Gabriel Medina: warming up | Photo: ASP/Sloane

Top seeds have entered the 2014 Vans World Cup of Surfing, at Sunset Beach. However, all eyes are set on the Qualifying Series' surfers.

Dusty Payne kept his hopes alive with yet another splendid performance in the challenging waves. The Hawaiian opened his heat with Gabriel Medina with an under-the-lip late airdrop, followed by a string of high-speed, carving turns. In the end, Payne won the clash.

"It's always nice to compete with the top dogs. Beating Gabe doesn't really mean anything except I get to cruise to the next round. It doesn't really mean much. I was just looking to go and try to get two fun waves. I'm just having fun and the waves keep coming, and I just keep smiling," said Dusty Payne.

Gabriel Medina is simply warming up. His battle will only begin when he meets Mick Fanning and Kelly Slater at the Billabong Pipe Masters. For now, he just wants to keep up with the competitive rush.

"No pressure, I just want to surf. The surf here is really enjoyable and I just want to have fun. Sunset is a fun wave. This year I just did one QS event, and I needed to do one more, so I picked Sunset. I'm just surfing and having fun I have a good board on my feet and hopefully I can keep going," adds Medina.

Ricardo Christie continued to impress with a committed series of fast carves and powerful cutbacks; Matt Wilkinson proved he is ready for another in year in the elite club, and Glenn Hall showed nerves of steel by scoring a Perfect 10 for a backhand barrel in the dying moments of his Round 3 heat.

"Never say die. It was a frustrating heat up until that point. I was having a shocker. I knew that if I could get the wave though, I could get the score. Pumped to get through and looking forward to more waves on the way," concluded Hall.

2014 Vans World Cup of Surfing | Round 3

Keanu Asing (HAW) 7.77; Ian Walsh (HAW) 5.83; Yadin Nicol (AUS) 2.00; Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 0.50
Billy Stairmand (NZL) 11.27; Adrian Buchan (AUS) 10.64; Adam Melling (AUS) 9.07; Tom Whitaker (AUS) 4.00
Filipe Toledo (BRA) 9.66; Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 9.57; Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 9.40; Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 6.67
Chris Ward (USA) 15.33; Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.70; Jeremy Flores (FRA) 7.27; Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 6.16
Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 12.50; Owen Wright (AUS) 11.10; Mitch Crews (AUS) 10.17; Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 6.87
Alejo Muniz (BRA) 12.57; Wade Carmichael (AUS) 9.96; Perth Standlick (AUS) 8.60; Nat Young (USA) 7.93
Julian Wilson (AUS) 10.93; Davey Cathels (AUS) 7.44; Joan Duru (FRA) 6.83; Jadson Andre (BRA) 6.70
Dusty Payne (HAW) 16.17; Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.17; Dane Gudauskas (USA) 10.73; Connor O'Leary (AUS) 9.04
David do Carmo (BRA) 13.36; Mason Ho (HAW) 10.70; Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 7.90; Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 6.47
Lucas Silveira (BRA) 11.74; Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 11.53; Kai Barger (HAW) 11.10; Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 4.30
Ricardo Christie (NZL) 16.90; Josh Kerr (AUS) 11.83; Seth Moniz (HAW) 11.43; Brett Simpson (USA) 8.17
Charles Martin (GLP) 15.00; Alex Smith (HAW) 13.16; Tiago Pires (PRT) 11.37; Bede Durbidge (AUS) 9.33
Kolohe Andino (USA) 15.10; Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 8.57; Travis Logie (ZAF) 5.77; Italo Ferreira (BRA) 5.50
Granger Larsen (HAW) 12.10; Glenn Hall (IRL) 12.00; Dion Atkinson (AUS) 11.97; Miguel Pupo (BRA) 9.83
Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 16.84; Garrett Parkes (AUS) 13.43; Kai Otton (AUS) 10.73; Hiroto Arai (JPN) 2.00
Matt Banting (AUS) 14.23; Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.90; Isaiah Moniz (HAW) 12.60; Tim Reyes (USA) 11.20