Three-time world champion Mick Fanning has endured a bumpy start to his return to the elite surf tour, with the Australian finishing last in his three-man heat at the Narrabeen Classic in NSW.
Fanning made the shock announcement that he would come out of retirement for the event so that his young family could see him compete.
The 39-year-old was up against 2019 world champion Italo Ferreira and Australian Morgan Cibilic in their round-one heat on Saturday, and things didn't go to plan.
Fanning finished with a two-wave score of 5.60, well short of Ferreira (14.16) and Cibilic (10.33).
The result means Fanning has been thrust into the elimination round, where he will be up against Frenchman Jeremy Flores and Connor O'Leary.
"I was actually quite emotional as I ran down the beach before paddling out hearing all of the cheers and seeing all the smiling faces," Fanning said.
"I'm really disappointed I didn't put on more of a show though. It was always going to be such a tough task against Italo and Morgan, they got first and third at the last event so are in epic form.
"I'm just hoping in my next heat I can get a bit more opportunity and put on more of a show."
Fellow Australian Julian Wilson will also have to navigate the elimination round, but Owen Wright safely progressed to the round of 32.
John John Florence, Adriano de Souza, Filipe Toledo, Jordy Smith, and Gabriel Medina were other notable names to safely progress to round three.
In the women's event, Australian star Tyler Wright will have to do it the hard way after narrowly losing her three-person opening heat.
Wright posted a two-wave total of 8.20, just short of compatriot Macy Callaghan (8.43) and star American Caroline Marks (9.14).
The result means Wright will now be pitted up against Brazilian Tatiana Weston-Webb and Australian Laura Enever in an elimination heat.
Seven-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore progressed straight to the round of 16 after finishing second in her first-round heat.
Sally Fitzgibbons, Carissa Moore, Courtney Conlogue, Nikki Van Dijk, Keely Andrew and Malia Manuel were among the others to progress.
Japan's Amuro Tsuzuki received the call up to compete on the main stage only hours before her heat after American Lakey Peterson withdrew due to a lower back injury.
It marked the first time in two decades a Japanese woman has competed on the Championship Tour, and she made the most of the chance by booking a spot in the round of 16.