Olympic champion Carissa Moore scored 13.34 in the opening round to progress to the round of 16 ©Getty images

Olympic champion Carissa Moore progressed to the round of 16 at the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour event at Bells Beach in Australia, although it was Johanne Defay who dropped the biggest women's score.

Hawaii's Moore scored 13.14 in the third heat of the opening round to set up a last-16 contest against the United States' Alyssa Spencer.

Moore bettered Spencer in that heat, but bottom-finishing Spencer rebounded to come through the elimination round.

Spencer scored 13.33 and Australia’s Sally Fitzgibbons 15.10, as home surfer Molly Picklum was eliminated. 

Hawaiian teenager Bettylou Sakura Johnson was the other victim of the elimination round, missing out by just 0.08 points.

Scores of 6.43 and 5.33 left Sakura Johnson agonisingly short of Courtney Conlogue, who advanced largely thanks to a 7.07 ride which featured several sharp turns.

Luana Silva, another Hawaiian, won the heat on 12.16.

France's Defay posted the top score of the women's competition, 16.67, powered to that total by sharp turns and an impressive ability to pick up speed.

Defay will face Isabella Nichols of Australia in the last 16, Costa Rica's WSL leader Brisa Hennessy will surf against Silva and Lakey Peterson faces Conlogue in an all-US clash.

In the men’s event, Australia’s Tully Wylie, Hawaii’s Seth Moniz, Conner Coffin of the US and South Africa’s Matthew McGillivray were eliminated.

Fellow American Griffin Colapinto - who won the last WSL leg in Peniche in Portugal a month ago - and Brazil’s Jadson Andrew tallied 14.37 and 13.03, respectively, to knock out Wylie on 10.34.

Moniz performed slightly better than he did on day one but his 8.90 did not trouble Australians Morgan Cibilic and Mick Fanning, who scored 14.84 and 11.90, respectively.

Coffin went out after scoring 0.10 less than Imaikalani deVault.

The Hawaiian's reward is a last-32 encounter versus American Kelly Slater, the 11-time WSL champion.

Other heats include Colapinto versus Australia’s Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Owen Wright and Japan’s and WSL leader Kanoa Igarashi - the Olympic silver medallist - is to face Fanning.

The competition is due to continue tomorrow if conditions allow.