Mick Fanning will be looking to extend his world surfing championship lead when he attempts to defend his title at the Billabong Pro in Tahiti this weekend.
Despite having not yet won on the 2013 ASP tour, the Australian boasts a narrow edge on 11-time champion Kelly Slater heading into the sixth of 10 events.
At the mid-year break, Fanning sits on 31,400 points in the ratings, with Slater on 30,950 and fellow Australian Joel Parkinson third with 26,700.
Competition is expected to kick-off on Friday in clean two-metre waves at Teahupo'o - a place Fanning has afforded plenty of attention during his career.
"When I first started out on tour I made it a point to come to place like Teahupo'o in my free time to build a stronger backhand tube-riding approach," he said.
"I've had some pretty solid results in Tahiti since and last year's win was definitely special."
But that 2012 victory came at the expense of good mate Parkinson, who was winning last year's Tahiti event until the final scoring ride.
"When I look back at last year's Teahupo'o event, it kills me," Parkinson said.
"I felt like I did everything right that I needed to do and it just crushed me to come so close and get second. My one goal moving ahead is to win Teahupo'o."
He will have to beat 41-year-old Slater, who has won four times in Tahiti.