Merewether's Philippa Anderson and Jackson Baker have bowed out in tough conditions at Surfest on Friday.
Anderson, the 2009 champion, started the 6000-point World Surf League qualifying series event in small waves in round three on her home beach where quality two-turn rides were the goal.
The 27-year-old started with a 3.77 and backed it up with a 4.03 with seven minutes left in the 25-minute, four-woman heat.
She needed a 5.44 late to move into the top two but there was little on offer as Hawaiian Alessa Quizon (10) and championship tour surfer Brisa Hennessy (9.47) progressed. Tessa Thyssen (8.44) was third and Anderson fourth (7.8).
Earlier, Port Stephens wildcard Elle Clayton-Brown (5.47) was eliminated as top seed Tatiana Weston-Webb (8.17) and Australian Zahli Kelly (12.73) progressed from her round three heat which started the day.
Former winner Johanne Defay exited in the next heat but fellow championship tour competitors Paige Hareb, Coco Ho and Nikki Van Dijk got through.
Baker was then knocked out by just 0.03 of a point in a frantic finish to his round four men's contest.
Baker was in line to progress from the three-man heat until Miguel Tudela pushed him into last spot with four minutes left on the clock.
The pair went wave for wave. Baker earned a 3.57 and needed a 3.6 from his last score to get through but was given a 3.17 just after the final siren.
West Australian Jack Robinson (11.33) starred with a 7.33 from a huge air to win the heat in front of Tudela (8.43) and Baker (8.40).
Baker had won in round two and scraped through in round three for his best result at Surfest but he was still clearly upset to go down narrowly.
"I'm gutted," Baker said.
"I'd started to get a bit of a roll on, scraping through yesterday, and I thought there'd be more opportunities in a heat like that but there was absolutely nothing.
"Personally, I thought I had the score. I think both of those scores were at least fours, but the judges don't agree."
The rest of the Burton Automotive Pro round four was set to be completed before round four of the women's Holmes Civil Developments Pro was surfed to set up the weekend action.