Mitch Rawlins: negotiating a heavy barrel at Shark Island | Photo: APB

Mitch Rawlins is the grand winner of the 2016 OpenLive Shark Island Challenge, in Cronulla, New South Wales.

The event had some of the best conditions in years, with barreling waves occasionally hitting the eight-foot mark. The water camera angles improved the viewers' experience, and Terry McKenna shared his always engaging insights with fans in the commentary box.

Wave selection, positioning, and experience were decisive trumps for the 40-minute final heat. Despite the lowering tide, and the surfing dolphins, riders found a few deep tubes and vertical ramps.

Shaun Petersen, Shaun Pyne, Mitch Rawlins, Jase Finlay, and Lachlan Cramsie fought hard to get the best waves. With five minutes on the clock, Finlay had control over his opponents.

But a last-minute heroics by Rawlins would earn him the prestigious Shark Island Challenge title. The Gold Coast bodyboarder took off on a bomb, escaped the whitewater avalanche, and locked into a perfect barrel.

With no opportunities on the horizon and only 20 seconds on the clock, Finlay and Pyne had to settle with runner-up and third place finishes.

2016 OpenLive Shark Island Challenge | Final

1. Mitch Rawlins, 14.77
2. Jase Finlay, 13.56
3. Shaun Pyne, 13.47
4. Shaun Peterson, 9.74
5. Lachie Cramsie, 8.4