Reigning and 8X World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) won the event in 2003 and is predicting conditions akin to those he reveled in that year.
"There is a big swell later this week in the window," Slater said. "That should make for big rights out the back like in '03. That is probably good for all of us looking for a world title result here. I think bigger rights definitely make it easier for Mick to do well. Taj won Brazil twice in small conditions."
Slater will meet Australian rookie Kai Otton and local replacement surfer Fabio Carvalho in Heat 9 of Round 1.
The next call on competition status will be made tomorrow at 8am. Logon to www.aspworldtour.com for more!
Round 1 Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Dean Morrison (AUS), Cory Lopez (USA), Heitor Alves (BRA)
Heat 2: Pancho Sullivan (HAW), Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA), Jihad Khodr (BRA)
Heat 3: Taylor Knox (USA), Frederick Patacchia (HAW), Simao Romao (BRA)
Heat 4: Jeremy Flores (FRA), Ricky Basnett (ZAF), Jean da Silva (BRA)
Heat 5: Bede Durbidge (AUS), Greg Emslie (ZAF), William Cordoso (BRA)
Heat 6: Bobby Martinez (USA), Phillip Macdonald (AUS), Renato Galvao (BRA)
Heat 7: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Diego Rosa (BRA)
Heat 8: Mick Fanning (AUS), Bruce Irons (HAW), Guga Arruda (BRA)
Heat 9: Kelly Slater (USA), Kai Otton (AUS), Fabio Carvalho (BRA)
Heat 10: Taj Burrow (AUS), Luke Stedman (AUS), Marco Polo (BRA)
Heat 11: CJ Hobgood (USA), Raioni Monteiro (BRA), Peterson Rosa (BRA)
Heat 12: Tom Whitaker (AUS), Bernardo Miranda (BRA), Gabe Kling (USA)
Heat 13: Michael Campbell (AUS), Leonardo Neves (BRA), Mark Occhilupo (AUS)
Heat 14: Royden Bryson (ZAF), Josh Kerr (AUS), Shaun Cansdell (AUS)
Heat 15: Chris Ward (USA), Troy Brooks (AUS), Dayyan Neve (AUS)
Heat 16: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Neco Padaratz (BRA), Victor Ribas (BRA)