Australia's star-studded five-person team are second after the opening day of action at the inaugural Founders' Cup of Surfing on what's been dubbed by officials as the "best man-made wave in history".
The maiden two-day event at the artificial Surf Ranch in California produced numerous high-scoring rides on day one with Tyler Wright and Mick Fanning among those to crack the nine-point mark.
With 25 of the world's top surfer in competition, Australia faces a stiff test from the USA, World, Brazil and Europe with only three of the five teams - consisting of three men and two women - progressing to the final.
Australia's total of 75.82 points has them well placed to progress with Wright, Joel Parkinson and captain Stephanie Gilmore all having room top improve on their best scores, which will contribute to the team's overall score.
"We still have a lot of room for improvement," Fanning said.
"Parko's (Joel Parkinson) getting rid of a three, so that's a few more points there, he just couldn't connect on the right.
"And we haven't even seen Steph (Gilmore) dominate on the right yet, so I think she can get into those high 9s when she puts that right together."
The US lead the way on 80.83 with Kelly Slater, who helped fine tune the technology to produce the stunning artificial wave, and Carissa Moore among their best.
The World team is third ahead of Brazil and Europe.
With surfing preparing for its Olympic debut in 2020 and a decision on whether natural or man made waves are used yet to be made, the success of this event could have a significant b earing on that competition.
HOW IT WORKS
* Five teams of five athletes. Three men, two women per team.
* Each athlete surfs six waves (three left, three right) during the qualifying round. Each wave scored out of 10.
* Each athlete's top-scoring left and top-scoring right will contribute to the Team Total (maximum score of 100).
* Top three scoring teams out of the five qualify for the Final.
Australia: Stephanie Gilmore, Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, Tyler Wright, Matt Wilkinson
Brazil: Gabriel Medina, Filipe Toledo, Adriano de Souza, Silvana Lima, Tiana Hinckel
Europe: Jeremy Flores, Frederico Morais, Leonardo Fioravanti, Frankie Harrer, Johanne Defay
US: Kelly Slater, John John Florence, Carissa Moore, Lakey Peterson, Kolohe Andino
World: Jordy Smith (RSA), Bianca Buitendag (RSA), Michel Bourez (FRA), Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Paige Hareb (NZL).