A South Island-based Chilean shearer who has no competitions in his home country has become the first South American to win an open-class shearing final.
Luis Pincol made the breakthrough at the Peninsula Duvauchelle Shears on January 8.
It was another milestone in the 35-year-old's dream of becoming a top international competitor.
Pincol's dream started when he moved to New Zealand to shear in 2012 and has included representing Chile at the World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships in Invercargill in 2017 and two years later in France, the only country he has competed in apart from New Zealand.
From Porvenir in southern Chile and in New Zealand with wife Susana and their two children, Pincol found a happy hunting ground at the Duvauchelle A and P Show, having previously landed senior final wins, in 2016 and 2019.
These were part of a haul of 20 wins in an extended senior career of five seasons, which saw him graded up to open, after seven wins in 2018-2019.
His sole A-grade senior show win was a New Zealand Corriedale Championship victory in 2017.
Duvauchelle was the first competition in New Zealand in seven weeks and the first to take place under code orange of the Covid-19 Protection Framework
There were only 16 entries across four classes and just six in the open grade but Pincol still had to make a significant step-up to produce the win.
It was his first 20-sheep final and he won with the best mix of time and quality points - second off the board, in 20min 25sec - and best total quality points.
Making a rare appearance on the competition board, show president and shearing convener James Dwyer was first to finish, in 18min 48sec, but had to settle for fourth overall, winning by 1.1pts from Oamaru-based Willy McSkimming.
Third was Canterbury shearer Shaun Burgess, who managed the Chile teams and ran a shearing course with Pincol in Chile in 2019.
Asked if he thought he'd done enough to win at the time he switched off the machine for the last time, Pincol, who works for Waimate contractor Warren White, said:
"I'm not shearing that fast in the shed, actually. I always try to do my best, but sometimes I just surprise myself."
There was also a milestone in the senior final, won by Marlborough shearer Alice Watson - the first senior win by a female competitor for almost two years.
She won by 2.65pts from Ashburton shearer Chase Rattray, who was going for three in a row at Duvauchelle, after winning the junior final in 2020 and the intermediate final last year.
Reuben King, from Hawke's Bay but based in Rangiora, had an expected win in the intermediate final with just one opponent and a string of junior and intermediate wins over the last 15 months.
The junior final provided a comfortable victory for immediate past president Tania King, one of several from the Peninsula farming community who took to the stands to provide the opposition and a shearing spectacle for the crowd.
Results from Peninsula Duvauchelle Shears at Duvauchelle on Saturday, January 8, 2022:
Open final (20 sheep): Luis Pincol (Chile/Waimate) 20min 25sec, 67.7pts, 1; Willy McSkimming (Oamaru) 20min 41sec, 68.8pts, 2; Shaun Burgess (Rakaia) 21min 5sec, 69.85pts, 3; James Dwyer (Duvauchelle) 18min 48sec, 71.55pts, 4.
Senior final (10 sheep): Alice Watson (Blenheim) 13min 47sec, 49.55pts, 1; Chase Rattray (Ashburton) 14min 18sec, 52.2pts, 2; Edward Harrington (Akaroa) 14min 11sec, 53.15pts, 3; Sam Bryan (Darfield) 15min 39sec, 60.45pts, 4.
Intermediate final (6 sheep): Reuben King (Rangiora) 10min 14sec, 35.03pts, 1; Barry Thompson (Pigeon Bay) 11min 41sec, 53.72pts, 2.
Junior final (2 sheep): Tania Kelly (Banks Peninsula) 7min 6sec, 48.3pts, 1; Hannah Johns (Paua Bay) 7min 21sec, 53.05pts, 2; George Masefield (Gough's Bay) 5min 17sec, 54.85pts, 3; Glen Court (Duvauchelle) 8min 11sec, 59.05pts, 4.