Central Otago woolhandler Pagan Karauria capped possibly the south's greatest raid on a shearing championships in the North Island, when she won the New Zealand open woolhandling title at the NZ Shearing Championships in Te Kuiti on Saturday.
Her first win in the event came soon after Invercargill shearer Leon Samuels completed a double in the country's two major series' finals within just a few hours.
A special feature of the wins was the display of camaraderie which remained among winners and rivals, often seen as a unique quality of shearing sports competitions throughout the country.
For example, King Country woolhandler Keryn Herbert, who reached the final seven times but never won, and was eliminated in the semi-finals this year, was as ecstatic over the result as Karauria, congratulating the victor with a hug.
"It's awesome," Herbert said of Karauria's win.
Despite being from opposite ends of the country, the pair often travelled to competitions together.
Karauria was ready to party but, having taken over part of the shearing run of father and former champion shearer Dion Morrell, had more travel to look forward to.
She was back to Alexandra on Sunday and then off to Northland "to cook for my workers."
Meanwhile, Samuels put his emergence down to the skills, help and support passed on to him by one of his main rivals on the board - fellow Invercargill shearer Nathan Stratford.
Stratford, a former winner of both circuits, came fifth as Samuels won the National All-Breeds Circuit in the afternoon, and fourth when Samuels added the New Zealand Shears Circuit title to the kit in the evening.
Samuels' success started 14 months ago when he won the Otago open final, and took another step at the Aria Waitangi Day sports two months ago, when he became the first South Island shearer to win a crossbred final in the North Island in more than about 10 years.
The wins on Saturday were among a bag of nine triumphs for a southern wave, who were making the most of the last hurrah from a season hit by 16 competition cancellations - including premier event the Golden Shears - due to Covid-19 alert levels.
Karauria and Samuels were both part of a South Island team which on Friday night had its first inter-island shearing and woolhandling match win in the North Island in 13 years.
On the same night Karauria was named No 1-ranked open woolhandler for the season for the first time.
Additionally Rangiora-based Reuben King on Friday won the New Zealand Shears junior shearing final and, with 11 wins in his first season, was also ranked No 1 in his grade.
On Saturday he and Ashburton shearer Chase Rattray won an intermediate and junior grades development match between teams from a North Canterbury circuit and two New Zealand Shears selections.
The other southern triumph was that of Waikaka shearer Braydon Clifford, named No 1 ranked senior shearer for the season, although he missed out on a place in the NZ Shears senior final.
Taking some back for the north were open shearers Rowland Smith, of Maraekakaho, and David Buick, of Pongaroa.
Smith won the six-man NZ Shears open final for an eighth time, and the fifth in a row, while Buick on Friday won the North Island Shearer of the Year title.
The pair, along with Samuels, shut out Hawke's Bay shearer John Kirkpatrick who, at the age of 50, was runner-up in the open, NZ Shears and North Island Shearer of the Year finals, and third in the All-Breeds final.
Eketahuna shearer Paora Moanaroa won the senior shearing final on Saturday night, to give Wairarapa a third shearing win for the week, after Buick's win on Friday night, when the intermediate shearing final was won by Joseph Gordon, of Masterton.
Adding to Wairarapa's role in the championships was the recognition of Gordon's younger brother, Adam Gordon, as the No 1-ranked Intermediate based on all performances during the season.
Former Masterton woolhandler Azuredee Paku was part of a King Country domination of the opening day on Thursday, when Herbert won a North Island Circuit final, and senior-grader Paku scored a NZ Shears title and No 1 ranking double, which was repeated by workmate Rahera Kerr in the junior grade.
Completing the home competition area's successes was teenager Sean Fagan's novice shearing win on Friday.
Matawai shearer Catherine Mullooly won the Women's final on Friday.
The season-ending New Zealand Shears attracted 217 shearers and woolhandlers, which president Claire Grainger said was the biggest entry for many years.
