Russell Bierke: deep in the barrel at Cape Fear | Photo: Sloane/Red Bull

It was one of the most dangerous surf contests in the history of the sport. In the end, Russell Bierke won the 2016 Red Bull Cape Fear at Cape Solander, in Sydney, Australia.

On the first day of competition, 12-to-15-foot bombs were detonating in the shallow waters of Sydney's infamous surf break. For many, it was the biggest the Cape has ever been surfed.

In fact, the conditions were so wild that the organizers decided to cancel the paddle-in heats. However, the slab-riding specialists defied fear and were towed into extreme waves.

"Even though I got absolutely smashed at the end of the battle it's going to be a surf I remember for a long time, with one great wave and one of the worst wipeouts I've ever had," noted Blake Thornton.

Russell Bierke: a slab-riding specialist | Photo: Sloane/Red Bull

The maxed conditions forced an inevitable postponement of the remaining clashes. On day two, the waves were still big, solid and scary, but the life-defying factor was less present.

And at only 18, Russell Bierke stole the show by riding one of the deepest and most powerful barrels of the event. The talented South Coast surfer with a near-perfect heat score of 19.97 points.

"Thanks to Mark Mathews and Red Bull for inviting me to this event! It didn't really feel like a surf contest; I was just surfing perfect waves with a bunch of guys I look up to. The waves yesterday were scary, today was perfect. I can't believe that I won," expressed Bierke.

2016 Red Bull Cape Fear | Top 4

1. Russell Bierke
2. Ryan Hipwood
3. Koby Abberton
4. James Adams

Professional surfing is a highly competitive occupation. World title races are increasingly tight. And sometimes it all comes down to the wire.

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