South African Spearfishing Championships 2009

Location

The south coast from Port Edward to Hibberdene was chosen as the Nationals area with this being broken into three parts. Port Edward to Ramsgate was the most southerly area, middle area was Ramsgate to Port Shepstone and the third area was Port Shepstone to Hibberdene. This section of the coast has a lot of very good sandstone reef with lots of caves and is good for class bottom fish.

Australian team waiting out to sea off Park Rynie Day 2 National spearfishing championships 2009

Day One

Nationals was scheduled to be dived from Monday 4 May to Friday 8 May, two days of individual competition and two days of team events with the compulsory rest day in-between. With a big thunder storm the day before the first individual day it was doubtful whether it could be dived in the selected areas and the reserve area of Deep Scottburgh would have to be used. Port Edward to Ramsgate however had reasonable visibility still after all the rain and this was chosen for the first days spearfishing. Visibility was a good twenty foot with hardly any current but cold water on the bottom affected some of the reefs in the area and there was a lot of suspension in the water. The divers that had been scouting the area the week before did very well and day one saw the Cape divers scoring high.

Day Two

Unfortunately with water visibility not the best in the chosen areas it was voted to move the second day of competition to Deep Scottburgh where the viz was good. Day one and two were absolute pearlers weather wise with flat seas and not much wind. The area chosen was Green Point to Park Rynie Ski-boat base with no outside limit so that 19 fathoms could be included in the area. Most boats raced off to this spot at the start and the first boat was rewarded with three nice tropicals before too many divers frightened off most of the class fish. The current on Deep Scottburgh was moderate south north with good visibility but a marked thermocline from forty foot down. Not many sharks seen with the very cold water on the bottom but one of the Aussie team was buzzed by a big white that was very interested.

Day Three

Once again the area was Deep Scottburgh with the boundaries being Umkomaas River to Sezela. This unusual choice seemed to be chosen for specific spots to fall within the area and did not seem right to me. It was the first day of the team event and there was a moderate southerly predicted to get stronger by mid morning. There was a very strong south to north current running and visibility was good out on the deeper spots but inshore was milky from all the river water about. Good catches weighed-in by most teams but the format of not weighing an individuals catch did not spark much interest and the second day of team diving was called off as most provinces had had enough. The full results are elsewhere on the site.

Comment

Once again petty issues being allowed to cloud the event and some divers still taking advantage of lax rule enforcement and bending the rules which at the end of the day amounts to cheating. It amazes me that some divers are prepared to test the limits in this fashion and compromise their own integrity when they would do just as well sticking to the rules. It is this culture that needs to be eliminated from the sport.

I did not to do aswell as I would have hoped for so I am all fired up for next years Nationals hoping to better my position and to enjoy the challenge as I always do. Well done to Brod Whittaker for taking the individual title and getting an amazing score on the second day. No decision taken as yet for who is hosting next years Nationals or where it will be held. See you all there next year, safe diving john little.

xls Nationals 2009 Individual Results Day 1

xls Nationals 2009 Team Results Day 1

xls Nationals 2009 Individual Results Day 2

xls Friendly between South Africa and Australia