By IAN MONAGHAN and AAP
BYRON BAY-based touring professional Danny Wills revelled in the one-metre waves at Snapper Rocks yesterday, easily defeating fellow Aussie surfer Adrian Buchan to progress to the third round of the Quiksilver Pro, the first event on the 2007 World Championship Tour.
A tour veteran at 31, Wills scored identical 7.67s on two long right-handers to down Buchan 15.34-11.16 in the sudden-death heat.
Wills will meet Bede Durbidge in the third round.
Meanwhile, Australian wildcard Jake Paterson is assured of ending his career with the winning edge over Andy Irons after eliminating the three-time world surfing champion.
Paterson, making a one-off comeback in the season-opening event at Snapper Rocks after retiring last year, said he was ecstatic to go up 9-8 in his head-to-head battle with Irons, of Hawaii.
In a huge boilover, the West Australian had no hesitation in punishing a flu-stricken Irons, who stormed off after the heat, refusing to speak to the media.
Paterson, given a discretionary wildcard by Quiksilver, said he felt relaxed going up against Irons as he nailed a combined two-wave heat score of 16 compared to his rival's 10.07.
In the first heat of the day, eight-time world champion Kelly Slater destroyed the hopes of Aboriginal surfer Dale Richards, who looked overawed by the American superstar.
The 35-year-old Slater scored a 16.16 total to smash 19-year-old trials winner Richards (8.53) and set up a re-match with Australian wildcard Julian Wilson, who defeated Slater in the opening round.
THOUGHTS of retirement from world surfing crept into Layne Beachley's mind at the weekend when 14-year-old wildcard Carissa Moore eliminated the Australian from the Roxy Pro women's event on the Gold Coast.
But seven-time world champion Beachley ? 20 years older than Moore ? still has the fire in the belly to continue her quest to dominate the tour and she's already looking ahead to the next event at Bells Beach, Victoria.
Hawaiian Moore showed maturity and composure beyond her years to defeat Beachley for the second time, after crushing her in the first round. ?AAP