Mid-way through the Quiksilver/Roxy Pro France, it's evident that some of the world's best surfers have a fight on their hands.
Some of the fresher competitors are showing us some exciting surfing, forcing some former champs to work hard to retain their status.
Sally Fitzgibbons isn't quite the same this season, after an injury a few months ago. She lost her Round 1 heat, but managed to keep her hopes alive during Round 2, eliminating injury-replacement Pauline Ado. Stephanie Gilmore, after a few months in injury-recovery out-surfed Malia Manuel, which is a surprise considering Manuel has been doing pretty well this season.
The biggest upset in the women's contest so far? Sage Erickson ousting Lakey Peterson.
Julian Wilson is on a roll this season with his airs, so it was no surprise he won his heat against Brett Simpson. Things are looking up for Jadsen Andre, beating Nat Young.
Meanwhile Kolohe Andino rode a barrel for a considerable amounting time, winning against Kelly Slater, who hasn't been able to make a final this year. It's difficult to watch this legend struggle to reach the bar he himself set so long ago.
Bede Durbridge and Adrian Buchan both scored in the 9’s but Durbridge scraped through with a 9.17 and 9.20. Mick Fanning is still first on the Jeep leaderboard after taking the win against wildcard Maxime Huscenot. He did however, score 9.03, which compared to some of the other guys today...
John John Florence looks like he's back in form after taking time off with an injury, beating Kai Otton. Jeremy Flores is hoping to repeat his Tahiti win in August, and is one step closer, winning his heat against Michel Bourez.
While it’s painful seeing some of our favourites be overtaken by newer talents, we can still appreciate that this is what makes surfing so unpredictable and exciting to watch.