No one could deny Paige Hareb the opportunity to put her full skillset on display in the opening rounds of the World Surf League Founders' Cup.

At the inaugural teams event at the Surf Ranch in California, the Kiwi didn't waste any time making her mark. With no one else in the water the battle over waves against, the 27-year-old showed an impressive display both on the face and in the tube, helping to lift the World Team toward a shot at the title on Sunday (NZ time).

After two of three qualification runs, the World Team sat third in the standings with a combined 75.33 points.

The team, comprised of South Africans Jordy Smith and Bianca Buitendag, Japan's Kanoa Igarashi and French Polynesia's Michel Bourez, head into Monday's final run trailing the leaders by 5.51 points.

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Paige Hareb rides out of the barrel during the World Surf League Founders' Cup. Photo / WSL
Paige Hareb rides out of the barrel during the World Surf League Founders' Cup. Photo / WSL

Competing in teams of five, each athlete rides six waves over three runs – a right and a left each time – with their top score in each direction counting toward the team total.

The top three teams after three qualification runs move on to Monday's final.

Team USA, comprised of Kelly Slater, John John Florence, Lakey Peterson, Carissa Moore and Kolohe Andino, put on a display in their second run, posting seven of their 10 current counting scores. Team Australia finished the day in second, with Team Brazil and Team Europe having some work to do in their final run.

Hareb opened her account with a 7.53 on the left and a 7.93 on the right. Her opening left stayed, but an impressive 15-second barrel ride saw her improve on her right – posting an 8.33. Her World Team will more than likely improve their total in their final qualification run on Monday morning, with Igarashi counting just a 3.87 for his left-hand ride, while Buitendag could easily improve her 4.93 on the right.

Should Hareb's World Team hold onto their spot in the top three, the Kiwi will surf against a member from each of the other two qualifying teams in a heat. The finals would be comprised of five heats – each member of the teams surfing in one each – with points given out based on where the surfer finished. The team with the most points wins the Cup.

Standings after two of three qualification rounds

1. Team USA – 80.83

Kolohe Andino – 8.80 / 7.43

Carissa Moore – 7.43 / 9.27

John John Florence – 3.53 / 7.40

Lakey Peterson – 8.37 / 6.43

Kelly Slater – 9.07 / 8.43

2. Team Australia – 75.82
Tyler Wright – 6.40 / 9.33
Stephanie Gilmore – 8.63 / 8.23
Joel Parkinson – 3.53 / 7.40
Matt Wilkinson – 8.37 / 6.43
Mick Fanning – 9.07 / 8.43

3. World Team – 75.33
Michel Bourez – 8.80 / 7.50
Jordy Smith – 9.07 / 8.87
Bianca Buitendag – 7.60 / 4.93
Paige Hareb – 7.53 / 8.33
Kanoa Igarashi – 8.83 / 3.87

4. Team Brazil – 72.30
Filipe Toldeo – 7.83 / 10.00
Tiana Hinckel – 4.17 / 5.50
Adriano de Souza – 6.83 / 7.93
Silvana Lima – 5.67 / 8.33
Gabriel Medina – 6.87 / 9.17

5. Team Europe – 72.12
Frederico Morais – 7.17 / 6.77
Frankie Harrer – 5.87 / 3.83
Johanne Defay – 6.67 / 7.00
Jeremy Flores – 8.47 / 8.77
Leonardo Fioravanti – 8.00 / 9.57