The Dolphin’s Challenge, newly introduced, is a great concept as it will allow all Dolphin’s to enter a fish they have speared whilst engaging in either a social environment or other organized spearfishing event, basically it is available to enter every day of the year.
The inaugural event will run from 17th November 2017 until 30th June 2018 with the presentation of awards and prizes handed out at our now legendary Christmas in July bash.
How it works: In a nutshell you enter a fish you feel appropriate for that specie and if it is still in the top ten of its category at the end of the event you will receive points for that fish (10pts for heaviest, 9pts for 2nd heaviest, etc. – see rules for more detail). The twenty categories targeted can be readily speared in NSW waters, such as Bonito, Bream, Goatfish, Morwong (any), Kingfish (any), Snapper; also included Squid (not Cuttlefish) and Crayfish.
There is also a category for Open Largest Fish Pelagic, and, Open Largest Fish Reef. (Only one entry into any eligible category per fish.)
Each competitor can only present two entries per category over the eight-month period, strategy is wise.
This year’s prizes and trophies will equal approx $2,000!
The NSW Championships this year were hosted by the Central Coast Sea Lions. A rock hopping only event this year’s championship saw great conditions with near flat seas and slight winds complemented with viso ranging from 8-14m saw two great days of rock hopping for the 49 keen competitors. The scoresheet was held under Sydney Metro Zone scoresheet. Seven Dolphins made the trek up to the Central Coast and were well rewarded.
Day 1: Bateau Bay
So with zero knowledge of where to swim here, I went looking for a few of my old mates from the Sea Lions, big wave surfer and charter operator Ian Stewart didn’t let me down and gave some great advice to the Dolphins on the terrain we could encounter. Benny Bayfield rocks up now grinning from ear to ear, he has been scouting the coastline and has devised a plan, which involved a lot of running, with this event if you choose you can go on foot a distance before entering the water.
At the start many divers run down the steep hill and turn left and right, I waited up the top to see who went where and I decided then to get away from the masses and to stroll along the path and turned left awhile before entering the surf, a lucky choice of direction as I landed 14 species with 563 points (90%).
Ex Dolphins member and President of the USFA Peter Saunders had the overall lead with 11 fish including a cracking 4.4 kilo Giant Boarfish, probably the best fish I have seen weighed in a comp in a few years. It was good for me to see two V’s (Veterans) at the top of the leader board.
Ben Bayfield (79%), Dez (68%) and Evan (66%) were all still in the hunt for Day 2. I had a feeling the fitness of these guys would show on Day 2 with the location being announced at the weigh in – Norah Head, “The Bull” is offshore a little and it would be a drag race to see who could get their first.
Day 2: Norah Head
What a race! Evan had winged feet and took off like a shot dog, his Banks Board strapped over his shoulders. Spearos were saying in disbelief as they reached the top of the stairs at the Lighthouse “hey that guy is over-arming out to the Bull!” That’s how fast Evan was to the water before everyone else and he had the Bull to himself for a while.
When I finally arrived to the Bull, one hour later… there were great fish all over it, and many of the competitors elected to fish here. One interesting specie landed was Parry Gryllis 1100gm Spotted Sweetlip, a fish not common in Sydney. I saw all of our guys out at the Bull, Pat Mullins our champion Grand Master had some bad luck with a stuck spear and he spent 30 minutes dislodging it. Parry and Paul ‘Mudcrab’ Marsh had great scores and PB’s on the day, they fished very keenly. The Bondi Brats or Maroubra Marauders, or as Roso calls them the “that tinny trio!” each had a great strategy and I witnessed how hard they were fishing.
Derrick pulling out a great 710pts with second on the day and 95%, however it was Benny’s day and being consistent with 659pts and 88% had the edge on Dez from Day 1 to take out his first NSW Open Spearfishing Championships.
I took out the Veterans Championship by the skin of a bee’s’; Pat Mullins is the Grand Master Champion; we had four Dolphins in the top 10; Ben winning Seniors as well, with Dez 2nd and Evan 3rd. Paul ‘Mudcrab Marsh was 15th ans Parry 19th overall. If ‘the 3 Amigos’ had remembered to fill out their 3 man team sheet they would have smashed that trophy as well by several hundred points.
Thanks to the Sea Lions and Al Cooke their President in particular for hosting the event. Al was very appreciative of the Dolphins as we all assisted in scores on Day 1 with him and ran a set of scales on Day 2. Well done guys!
Next year the Championships will be held in the South Coast of NSW and is always well attended as the locations are very desirable spearfishing areas. I hope to see you all there.
