Gabriel Medina: showing off his thruster setup

Taj Burrow, Mick Fanning and John John Florence have been knocked out of the 2014 Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, in four-to-six foot (1 - 1.5 metre) waves at Main Break.

Bede Durbidge and Taj Burrow would not imagine they would have to re-surf their heat. It's rare, but it happens. Burrow became entangled in Durbidge's leash while paddling for a potentially heat-changing wave.

Burrow would come out of the gates firing in an attempt to secure his place in Round 4, detonating a 7.33 and 7.60 with his signature forehand flare.

While Durbidge had a 6.60 in his scoreline, he was in need of an excellent score in the final minutes of the affair. Durbidge would deliver, detonating an incredible 8.60 for a series of powerful forehand gouges, surpassing Burrow for the lead in a place in Round 4.

"It was really hard on me and hard on Taj. It was a very unfortunate thing that happened. I just had to dig deep because I didn't want to surf or go back out there. I put my head down, dusted myself off and got back to surfing," said Durbidge.

Jordy Smith and Adam Melling would hold through a sluggish start to their Round 3 heat, in a battle that would eventually come down to two crucial exchanges.

The South African powerhouse detonated a 7.83 for a seering two-turn combination while Melling dropped a 7.50 for three solid turns and a complete ride. Smith's backup would notch a 5 point backup, while Melling's final wave offered minimal scoring potential.

Gabriel Medina would strike first with a series of backhand blast for a 7.67 and quickly finding a 5-point backup ride to solidify an early lead. Florence would answer back, decimating a Margaret River canvas of his own with a series of turns and big forehand air for an 8.50.

Medina extended his lead, however, belting a backhand snap to air-reverse combo for an 8.77, securing a victory over John John Florence and a Round 4 berth.

Mick Fanning stroke first with a low 4.33, but Yadin Nicol would unload a blitzkreig on the Main Break rights, posting the day's high scores.

The Western Australian would launch a massive, full rotation aerial on his first maneuver followed by a series of frontside bashes for a 9.77. The score would add on to his previous 7-point ride, leaving Fanning in search of a combinations of scores throughout the second half of the affair.

"Mick and I had a good battle at Pipe and and he's such a good competitor. I feel less pressure now and I can surf a little freer. I grew up here and I feel so comfortable at Margaret River. I know which waves to go for and that helps," added Nicol.

Kelly Slater advanced first with his venomous forehand attack, locking a 5 and 6 into his scoreline. Andre answered back with a five of his own and would find a wave in the dying seconds in need of a 7, but would fall shy of the score.

2014 Drug Aware Margaret River Pro | Round 3 Results:

Heat 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.20 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.90
Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.23 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 6.23
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) def. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 4: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 11.34 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 9.67
Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.44 def. John John Florence (HAW) 13.00
Heat 6 : Yadin Nicol (AUS) 16.94 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 9.83
Heat 7: Kelly Slater (USA) 12.56 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 10.47
Heat 8: Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.87 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 9.70
Heat 9: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 12.57 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.00
Heat 10: Nat Young (USA) 12.26 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 11.03
Heat 11: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.50 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 11.40
Heat 12: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.50 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 5.23