behind the Title. He applied chalk to a rustic green boards with frantic strokes until his fingers ached arthritically and it was all sorted. Here’s what good Will says needs to happen in order to send the Title race to Pipe.
If Gabriel finishes 25th or 13th in Portugal: Parko and John John will need a 2nd, Mick a 5th, Kelly a 25th.
If Gabriel finishes 9th in Portugal: Parko and John John will need a 1st, Mick a 2nd, Kelly a 3rd.
If Gabriel finishes 5th in Portugal: Parko and John John will be out of the race, Mick will need a 1st, Kelly a 2nd.
If Gabriel finishes 3rd in Portugal: Mick and Kelly will need a 1st.
If Gabriel finishes 2nd in Portugal: Mick will be out of the race, Kelly will need a 1st.
If Gabriel finishes 1st in Portugal: Game over. Gabe wins, Charles kisses him on the face and tears of joy are shed.
As for Michel and Taj? We’re not so sure. We’ll just assume that Gabriel must have his limbs torn apart by a pack of rabid Iberian wolves in order for one of them to walk off with the crown. Actually, let’s not take the rabid Iberian wolves out of the equation here — an ill-fated encounter with them is the only way that Gabriel would finish any lower than 9th in Portugal. And even if Gabriel somehow sinks in in Peniche, he would still need some wild chunk of misfortune in order to lose the tile in Hawaii. Either that or Robby Slater pulls a Robby Slater, wins both events and justifies the argument that he’s better than Michael Jordan which you proclaim every time you get drunk and watch basketball with your friends. Stranger things have happened. But more often than not, they don’t.