Kelly Slater stars at Margaret River Pro

Eleven-time world champion Kelly Slater has posted the highest score so far at this year's Margaret River Pro to move into the third round.

kelly slater of the united states competes in his first heat of the sydney surf pro at manly beach in manly australia
KELLY SLATER of the United States competes in his first heat of the Sydney Surf Pro at Manly Beach in Manly, Australia. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Kelly Slater has wound back the clock with a dazzling display during his second-round heat at the Margaret River Pro surf event.

Slater finished last in his opening-round heat on Wednesday, forcing him into the dreaded elimination second round.

But the 11-time world champion produced the goods when it mattered most in his three-man heat on Friday, tallying a two-wave total of 16.50 - the highest of the event so far.

Caio Ibelli (14.4) finished second to also secure a spot in the third round, but Australian Adrian Buchan (13.93) bombed out.

Wade Carmichael was another high-profile surfer to crash out in the second round, along with Jacob Willcox and Frederico Morais.

Slater will take on Brazilian Willian Cardoso in the third round when the men's competition resumes on Saturday.

"I felt great. I felt loose and confident. Things went my way," Slater said.

"I needed a bit of a confidence booster. In the first heat, I felt I surfed alright but didn't score well. Today's heat I just said, 'Let's just lay it all out here and see what happens'."

Slater reached the semi-finals of the recent WSL tour event in Bali, but said it was tough to be facing elimination so early at the Margaret River Pro.

"It's a little stressful," Slater said.

"You feel like bottom of the barrel. Because you're like, 'Ok, I'm the bottom 12 guys and I'm the bottom four of those if I lose right here'. It's not good for your confidence."

Australian wildcard Jack Robinson was the feel-good story of the day after topping his heat to move into round three.

Robinson missed the first round because he was on a flight back from Chile after competing in a qualifying series event.

The Margaret River local only arrived back in WA on Thursday, but showed no signs of jet lag on the way to posting a two-wave tally of 12.60 to beat Jack Freestone (10.83) and Carmichael (10.67).

"I slept a lot on the plane," Robinson said.

"I'm feeling ok. I think I'm running on adrenaline.

"I wasn't worried about missing the first round. It was just a bonus to surf here .I just kept calm and had fun out there."

In the women's event, Courtney Conlogue, Caroline Marks, and Australian Sally Fitzgibbons were among the stars to secure a quarterfinal berth with wins in round three.

Seven-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore will face WA's Bronte Macaulay when the third round is completed on Saturday.


AAP