It was only fitting that as Cronulla world tour hopeful Connor O'Leary was tearing through his heats at the US Open at Huntington Beach, the last Cronulla surfer to make the world tour was getting back to his club roots and taking home this year's SMP Northies Alley Masters.
There was nine hours of non-stop surfing as the five divisions battled it out in fantastic early conditions at North Cronulla Beach on Saturday with the under-14 title going to the new NSW under-12 state champion Kash Brown, who chose wisely and didn't disappoint.
The over-45s is one of the most competitive divisions with Ritchie Brown and Ricky Marshall going wave for wave with Brown taking the double points and bragging rights.
In the women's event it was April Davey, who has a stranglehold on the Cronulla Boardriders Women's trophy, that was never headed in the left handers with fellow goofy footer Grace Gosby the runner-up.
The under-16s is Cronulla's biggest age division and the juniors went to town in the early rounds making the most of the good three foot conditions.
The low tide and wind made the final one of attrition with Jordy Turansky getting the nod from last year's winner Oliver Watson.
The Alley Masters blue jacket and shark teeth trophy is awarded to the open winner and with a star studded field of ex champs and hopefuls the final came down to junior champ Jay Brown, club champion Jordan Widenstrom, 2006 champ Kirk Flintoff, 2005 winner Blake Johnston, Australian rep Hayden Blair and Surfing NSW CEO Luke Madden late in the day.
It was former world tour surfer Flintoff making a serious effort who took the win with a massive air on his last wave scoring a nine-point ride and robbing his old junior sparring partner Johnston of a dream comeback after 11 years of not surfing competitively.
In a magnanimous gesture at the Northies presentation, Flintoff gave his contest winnings to the under-16 champ Turansky but wore the blue jacket home.
O'Leary took some great strides at the Vans US Open of Surfing, a World Surf League men's and women's Qualifying Series 10,000 point event, and one of the world's largest action sports festivals.
In average two-to-four foot waves at Huntington Beach, California, O'Leary picked up 5000 qualifying points to finish equal fifth behind Brazilian Yago Dora, jumping up to eighth on the WQS rankings.
He has 12,500 points with approximately 20,000 needed to qualify for next year's Championship Tour.
Cronulla surfers have had more then they could handle over the last few days with a 4-6 ft south swell wasted on the beaches due to low tides and bad sandbanks-the reefs and points have had some good waves but we really need the swell to drop and reform some new bottom contours for the beaches to spread the crowds.
The winds have been good but the forecast isn't with this swell dropping from today's 3-4 ft to dead flat on Friday morning with hard off-shores just to make things harder.
Sunday we see an increase in the swell to 3-4 ft before another mad Monday increase with waves in the 6-10 ft range predicted with howling sou-westers
Peruvian teammates Lucca Mesinasand Daniella Rosas were crowned Short board Gold Medalists at the Lima 2019 Pan American games on Sunday, which makes them almost certain to earn the first qualification slots for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The top eligible man and woman from the event are to qualify for Surfing's Olympic debut next year, slots which will be confirmed after the 2020 ISA World Surfing Games. With the limit of two athletes per nation at Tokyo 2020, the only scenario in which Mesinas and Rosas would not qualify is if two compatriots of the same gender qualify ahead of them at the 2020 World Surfing Games-This is the South american legacy the Games will bring thanks to the President Fernando Aguerre.