A DRAW featuring seven of the world's top 10 women and three of the best men was unveiled last Wednesday, January 23 - the strongest Surfest in years.
Headlining the six-star men's and women's pros are world champions Joel Parkinson and Stephanie Gilmore, but neither will receive an easy run at Merewether.
Competing alongside five-time world No. 1 Gilmore will be fellow top-10 surfers Sally Fitzgibbons (second), Courtney Conlogue (fifth), Malia Manuel (sixth), Lakey Petersen (seventh), Laura Enever (eighth) and Paige Hareb (10th).
Other notable entries are the Central Coast's three-time winner Rebecca Woods and Peruvian former world champion Sofia Mulanovich.
Merewether's 2009 Surfest champion, Philippa Anderson, is the 15th seed.
Joining Parkinson in the men's draw will be Brazilian world No. 5 Adriano de Souza and No. 9 Julian Wilson.
Merewether's Ryan Callinan received a wildcard into the round of 96, and Jake Sylvester has a wildcard from the Association of Surfing Professionals into the round of 144.