S.A. National Spearfishing Championships

Durban next year July 2003

Spearfishing in Natal is about to hot up because the S.A. National Spearfishing Championships are being held in Durban next year July 2003.

Commonly referred to as “Nationals” this event is the pinnacle of spearfishing competition in this country and this is why:

Each province can select a maximum of four teams of four divers to represent their province at Nationals. In Natal we have three divers per team and sacrifice the fourth team member for a top man to handle the boat during the competition. The selection of these divers is orchestrated by a selection committee made up of the Natal Underwater Union (NUU) Spearfishing Officer and an experienced representative from each of Natal’s two largest clubs, Wahoo Diving Club and Durban Undersea Club. The top twelve divers are determined from a series of three competitions called “Trials” held to very strict rules and regulations similar to those of Nationals.

Trials for Natal start on the first Saturday of February 2003 (1 February 2003) and on each subsequent first Saturday of each month until three trials are had.

Because Nationals take place off boats and World Champs take place off boats so Trials are dived from boats. To eliminate the chance of cheating and in the interest of fairness divers names are draw from a hat and thus assigned a boat to dive from that day. Only the skippers are sure of which boat they are going to be diving from.

Everyone is welcome to enter trials and since Nationals are being held in Durban next year I encourage you all to try. When Nationals are held in other areas there are costs like accommodation and traveling fuel to worry about, not only for yourself but a third of your top man’s as well.

To enter trials you have to pay R400 and phone me Richard Bruno 083 289 5587 by Wednesday the 29th January 2003. That R400 will go towards the four teams costs during Nationals and is also a token of your commitment to competing in Trials and at Nationals.

After meeting divers are drawn onto their respective boats and a meeting place at sea is decided. Once all the boats meet at sea the trial can begin. (No spearing is allowed before this time.)

After beaching all divers are required to load their fish into containers and proceed to the weigh-in.

Points are allocated to each divers catch as follows.

So that one day’s conditions can be equated to the next days each divers points are calculated as a percentage of the top divers. The top diver scores 100%.

After three trials each divers top two percentages are averaged and thus ranked.

If a diver makes the top twelve in Natal Trials they are divided into the A, B, C and Development Team. All twelve divers are awarded NUU Colors (Dolphins).

For a diver to get Natal Colors (Wildebeest) they must have dived in the A, B or C team at least three times and at least once in the A team or if never in the A team then they must have come in the top ten at Nationals once.

The Natal Underwater Union Awards three trophies each year to competitive divers based on Trials results.

Every 2 years the world Spearfishing Championships take place and the highest ranking Springbok is awarded the beautiful Shaun Atlas Trophy, a Len Jones Bronze of a Red Steenbras, a fish fittingly endemic to South Africa and one we are most proud of.

- 1996 Len de Beer
- 1998 Len de Beer
- 2000 John Girzda

World Champs will take place in Brazil this November 2002.

Trials are the first step to Nationals and National are the first step to Springbok Trials so start practicing.

Good catches

Richard