UPDATE: Fanning bows out of Snapper contest
UPDATE 5.30pm: Mick Fanning has bowed out of the Quiksilver Pro, unable to make it past his round 4 opponents Owen Wright and Thomas Hermes.
In his last ever Quiky Pro, Fanning's 10.43 round 4 total wasn't enough against a rampaging Wright (17.00) and the Brazilian Hermes (11.20).
Fanning's hometown crowd, so filled with love for the man they know as 'White Lightning' and who has won at Snapper Rocks twice in the past, could not will the 36-year-old three-time world champion over the line.
The result was followed immediately by another dampener as Mikey Wright, who had crashed a wrecking ball through the competition defeating two world champions in the past two days, was also ousted in his fourth round heat.
Wright (11.20) could not overcome Brazil's Filipe Toledo (15.70) and 35-year-old Australian Adrian Buchan (14.60).
Mick Fanning has won through to round 4 of his last ever Quiksilver Pro, defeating Californian Conner Coffin in a tight contest that had Fanning's fans a little nervous along the rocks at Snapper.
Coolangatta threw up beautiful conditions for Wednesday morning's heats, and Fanning took full advantage with his first two waves by establishing a solid lead over Coffin, a second year tour surfer out of Santa Barbara.
But things got a little too close for comfort in the back half of the heat for Fanning when Coffin produced a 4.70 ride, leaving him needing a 7.07 to take the lead in the final minutes of the round.
Nothing was coming easy for Fanning and Coffin, with the Australian's solid start feeling a long way in the distance when Coffin got up on what could have been the clinching ride, only to fail to capitalise.
With Fanning unable to latch onto any waves of consequence, Coffin kept probing, and with 40 seconds remaining he was itching to pinch victory as Fanning held priority.
As the announcer counted down from 10 seconds to the end of the heat, you could sense the crowd collectively exhaling; Fanning survived, to a huge cheer from his home-town crowd.
With the sentimental favourite still in contention, the already electric morning atmosphere at Snapper Rocks should only grow and grow as White Lightning continues to chase a fairytale victory in his last Quiksilver Pro.
Fanning will finish his world tour career at the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach next month, the venue he won at as a teen wildcard 17 years ago.
In the first heat of the morning Australia's Owen Wright won through to the fourth round after taking victory over Willian Cardoso, 14.50 - 9.04.
Shortly after, Brazilian Tomas Hermes pipped American Kolohe Andino to progress through to first heat of round 4.
Fanning's round 4 heat will see him competing against defending champion Wright and the Brazilian Hermes.