WORLD-class surfing, sunshine and pumping waves were in abundance on Monday for day three of the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro at Snapper Rocks with wall to wall spectators lining the shoreline wading knee deep in the water to catch a closer glimpse of all the action.
Monday's round three heat winners in the men's competition included Owen Wright (Lennox Head), Josh Kerr (Snapper Rocks) Kelly Slater (USA), Joel Parkinson (Coolangatta), Jordy Smith (South Africa), Heitor Alves ((Brazil), Michel Bourez (Tahiti) and Adriano de Souza (Brazil).
The highest scorer was Coolum's Julian Wilson, notching 9.57 out of 10, to hold off a determined Adam Melling of Lennox Head.
"I lost in this round last year in a close one against Taj (Burrow) and went on to lose a bit early in the next few events so I was nervous before that one," Wilson said.
"I did want to make a statement. In my first two heats I wasn't myself - it didn't feel like it was coming together for me. Then in that heat I felt a lot better, felt solid on my board and good to get some high scores!"
Avoca's Adrian "Ace" Buchan knocked off Hawaiian rookie John John Florence while the biggest upset was the elimination of Mick Fanning who couldn't buy a decent wave, falling to Brazilian rookie, Miguel Pupo.
Yesterday's winners qualify for round four today which is a non-elimination round of three-man heats where the winner advances into the quarter-finals and second and third battle it out in the sudden death round five repechage.
Once again 11-times world champ Slater was running hot at Snapper and retirement is definitely not on his radar while keeping tight-lipped about his foreseeable future.
When asked if he will continue competing this year and go to Bells Beach after the Snapper event, he replied, "I haven't given it any thought whether I'm going to Bells and when I'm ready to quit I will announce it so everybody knows'..
In the women's round three ( a non-elimination round) the Queen of Snapper Rocks, Stephanie Gilmore (Kingscliff), was back to her best, notching up an 8 point ride out of 10
"That round three when no-one loses is pretty relaxed, but skipping round four is also on everyone's minds," Gilmore said.
"It's hard out there performance-wise because there's not a lot of waves with sections on offer. I didn't watch too many heats before mine, but saw Laura (Enever) get a couple of good ones.
"She looks like she's got something to prove, she's so radical with her hair flicks and tail slides, it definitely fired me up to go out and put on a show too,"
Tyler Wright (Lennox Head) continued her winning streak as did Hawaiian rookie Malia Manuel while North Narrabeen's Enever was the top scorer.
All four advance into the quarter-finals, leaving world champ Carissa Moore, who finished third in her heat, to battle it out in round four up against Cabarita Kiwi, Sarah Mason, to qualify for the quarter-finals.