Mick Fanning has put on a solid first round performance in the Hurley Pro at Lower Trestles to sail through to the third round.
The Gold Coast surfer was up against fellow Australian Adam Melling and recent Vans US Open of Surfing winner Hiroto Ohhara from Japan.
In clean four-to-six foot surf, Fanning put on a solid performance with to excellent ranging scores for a heat total of 17.30 (8.67,8.63).
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Fellow Gold Coasters Joel Parkinson, Josh Kerr and Bede Durbidge were not so lucky and will have to fight to stay in the competition in round two.
WSL Commissioner Kieren Perrow says the forecast is looking good for the rest of the event.
“We’ve got a great forecast,” Perrow said.
“We’ve got really good conditions so we will be running heats today. We’ll start with Men’s Round 1 and go into Women’s Round 1, and get as far as we can through that. We’re looking forward to an exciting day.”
In the Swatch Women’s Pro, six-time world surfing champion Stephanie Gilmore has withdrawn as she continues to battle injury.
The Gold Coast champ hasn’t competed since suffering three hairline fractures around her knee in April at the Margaret River Pro, and has slumped to 10th on the tour rankings after missing events at Brazil, Fiji and the US Open of Surfing at California’s Huntington Beach to leave her title defence in tatters.
The men’s tournament has also been hit by injury with South Africa’s Jordy Smith and Australian rookie Matt Banting withdrawing.