Josh Kerr of Tweed Heads, winning in Round 4 of the Billabong Pro Tahiti with a heat total of 13.20 points (out of a possible 20.00) to advance in to the Quarter Finals at Teahupoo, Tahiti on 24 August 2015. Picture: © WSL / CestariPhotographer: Kelly CestariAUSTRALIAN surfers have shone in the fourth round of the Billabong Surf Pro in Tahiti, with Owen Wright and Josh Kerr earning direct advances to the quarter-finals.
Owen triumphed over Filipe Toledo and fellow Aussie Kai Otton with a score of 8.17, while Kerr trumped Wiggolly Dantas and giant-killing Spaniard Aritz Aranburu to qualify directly for the final eight.
Aranburu had earlier eliminated second-ranked Mick Fanning in a shock third-round victory.
Defending Tahiti champion Gabriel Medina and 11-time WSL champion Kelly Slater also held off stiff competition to snare the other two automatic quarter-final spots.
Earlier, a perfect-10 wave score from lowly ranked American CJ Hobgood thwarted Julian Wilson’s chance to leap to the top of the standings.
The Australian world title contender was eliminated after losing his third-round battle 13.60 to 9.50.
The world No.36 pulled a rabbit out of a hat in the last five minutes of an otherwise uneventful heat, emerging faultlessly from a barrel that looked to have swallowed him up.
It was the first ‘‘perfect-10’’ of the tournament.
Hobgood then lost to Slater in round four and will now compete for a quarter-final spot with Aranburu.
Wilson joins Fanning as Australians to have missed an opportunity to capitalise on the elimination of Brazilian ratings leader Adriano de Souza.
Australia’s Joel Parkinson (14.60) was also bundled out earlier by French competitor Jeremy Flores. AAP