Results from the final day of the 2021 2021 New Zealand Shearing Championships
New Zealand Shears Open final (20 sheep): Rowland Smith (Maraekakaho) 16min 14.37sec, 55.319pts, 1; John Kirkpatrick (Pakipaki) 16min 12.73sec, 55.887pts, 2; David Buick (Pongaroa) 16min 1.19sec, 56.36pts, 3; Hemi Braddick (Eketahuna) 16min 31.29sec, 57.765pts, 4; Brett Roberts (Mataura) 16min 59.36sec, 60.218pts, 5; Mark Grainger (Te Kuiti) 60.229pts, 6.
New Zealand Shears Circuit final (15 sheep – 5 merino, 5 second-shear, 5 lambs): Leon Samuels (Invercargill) 17min 25.45sec, 67.073pts, 1; John Kirkpatrick (Pakipaki) 17min 38.52sec, 67.659pts, 2; Paerata Abraham (Masterton) 17min 39.51sec, 67.976pts, 3; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 18min 14.82sec, 69.541pts, 4; David Buick (Pongaroa) 17min 33.36sec, 70.201pts, 5; Rowland Smith (Maraekakaho) 18min 17.57sec, 71.812pts, 6.
National All-Breeds Circuit final (16 sheep – 4 merino, 4 longwool, 4 second-shear, 4 lambs): Leon Samuels (Invercargill) 18min 11.8sec, 65.465pts, 1; Troy Pyper (Cheviot) 18min 10.71sec, 66.599pts, 2; John Kirkpatrick (Pakipaki) 19min 14.58sec, 70.479pts, 3; Axle Reid (Taihape/Waipawa) 18min 47.07sec, 71.855pts, 4; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 20min 9.78sec, 72.115pts, 5; Ringakaha Paewai (Gore) 19min 49.79sec, 75.865pts, 6.
New Zealand Shears Open Plate (10 sheep): Leon Samuels (Invercargill) 9min 59.34sec, 38.367pts, 1; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 9min 49.29sec, 38.665pts, 2; Paerata Abraham (Masterton) 9min 40.23sec, 39.412pts, 3; Troy Pyper (Invercargill/Cheviot) 9min 25.29sec, 41.765pts, 4; Toa Henderson (Kaiwaka) 9min 12sec, 43pts, 5; Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti) 9min 11.83sec, 44.292pts, 6.
New Zealand Shears Open Challenger (10 sheep, shearers who have not won an Open final): Ethan Pankhurst (Masterton) 10min 37.46sec, 39.773pts, 1; Lionel Taumata (Taumarunui/Gore) 10min 38.17sec, 40.909pts, 2; Simon Goss (Mangamahu) 10min 36.42sec, 41.921pts, 3; Ricci Stevens (Napier) 10min 24.06sec, 42.303pts, 4; Llion Jones (Te Kuiti) 10min 52.45sec, 43.223pts, 5; Darren Alexander (Hastings) 11min 53.48sec, 43.474pts, 6.
New Zealand Shears Senior Championship final (12 sheep): Paora Moanaroa (Eketahuna) 12min 39.28sec, 45.548pts, 1; Reuben Alabaster (Taihape) 12min 23.58sec, 46.263pts, 2; Chris Dickson (Masterton) 11min 51.39sec, 46.32pts, 3; Tama Nahona (Kaiwaka) 12min 6.11sec, 49.306pts, 4; Ruka Braddick (Eketahuna) 13min 23.01sec, 49.901pts, 5; Gethin Lewis (Wales) 12min 40.88sec, 51.794pts, 6.
New Zealand Shears Intermediate/Junior Development Teams Challenge: Canterbury Black (Chase Rattray, Reuben King) 9min 39.18sec, 36.359pts, 1; NZ Shears One (Matthew Smith, Keahrey Manson) 8min 37.67sec, 36.884pts, 3; NZ Shears 2 (Topia Barrowcliffe, Maureen Chaffey, 9min 2.16sec, 37.308pts, 3; Canterbury Red (Ben Forrester, Timo Hicks) 9min 8.98sec, 38.649pts, 4.
New Zealand Shears Open final (6 second-sheer sheep): Pagan Karauria (Alexandra) 54.78pts, 1; Joel Henare (Gisborne) 67.37pts, 2; Brittany Tibble (Gisborne) 74.53pts, 3; Monica Potae (Kennedy Bay) 78.53pts, 4; Angela Stevens (Napier) 93.22pts, 5.