Japan's Olympic silver medallist Kanoa Igarashi was beaten by Australian wildcard Mick Fanning at the WSL Championship Tour event at Bells Beach ©Getty Images

Australian home favourite Mick Fanning delivered a stunning performance to reach the round of 16 at the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour event at Bells Beach at the expense of Japanese world number one Kanoa Igarashi.

The 40-year-old is competing as a wildcard having come out of retirement to compete at a venue where he has won four times on the WSL Championship Tour.

The ninth heat between Fanning and Tokyo 2020 Olympic silver medallist Igarashi looked one of the standout ties of the round of 32.

Scores of 7.00 and 8.77 on Fanning's second and sixth waves earned him a total of 15.30, which left Igarashi requiring an 8.94 to progress.

Igarashi could only muster an 8.00, sending Fanning through to a round of 16 encounter with fellow Australian Callum Robson.

Robson overcame Frederico Morais of Portugal by 15.27 to 13.43.

Igarashi was not the only high-ranking surfer who fell at the round of 32 stage.

Second-placed Kelly Slater of the United States narrowly lost by 0.07 to Hawaii's Imaikalani deVault Pick, who amassed 13.84 points.

Barron Mamiya in third was beaten by Morgan Cibilic of Australia, the winner notching 14.93 while the Hawaiian could only muster 13.50.

Pick's reward is a round of 16 tie against Australia's Jack Robinson, while Cibilic is set to face Hawaii's John John Florence.

Florence triumphed the last time Bells Beach held a WSL event in 2019, and saw off Joao Chianca of Brazil with an impressive score of 18.86 to the 17.73 of his opponent.

The highest ranked athlete on this season's Championship Tour who progressed was Brazil's Filipe Toledo in fourth, who posted 15.16 to the 14.67 of Australia's Mikey Wright.

Another Australian in Connor O'Leary awaits him.

Reigning Olympic champion Ítalo Ferreira of Brazil, who is 10th on this season's Tour rankings, scored 14.00 to beat Australia's Ryan Callinan, who notched 13.00.

Ferreira is set to face an all-Brazilian match-up in the round of 16 after Samuel Pupo won against the US' Jake Marshall by 10.10 to 9.17.

Pupo's brother Miguel edged past fellow Brazilian Deivid Silva by 15.80 to 15.52, and is due to face Kolohe Andino of the US after he beat Brazil's Jadson Andre by just 0.04 with a score of 14.10.

The other two round of 16 ties feature Olympic bronze medallist Owen Wright of Australia against American Nat Young and Jackson Baker against Ethan Ewing in an all-Australian affair.

Bells Beach is the penultimate event on this year's WSL Championship Tour before the mid-season cut, after which only the top 24 men and 12 women will survive.