SOUTH AFRICAN SPEARFISHING CHAMPIONSHIPS

The South African Spearfishing Championship takes place yearly and normally rotates between the different provinces as regards the venue. The venue is chosen at the AGM that is held during the championships. The 2000 championships were not dived due to bad conditions that made the competition undiveable. 2001 was also not dived owing to unforeseen circumstances. Due to money constraints, such as traveling expenses, a more central venue has been chosen for the 2002 championships. They will be dived on the Transkei coast at Hole in the Wall from 20 July to 24 July. This is where the 1999 competition was held.

Hole in the Wall is named after the large natural rock formation with a tunnel through the middle, separated from the mainland by a narrow channel. One of the most impressive natural rock formations found in South Africa. This coast is known as the Wild Coast with steep rocky cliffs along much of its length and large swells that have caused many a ship to see their last days here. This region forms an important link between the subtropical waters of Kwazulu Natal and the colder Cape waters. Fish from both areas are found here and good catches are the order of the day, weather and surf permitting.

The competition is normally held over 3 days, but this year there will only be 2 official competition days. Teams are made up of three divers and a bakkie to drive the boat. The top provinces field three teams plus a development team.

The three official dive areas are:

  1. Mbashe River lighthouse to Xora Bay
  2. Xora Bay to Hole In the Wall beach
  3. Hole in the Wall beach to Mtakatye River mouth

Most teams travel down a week before the competition and scout the different dive areas. This helps an enormous amount on the competition day as most teams will have marked a number of hot spots where fish can be found. The competitions are dived over a six hour period and are all boat dives. Competition is always fierce with the top ten or so placings being invited to take part in national team trials. From these trials a team is picked to go to the world championships, that are in Brazil this year.

The accompanying tables have the spearfishing championship results for the last ten years.

1990 Results
1991 Results
1992 Results
1993 Results
1994 Results
1995 Results
1996 Results
1997 Results
1998 Results
1999 Results
2000 Cancelled
2001 Cancelled