Jase Finlay: he knows Shark Island too well | Photo: APB

Jase Finlay has taken out the prestigious 2017 Shark Island Challenge in New South Wales.

The 20th anniversary of the event got underway in wind-affected, four-to-six-foot waves at the notorious Australian slab break.

Twenty-five riders from all across the nation surfed at least two rounds, and their best three waves counted for making it to the five-man final.

The spot pumped its classic deep and hollow right-hand barrels, but there were also a few occasional left-handers pumping down the line under sunny skies and heavy showers.

The 40-minute final had smooth and clean waves, but the bodyboarders had to select their options carefully. Otherwise, the low tide would slam them into the shallow reef.

Finlay beat Alex Leon, Lachlan Cramsie, Shaun Pyne, and Chris Deller in the ultimate showdown.

"For me, it's the most heralded competition there is, and I have literally dreamed of winning since I was 11 years old, watching all the VHS of the very first event in 1997!" said Jase Finlay after happily raising the event's trophy.

The bodyboarder from the south coast of New South Wales had already finished fifth (2013), fourth (2014), third (2015), and second (2016), so he had to win in 2017.

The "Best Barrel" went to Lachlan Cramsie. Finlay also collected the "Best Air" for a stunning air reverse, and Alex Leon, the APB Tour CEO, earned the "Heaviest Wipeout" award.

The Shark Island Challenge is a specialty contest sanctioned by the Association of Professional Bodyboarders (APB).

2017 Shark Island Challenge | Final

1. Jase Finlay
2. Shaun Pyne
3. Chris Deller
4. Alex Leon
5. Lachlan Cramsie

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