The Bay of Islands reputation for clear water, good fishing and ease of access were all inducements to attend. The weather god however sent a late and rather stern reminder how it too has a role in such events by sharing the tail end of a tropical cyclone two days before the start of competition! Strong winds and big seas forced a re-scheduling of events and the storms legacy of significantly poorer diving conditions greeted each days competitors.
Junior Spearfishing Competition Under 12 years
It was a milestone result for girls as this section of the event has always been won by boys. Alex Edwards 1st and Halayna Warnock 2nd are daughters of two previous New Zealand Champions. Genes or good coaching you might ask? Whatever the driver, the respective parents were just as excited by the result as were their daughters.
Junior Spearfishing Competition Under 18 years
Connor Cauley 1st, Josh Yorke 2nd.
Fin Swim Competition
Rob Harrison retained his title first won last year, but he was pushed hard by new competitor Moss Burmester, a previous New Zealand swimming representative. All first three competitors were using Ruku blades in their fins and the significance of that was not lost on those watching!
Womens Spearfishing Title
First-time competitor in this event Gemma Cookson is perhaps another diver who has benefitted from the knowledge of a parent with years of competition experience. While first and second had an identical number of fish it was the weight of their respective catches that determined the final result. Both Gemma Cookson and Gemma Shields will be New Zealand representatives at this years Inter Pacific Championships in Tahiti.
Open Spearfishing Championship
Day One and the competitors had to swim and dive an area of coastline on the peninsular out towards Cape Brett. The passing storm three days earlier had dropped underwater visibility to eight metres at best and considerably less in some areas. Todd Herbert and partner Callum Relphhad had a standout day finishing with points that gave them a 20% lead ahead of the next pair. That can take some overhauling if followed up by a good score on the second day. It was not to be.
Day Two amid mist and drizzle, heavy rain and darkness overhead the event shifted to the Cavalli Islands. Fortunately the in-water conditions were a significant improvement from that experienced on the previous day and those low scoring on day one were able to improve their overall standings by considerable margins.
and New Zealand Spearfishing Champions Geoff Crawford and Brett Bamber from Northland, 2nd Jackson Shields and Paul Best from Auckland, 3rd Julian Hansford and Dwane Herbert from Whitianga.
Following the weighing in of catches the fish were auctioned and the total proceeds donated to the local Volunteer Fire Brigade. The 2015 New Zealand Championships will be run from Whitianga.
Photo competition was won by: Nat Davey
Top 10 placings
I. 179.4% – Brett Bamber/Geoff Crawford
2.164.73% – Jackson Shields/Paul Best
3.163.52% – Dwane Herbert/Julian Hansford
4.157.26% – Todd Herbert/Callum Rudd
5.139.96% – Chris Marshall/Kolt Johnson
6.129.63% – Moss Burmester/Nat Davey
7.125.98% – Robbie Coman/Gary Conway
8.125.61% – Aaron Puckeridge AUS/Paul Christie
9.124.28% – Ian Puckeridge AUS/John Ross
10 120.47% – Pat Swanson/Kieran Andrews