Merewether's Ryan Callinan overcame career-high nerves to stay busy and strike late to win into round three of the Bali Pro on Tuesday.
The world No.9 was in a second-round elimination heat for the first time this year after finishing last in round one. He needed to stay out of last place against Brazilian Jesse Mendes and Hawaiian Sebastian Zeitz.
With little on offer, Callinan got busy and caught the first three waves to lead with a 5.74 total. He held first place until fellow goofy-footer Mendes took over with a 6.46 total with 11 minutes to go in the half-hour heat.
Callinan responded with three hits on his backhand with nine minutes left to earn a 4.67 and lead with 8.24. Mendes and Callinan then capitalised on the two best waves of the heat in the final three minutes.
Callinan punched the air after completing his backhand attack but he was last in the final seconds before his score of 5.83 dropped on the siren to give him the win with a 10.5 total. Mendes was second with 8.43 and Zeitz was eliminated with 8.4.
Callinan, a semi-finalist at Bells Beach last month, said "that was the most nervous I've been before a heat". He next faces Seth Moniz.
"I think just after coming off a really good result at Bells and something I was really happy with, then to just find myself in that round where I could be going for one of those four elimination spots, it just got to me," Callinan said.
"I've been here for a week and a bit and I had a really good prep so I was feeling good and I just wanted to get waves. It was a really slow heat though."
"I thought I made a few errors by going those small ones, but it paid off in the end.
"But I was waiting for one of those waves from Seth's heat just to come through and we'd all get eights of something, but it worked in the end."
He was "just happy to get through and keep it rolling".
"Hopefully we get some really good Keramas and I can open up a bit more and we get to surf what we really came here to surf, and I can't wait," he said.