Top five shake-up could be on the cards
FAR North Coast surfers Stu Kennedy, Matt Wilkinson and Owen Wright struggled with early round eliminations at the Hurley Pro in California.
The second round exit could shake up the top five rankings with Wilkinson and Wright sitting third and fourth.
Sixth-placed Adrianno de Souza has already advanced to the quarter-finals while fifth-placed Julian Wilson will reach at least the next round after his fourth heat.
"Hopefully I can get on a little roll heading into this next leg and get some momentum from France and Portugal, then into Pipe,” Wilkinson said.
"To lose that one so early in the contest is tough, but now you've got to go to France and try to not lose.”
Wilkinson and Wright were both eliminated by wildcards Evan Geiselman and Japanese surfer Hiroto Ohhara.
It is another early exit for Wilkinson after the Billabong Pro in Tahiti but he did win the Fiji Pro in June.
"I know I have to surf my best if I'm going to even compete against these guys,” Geiselman said.
"I think Wilko surfed as good as you could've and got that seven-point ride.
"I'm just happy to have a good heat.
"I want to be here on the CT one day so I'm going to have to surf against these guys anyway and there are not really nerves there.
"I put higher expectations on myself than who I'm surfing against, but it's fun.
"We have the business end of the QS coming up with three QS 10,000s left.”