A rusty crane barge being towed by a tug appeared on the course, wreaking havoc for competitors caught in line.
Flood was already clear, and with main rival Michele Eray stuck in traffic, the Manly LSC star careered away to win the women’s section in one hour, 51 mins and 46 secs.
Freshwater’s Tim Jacobs also flew the peninsula sporting flag with distinction, smashing the entire men’s field in one hour, 34 mins and one second.
Jacobs said the key was racing against himself, not his competitors.
“I relaxed early on and then seemed to find a nice rhythm,” he said.
“I got ahead of the rest of the guys and never saw them again.”
Close rival Dawid Mocke from South Africa paid tribute to Jacobs’ race tactics.
“I lost concentration at a vital moment and that was it, race done,” he said.
“Tim is a great competitor and deserved the win.”