Two-time world champion John John Florence will be aiming to continue his love affair with the Margaret River Pro when the WSL event kicks off in huge waves on Sunday.
Florence is the winner of the past two Margaret River Pros, and he's in need of another strong display after making a slow start to the Australian circuit.
The 28-year-old opened his 2021 season with a win in Hawaii, but since then he has slumped to a 17th-placed finish at the Newcastle Cup, and a ninth-placed result at the Narrabeen Classic.
Surprisingly, Florence's two early exits came at the hands of Australian tour rookie Morgan Cibilic.
But beating Florence in Margaret River is a different kettle of fish, and the Hawaiian is feeling confident ahead of Sunday's opening heats.
"I'm so happy to be back in West Aus," Florence said.
"I have a lot of great memories here and it's a place that really suits my surfing.
"I've already had some fun waves and am settling in well. It looks as if the opening days of the window will have some solid surf, which is exciting."
Brazil's two-time world champion Gabriel Medina has notoriously struggled at Margaret River.
But he enters the event in hot form and as world No.1 after recording two runner-ups and a win from the three stops so far this season.
"I've never had a good result here, but I'm keen to keep my momentum going from this strong start I've had," Medina said.
"I'm looking forward to the solid surf that is coming for the event. I don't like heats where there isn't opportunity for everyone so with big surf everyone gets a chance to show what they have got.
"I'm ready for anything, I'm not scared of anyone, I just want to perform well. I just want to play the game, and I'm looking for a good result."
Huge conditions are set to greet the surfers for Sunday's opening heats, with American Caroline Marks revealing she has already broken one of her boards in four places during a recent wipeout.
Australia's seven-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore will take on countrywoman Isabella Nichols and Costa Rican Brisa Hennessy when their heat kicks off.
Sally Fitzgibbons and Tyler Wright have been grouped with Sage Erickson, with the top two surfers progressing through to round three, and the third facing the elimination second round.
Australian Associated Press