New Zealand National Spearfishing Championships 24-28 January 2007

Date: 1/2/2007

At last – a National Championship that was not curtailed or scuttled due to bad weather. Ruakaka and its offshore waters around the Hen & Chicken Islands provided first rate diving and fishing conditions. After several years of indifferent weather and water, competitors from Great Britain and Australia joined 80 others from around New Zealand for competition in snorkel photography and spearfishing.

Snorkel Photography:

This very popular event had clear water and an abundance of fish to photograph. Pat Swanson captured the most on film with 26 species while the ‘Best Photo’ had joint winners Judy Johnston (Invercargill) with a kingfish and Dane Hawker (Auckland) with a boarfish.

Junior Spearfishing:

Todd Herbert (Mercury Bay) took over his brother’s mantle by winning the Junior Spearfishing section from 15 other competitors. For the past five years the Junior Trophy has resided in the Herbert’s trophy cabinet. Robbie Coman (Auckland) was second and Jackson Shields (Auckland) third.

Women’s’ Spearfishing:

There was strong incentive to do well in this event with the first two places earning New Zealand representation in the upcoming Women’s section of the Inter Pacific Championships. Shirley Dryden (Bay of Islands) and Jessica Whiddett (Auckland) claimed the berths with first and second places respectively.

Big 3 Competition:

In perfect conditions boats travelled to secret spot x’s  in the hope of finding the largest kingfish, snapper and crayfish. Most competitors brought excellent catches to the scales of at least one or two of the eligible species.

Largest snapper:

9.5 kg, Kane Grundy (Hawkes Bay).

Largest kingfish:

17.0 kg, Herb Herbert (Mercury Bay).

Largest Crayfish:

.9 kg, Geoff Crawford (Northland).

Best Aggregate score for the three:

Geoff Crawford.

Open Spearfishing Championships

Day 1

and Jess Falzon and team mate Ian Puckeridge from Australia cleared out to a 200 point advantage over their closest rivals, local divers Geff Cookson and Geoff Crawford.

Day 2

and again Falzon and Puckeridge top scored to become the second overseas competitors to win this event. They weighed in more species and their fish were generally heavier. New Zealand is pleased to celebrate their win and add their names to the 45 year history on our National trophies.

New Zealand Spearfishing Team 2007:

The New Zealand Team to compete against Australia, New Caledonia, Hawaii and Tahiti in the Inter Pacific Championships at the Bay of Islands in March of this year is Geoff Crawford, Colin Smith, Peter Herbert, Dwane Herbert, Gary Conway and Steve Crabtree.

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