Australians Joel Parkinson and Taj Burrow face a sudden-death showdown for a spot in the quarter-finals at the world surfing tour event in France after flaiing to topple countryman Kai Otton in a fourth-round heat.

Otton outscored both Burrow and Parkinson in an all-Australian battle at La Graviere on Wednesday with two of the highest single-wave scores of the day.

The 33-year-old's impressive 19.17 has sent him straight into the quarter-finals, with Burrow and Parkinson relegated to a knock-out fifth round.

The trio were the only ones to complete their round four match-up on Wednesday, with the other three heats - featuring Mick Fanning and Kelly Slater - scheduled for Thursday.

Lack of swell had held up the Quicksilver Pro France for the past four days before competition finally resumed in clean one to two metre waves.

Earlier, Burrow - who claimed his first win of the season at Trestles last month - defeated Brazilian Alejo Muniz, while reigning world champion Parkinson bettered American Patrick Gudauskas in their respective round three heats.

Fanning leads the season's rankings after seven events on the 10-stop tour, ahead of Slater in second and South African Jordy Smith in third.

Burrow and Parkinson round out the top five.

 

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