Defending world surfing champion Mick Fanning has signalled a return to form with two convincing heat wins at Bells Beach.
While young Hawaiian John John Florence lit up Easter Monday with a perfect 10 wave score at the Rip Curl Pro, it was also a good day for the locals.
Fanning and fellow Australians Joel Parkinson and Taj Burrow joined Florence as round-four winners, putting them into the quarter-finals.
The sudden-death fifth round will decide the other four quarter finalists.
Fanning, Parkinson and Burrow are all former Bells Beach winners.
The event could prove a turning point for Fanning, who has won three world titles and has rung the famed bell trophy twice at this iconic surf spot.
So far this season, he has only managed a fifth and a 13th on the world tour.
On Monday, he posted an outstanding 9.67 wave score in his round-three heat win over compatriot Matt Wilkinson.
Then he proved too good in round four for Hawaiian Freddie Patacchia and fellow Australian Julian Wilson, who had produced a near-perfect 9.93 wave score in his previous heat.
“It’s always good to bounce back,” Fanning said after round four.
“But the job’s still not done, you still have a long way to go.
“I’m feeling good and I’m getting scores.”
Riding a board he called old faithful, Parkinson also impressed in his fourth-round win over South African Jordy Smith and fellow Australian Owen Wright.
Parkinson, Mr Consistency, was runner-up in round one on the Gold Coast and was fifth earlier this month at WA’s Margaret River.
“I feel like most of the events so far … I take a while to warm up and get into my rhythm,” said the 2012 world champion and three-time Bells winner.
“But I’m three heats away from a bell.
“So three more wins, six waves – keep it simple.”
Burrow, the 2007 Bells Beach champion, looked similarly sharp as he took care of defending champion Adriano De Souza of Brazil and Australian Adam Melling.