Snapped surfboard no worries for Florence

Two-time world champion John John Florence snapped a board but still managed to gain a sweet slice of revenge in his opening-round heat at the Margaret River Pro.

Defending champion John John Florence has won his first-round heat at surfing's Margaret River Pro.

Defending champion John John Florence has won his first-round heat at surfing's Margaret River Pro.

Defending champion Florence snapped his board in half after wiping out while trying to pull off a 360-degree alley-oop on Friday.

But by that stage, he had already done enough to win his three-man heat, with his two-wave score of 14.6 beating Australians Mikey Wright (11.87) and Wade Carmichael (8.50).

Wright, a wildcard, famously knocked out Florence in the second round at last month's Quicksilver Pro on the Gold Coast.

But the Hawaiian came up trumps this time, guaranteeing him a spot in the third round.

"It's nice to win that first round, to get a bit of rhythm going. I'm stoked," Florence told Fox Sports.

"With my last two losses, I figured some things out and it seems like it's working out."

It was a bad day for the Wrights, with Mikey's older brother Owen also suffering a first-up loss.

Owen Wright's two-wave total of 4.03 didn't come close to matching that of Australian wildcard Jack Robinson, who won the heat with 13.94.

It means the Wright brothers must negotiate their way through the sudden-death second round.

South African Jordy Smith didn't have any such problems, edging out Brazilians Ian Gouveia and Tomas Hermes in his round-one heat.

"I'm happy to make it. I hate losing," Smith said.

"You never want to be caught in round two. Those are just death."

Australian Julian Wilson, who's the leader in the WSL title race, and Brazilian Gabriel Medina were others who secured direct entry into the third round.

Hawaiian Keanu Asing pulled off one of the waves of the day with a big barrel.

Asing posted a two-wave score of 10.7, easily winning his three-man heat against Australian duo Connor O'Leary (4.64) and Matt Wilkinson (5.33).

O'Leary had a big wipe-out on one of the waves, while Asing was able to make the the most of the difficult conditions, nailing a barrel ride to earn a score of 8.0.

"It was tough," Asing said.

"I saw the wave and it was kind of windy.

"I saw that section and I thought, 'I've just got to buckle up and hold on'.

"I was really deep. I didn't think I would make it.

"I just tried to hold my ground. I just remember my head went down and, when I looked up, I was like, 'I made it'."

Lay days were called for Wednesday and Thursday but the competition finally began on Friday afternoon as organisers moved the round-one heats to North Point.

The women's competition was put on hold until Saturday.

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