Classic four-to-six-foot waves greeted the planet's best surfers, as the 2015 Hurley Pro kicks off at Lower Trestles, California.
Kelly Slater has done his job. In a peak he certainly knows well (he won six times at Lowers), the 11-time world champion kept his composure and navigated through to Round 3.
"I think I've found a fresh perspective going into the back half of the season. Even though I'm trailing so far behind at the moment, I believe I've still got a shot at the title. I need a good result here, so I have to go out there and relax, and not worry," said Slater.
Mick Fanning is also fit and ready to compete at the highest level. The Australian smashed Hiroto Ohhara and Adam Melling with a convincing heat total of 17.30 points.
"I've been preparing here since Friday, and it's been really fun, but it also tests your overall fitness. It's an incredibly high-performance wave, so you really feel your arms and legs burning," added Fanning.
The rankings leader, Adriano de Souza, managed to overcome tricky opponents. The Brazilian sent Michel Bourez and Ian Crane to Round 20 with a competent display of high-performance surfing.
"Trestles is extremely important for me, and I did my best to prepare myself for the challenge. I'm happy to win my first heat, but it's only the first step," expressed De Souza.
However, with a Perfect 10, Freddy Patacchia was clearly the man of the day. The Hawaiian may be used to riding big barrels, but his overall skills at Lowers will be missed next year. Yes, Freddy announced that he is taking a competitive sabbatical from the Dream Tour.
"I knew the day would come when I would have to walk away from professional surfing. While this isn't the end of my surfing career, it's probably the last time that I'll compete on the big stage on the Championship Tour," explained Patacchia.
"However, I look forward to competing in some Qualifying Series events. I just need to take a step back and cool down. It's tough to walk away from everyone that has become my family but I've lived my dream, and I want to thank everyone who's played a part in helping me do what I love."
Hurley Pro 2015 | Round 1 Results
Kelly Slater (USA) 14.63, Dusty Payne (HAW) 13.44, Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.67
Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.00, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.93, Brett Simpson (USA) 12.77
Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.60, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 10.87, Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 8.00
Owen Wright (AUS) 16.00, Keanu Asing (HAW) 14.74, Tomas Hermes (BRA) 14.00
Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.30, Hiroto Ohhara (JPN) 14.46, Adam Melling (AUS) 10.67
Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.37, Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.63, Ian Crane (USA) 12.74
Jeremy Flores (FRA) 14.27, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.96, Glenn Hall (IRL) 11.33
Kolohe Andino (USA) 15.87, Josh Kerr (AUS) 14.80, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 13.04
Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.90, John John Florence (HAW) 12.20, Ricardo Christie (NZL) 11.66
Fredrick Patacchia Jr. (HAW) 18.90, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.50, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 16.20
Kai Otton (AUS) 16.10, Nat Young (USA) 15.50, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 12.70
Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.94, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 16.43, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 14.73