Conditions: Westerly winds with strong gusts up to 25knots during the competition, a North Easter did appear out of nowhere approximately 11am to 11.40am where the breeze swung back to the West and increased steadily throughout the day. Seas pancake flat with a non-existent swell up until the NorEaster came rising to about 1m dying out as quickly as the wind change did. Harbour was choppy later in the day. Visibility was excellent south up to 20m while North was so-so. South today was the way to go with those running north not overly happy.
The Dolphins had 19 sign on and weigh in, the Dragons surprisingly, where we thought they would come out en masse, had only 10 members, many believing the event would be cancelled and not bothering to get out of bed. We smashed them, everywhere, overall points 3975 to their 2769.
Dolphin’s Junior, son of a gun Aaron Puckeridge continued his fine form taking out his successive Alliman with a splendid 22 species and 990 points. Quite achiever Derrick Cruz runner up with a solid 888 points and 16 species there were some splendid fish in his catch. Ian Puckeridge 3rd 845 points; Grizzly Whaler Steve Wayne made an appearance to land 813 points for 4th. Paul “Mud Crab” Marsh gaining a PB with 517 and 5 species of Leather Jacket for 11th, Sam Krywulycz also a PB score with 471 and 14th overall.
Bream 1050gm – 84pts – Derrick Cruz
Red Rock Cod 1655gm – 99pts – Derrick Cruz
Red Rock Cod 1400gms – 84pts – Sam Krywulycz
Yellow tail Kingfish 5685gm (largest fish on day for SSD) – Parry Gryllis
Deep Body Jacket 2400gm – 96pts – Pete Manolias (club record)
Rock Blackfish 3400gm – 68pts – Sam Krywulycz
Yellow Spot Surgeon 1850gm – 74pts – Derrick Cruz
Tassie 2200gm – 88pts – Aaron Puckeridge
King Wrasse – 1075gm – 64pts – Ian Puckeridge
and of course the Clown Triggerfish – 885gm – 43pts – Derrick Cruz
Dez donated the Triggerfish to Mark McGruther at the Australian Museum and it is only the second Clown Triggerfish in their collection, Mark was stoked to have it.
Pete’s Deep Body is a sensational fish and it ties with 3 others of the same weight going back to the 80’s, amazing, the three spearos all former much loved characters being Froggo Goldsmith, Dave Andrews and “Rocky” Rob Thomas, Rocky came to the 60th.
Special mention made to the Harbour master, Scotty Bailey whose boat always contributes along with Wade’s Seydel very important harbour species. Alex Delpopolo just missing out on a club record Fan Belly weighing just shy of the 800gms that is the current record.
The Dolphins won the 4 man Team convincingly with over 3300pts scored. Overall we lead the competition by 3 points with the Dragons in second place. Derrick is leading the Open individual Championship, Benny Bayfield close behind and breathing down their necks is Evan Leeson in 3rd other Dolphins feature in the Top 20. Nine Dolphins in the top 20, just fantastic!
Thanks to Parry & Dave Rogers for doing the scales, and Pat Mullins, who is in fine form and came 16th on the day, for keeping us all entertained as always.
Hope to see you all with sharp spears, and wits, at the next one at Gunnamatta Bay.
Congratulations to Ben Thomson on a win over Ian Puckeridge on day 3. It was hard diving with everyone giving 100%. This was a highly decorated field of divers where missing or losing a fish was very expensive!! 2 or 3 fish over 3 days of competition was enough to see big changes in positions. Jarod Eriksson lost a marlin today after being towed out to sea.
Ian Puckeridge shot a State record Remora and Adam Smith shot a nice Mangrove Jack.
Congratulations to all divers and Thank You for attending.
A big Thank You to Adrian Wayne, his partner Jackie, Matt Poulton and Lee Dalli for their excellent work to run this comp. Also a great Thank You to Oliver Wady for running a very professional weigh in. Brett Waddell provided excellent food for starving divers!! Thank You!!
The next Alliman Shield will be held at Long Reef on the second Sunday (9th) in September as Fathers Day is on the first.
OzHarvest is a non-denominational charity that rescues excess food which would otherwise be discarded. OzHarvest will gladly accept any donated fish and often put on a BBQ as thanks for all of us as we finish our dive at weigh-in.
Unfortunately due to bad weather this comp was cancelled.
Our club took out the day with a score of 4007, and with Paul Rosso and Ian Puckeridge taking out 1st and 2nd place overall… Well done guys.
A special mention also to M Morris in 5th, Aaron Puckeridge in 7th, and Emanual Bova in 8th. That gives the SSD 5 spots in the top 10.