Owen Wright crashes out at Marg River Pro

·2-min read

Owen Wright's hopes of reaching the WSL finals have suffered another blow after the Australian crashed out in the third round of the Margaret River Pro.

Wright needed a big result in Western Australia after missing the season-opening stop in Hawaii and then finishing ninth and 17th in the two recent events in Australia.

The 31-year-old won his opening-round heat on Monday morning to book his spot in round three.

But he came undone when he returned to the water later in the day, losing to Brazilian Peterson Crisanto 14.76-12.60.

The result means Wright faces a huge fight to make the new WSL Finals format, which will see the top five surfers battle it out at the end of the season in a fight for the crown.

Two-time world champion John John Florence secured a spot in the round of 16 with a nervy win over Italian Leonardo Fioravanti.

Fioravanti nailed an 8.67 ride in the opening moments of the 40-minute heat to set the tone and he held priority after Florence took advantage of some smaller waves to post a two-wave total of 16.04.

It meant Fioravanti needed a 7.37 to retake the lead, but the huge sets dried up and he cut a frustrated figure once the heat finished.

"I started off with an amazing wave, and there was 38 minutes left," Fioravanti told the WSL broadcast.

"You'd figure in 38 minutes the ocean would provide a good-looking set. The ocean's been firing for the last two days.

"I guess I let a couple of waves go. They were probably sixes and John over-surfed them as he does and got sevens and eights out of them.

"Looking back at it, yes I probably could have got one of those and scored a 6.5 or 7, and he would have been in my position at the end waiting for a bomb.

"I wish I could have re-surfed that. The ocean just didn't provide."

Florence was happy to get through to the round of 16.

"Letting Leo have that first wave cleanly bothered me a little bit," Florence said.

"The first one set our expectations for the heat and we were thinking there was going to be a lot of those. And then it got really slow.

"I picked off a couple of medium ones which was good for me."

The good news for Florence continued later in the day when Australian rookie Morgan Cibilic was knocked out by Seth Moniz.

Cibilic had eliminated Florence from the past two events, but just fell short of Moniz in a closely-fought affair.

Australians Juilian Wilson and Ryan Callinan made it through to the round of 16, along with two-time world champion Gabriel Medina, Italo Ferreira, Caio Ibelli, Kanoa Igarashi, Filipe Toledo, Jeremy Flores, Griffin Colapinto and Jordy Smith among others.