Merewether's Ryan Callinan booked a quarter-final showdown with Jeremy Flores at the French Pro after winning a see-sawing round-of-16 heat on Friday night (AEST).
Callinan (14.17) scored a heat-high 7.67 on his last wave with less than three minutes remaining to keep Hawaiian Ezekiel Lau (12.83) at bay by 1.34 points.
The Novocastrian, into the last eight for a third time during the 2019 World Surf League championship tour, will next meet Frenchman Flores.
"It's going to be awesome," goofy-footer Callinan told WSL media.
"The crowd here is always incredible, but especially against a local."
Callinan's four maneuvers on a right hander ensured Lau's late 7.33 wasn't enough to catch him.
The lead changed at least five times throughout the 35-minute battle.
Callinan also had his fifth ride counted in the best two-wave total with a 6.5, consisting of a tube-to-turn combination.
He currently sits 12th on the world rankings.