Yallingup wave wizard Taj Burrow has taken a swipe at contest judges after being controversially eliminated at the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro yesterday.
Burrow and fellow Australian Lincoln Taylor were scored a double interference after they tried to catch the same wave in the opening minutes of the men's round-of-96 heat at Surfers Point.
It appeared world No.5 Burrow was ideally placed on a wave going left but judges deemed both surfers to be at fault and penalised them accordingly.
With half of their second-best wave deducted, Taylor and Burrow finished with scores of 12.85 and 11.29 respectively.
Brazilians Jadson Andre and Caio Ibelli won through from the heat to the next round, posting scores of 14.67 and 13.57.
A fuming Burrow said he was at a loss to explain the decision.
"I've never been so confident in my life that the interference was not on me, ever, and they called it," Burrow said.
"You're in a four-man heat, you expect it, but you don't expect the call to go against you.
"It kind of seems like the judges should have a lot more experience with calling interference."
Burrow, who won the 1997 Margaret River event as an 18-year-old, was one of the favourites for this year's contest.
His loss continued a run of upsets, with world champion Joel Parkinson and American brothers CJ and Damien Hobgood also knocked out.
Like Burrow, Parkinson and the Hobgood brothers had interferences called against them.
Surfers Point is renowned on the world tour for being the break most likely for interferences to be called because of the quality of waves breaking left and right at the same time.
Other men to win through to the next round yesterday included Australians Bede Durbidge, Glenn Hall, Jack Freestone and Owen Wright, New Zealand's Jay Quinn, Portugal's Tiago Pires, Frenchman Marc Lacomare, Spain's Gony Zubizarreta and Aritz Aranburu and Brazil's Peterson Crisanto.
In the women's event five-times world champion Stephanie Gilmore ended the giant-killing run of WA wild-card entrant Felicity Palmateer.
Palmateer went into the round-four clash with high hopes after an upset win against New South Wales charger Gilmore in her opening heat last Saturday.
But Gilmore posted an imposing 18.00 from her best two waves compared with Palmateer's 7.70.Other round-four heat winners included Hawaiian Carissa Moore, Australian world No.2 Sally Fitzgibbons and New Zealand's Paige Hareb.
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