Cronulla locals and visitors are locked in a fiery battle that's certain to end in tears.
For the past few Sundays, they've gone head-to-head for the right to be named a "Chilli Fiend".
It's part of the second annual Chilli Festival, which wraps up this weekend (August 25) at Northies Hotel.
Head bartender Dean Povic came up with the idea last year after the success of the venue's Espresso Festival.
"It started with a few [chilli] cocktails, then we decided to make it a chilli eating competition," he said.
"Last year it went off... so we said let's do it again and make it bigger and better. We're obviously learning from it and adapting it the more we go. So far it's been great [but] I don’t understand how those people can survive!"
Round One was filled with laughs - and tears - as eight contestants tried to eat their way to the prize basket.
Getting ready for the showdown (Images/Peter Oglos)
MC James Barry says the competition creates a positive community atmosphere, and has grown significantly in only a year.
"The atmosphere this year is really good, we've had almost double the sign-ups of last year," he said. "Even the audience turn-out [for the first] week was close to what we had at the finals last time."
"I think it’s a better system having a winner every week, rather than a finals at the end, because we got to the finals last year and it was all the chilli eating pros, and they were just stone-faced killers.
"I think the biggest thing we didn’t expect was that people would get through so many of the chillies. You watch chilli eating competitions online and people get knocked out early. In Cronulla, they got up to the lollipop - no problem."
Week One featured an intense stand-off between contestants *Nate and *Susan.
When it came to who could keep a "Toe of Satan" lollipop in their mouths the longest, it was Nate who took home the prize.
- Peter Oglos