Defending women's world surfing champion Stephanie Gilmore is one of three Australians through to the semi-finals of the season opener on the Gold Coast.
Gilmore, NSW teenager Tyler Wright and world No 2 Sally Fitzgibbons all reached the last four of the Roxy Pro after the quarter-finals were completed yesterday in challenging conditions at Kirra Point.
With high-scoring waves at a premium in the morning session, Gilmore grabbed the ride of the day in her quarter-final against Hawaii's Alana Blanchard.
A near-perfect 9.80 barrel ride helped her to a two-wave total of 12.97 out of 20 to eliminate Blanchard (5.06) and reach the final four.
"It's tricky out there this morning, but every now and then, there's an incredible one so that was a good heat," Gilmore said.
"I always flash back to all the greats out at Kirra and I think Mick [Fanning] was and still is one of the best.
"I think I was pretending I was Mick for a moment there in the tube - just for a moment, though."
The five-time world champion will face Wright in the semi-finals after the Lennox Heads resident scored 13.50 to beat American Courtney Conlogue (7.94) in the day's opening match-up.
The other semi-final will pit Fitzgibbons against former world champion Carissa Moore of Hawaii.
Fitzgibbons easily accounted for tour rookie Bianca Buitendag in her quarter-final, the South African managing just a single wave worth 1.50 points as Fitzgibbons tallied 14.20.
Meanwhile, there was only frustration for the men, with world champion Joel Parkinson and wildcard Brent Dorrington set to begin their sudden-death round-two heat when action was called off for the day.AAP