Tyler Wright is through to the quarter-finals at Bells Beach. Photo: Supplied
Australian surfing stars Stephanie Gilmore and Tyler Wright have scored come-from-behind wins to reach the quarter-finals at Bells Beach.
Gilmore remains in the hunt for her fourth Rip Curl Pro title after beating Hawaiian Malia Manuel on Thursday in their fourth-round heat.
Wright, who leads the world rankings after winning the opening event earlier this month on the Gold Coast, then also avoided elimination.
On her 22nd birthday, Wright had a tight win over compatriot Nikki Van Dijk.
The forecast is for much better conditions on Friday back at Bells Beach.
Gilmore made a slow start against Manuel, who took control with 7.33 and 8.33 wave scores.
But the Australian six-time world champion fought back with a 7.2 and 8.67 to scrape through 15.87 to 15.66.
"Maybe I just wasn't paying attention prior to my heat as closely as I should have been," Gilmore said.
"I was waiting for something [and] it took me about 15 minutes to figure out it wasn't going to come. It really wasn't a good strategy – Malia had the perfect start and kept working.
"I just was lucky I had that one gem right towards the end of the heat."
Asked what was going through her mind during the heat, Gilmore said: "Please make this heat, because I want to surf tomorrow – it's going to be so pumping.
"I couldn't live with myself ... I guess it was just enough to light the fire to pull something together."
Gilmore now faces world champion Carissa Moore, who has also won the past three Bells titles, in a quarter-final.
Wright appeared to make a tactical mistake in her heat when she caught a small wave and gave priority to Van Dijk while trailing.
But she finished with a flourish and won 14.44 to 14.27.
"It felt like I sat for 17 minutes and then I caught that little one. Funnily enough, I didn't think it was a mistake," she said.
"Then those last two sets, Nikki got the first one and I got the second one. It played out in my favour, three big turns, I was pretty happy with that."
Wright will next face American Courtney Conlogue in the quarters.
"I haven't had too many thoughts yet," Wright said. "Having a few days off and then coming back into it, I felt like that was a really big heat for me."
Hawaiian Alessa Quizon beat South African Bianca Buitendag and will next surf against Australian Sally Fitzgibbons.
Johanne Defray of France will be up against Tatiana Weston-Webb, who dispatched Australian Bronte Macaulay in the other round-four heat.