Oresome Air Dampier Classic - Recap:
Light winds on the day of and leading up to the comp meant things were shaping up nicely... However, after a heap of rain in Karratha there was a bit of concern the vis could be affected... Judging by the fish that were shot this didn't seem to affect our spearos!
The 'selfie at the boat ramp' system worked great - messages started rolling in from 5am with plenty of pumped crew flashing their excited grins. A full glass-off and the sky lighting up with colour was a great way to start the day.
Hopes were high at weigh-in time at the Hampton Harbour Boat and Sailing Club, with anticipation of some good mixed bags after a day of nice conditions. We were definitely not disappointed - results as follows:
1st - Mitch 'slayer' Dyson - with a stonking 1085.9 points!!
2nd - Eli 'pipped at the post by his dive buddy' Dungey - with a very respectable 1067.6 points
3rd - Rowan 'double header Mangrove Jack and I did it on purpose' Clark - 969.6 points
4th - Rob 'cramping like an old man' Peck - 795.6 points
5th - Phil 'bloody hell you almost short-changed me on the points, AGAIN' Shiner - 768 points (sorry Phil - lucky you have mates that speak up!)
6th - Troy 'hurry up and win a comp already' Moore - another solid performance which would have won a comp on other occasions! - 715 points
7th - Tom 'Mr Consistent' Groves - 695.6 points
Heaviest Cray - Tom Poole - 1.06kg
Hard Luck Prize -
We had two serious contenders and one 'almost hard luck' for this;
1) Mitch Dyson lost a solid trout (AND HIS GUN!!!) to a pack of hungry whaler sharks... he'd shot this trout and the sharks in the vicinity went full 'pack-attack' mode and went to town on his prized fish. He battled on and tried to wrestle his fish to the surface and keep the sharks at bay - they were relentless - when the fish was a mere metre away one of these fired up sharks ended up bumping his leg. Mitch made the wise choice and ditched his gun. Normally, you'd expect the sharks to finish the fish and the speargun would float to the surface... not this time... Unfortunately, Mitch's shaft must have been lodged in one of the shark's mouths (or similar) and after a moment of hope, his gun took off and was last seen sailing off into the deep blue...
2) 'Almost' hard luck - Andrew Stanley, a new NWSFC member and virgin spearo (he bought his gear two days before the comp), committed the common first-timer sin of spearing a 'Platinum Snapper' - AKA Grey Morwong - AKA Mother In-law fish!
Now, this particular Morwong was a very solid fish of around 10kg. Unfortunately for Andrew, through no fault of his own, we hadn't set his float and line up yet. Fortunately, Rob had his eyes on him and saw him frantically swimming toward the surface (making little progress) as he was trying to skulldrag 'the king of all Morwong' to the surface. Andrew made the right call and ditched his brand new gun in preference of oxygen! Rob saw the gun being dragged off into the distance, followed it for a while then fired his own shaft in the general direction with his reel in free spool to mark the location - after a little recovery breathing he was able follow his line down and locate Andrew's speargun, along with the holed-up Morwong and by this stage, several fired up sharks. Fortunately for Andrew's taste buds and Rob's limbs, the sharks kept their distance and the Morwong slipped off the shaft - the gun was recovered without further incident!
3) Max Rossi, our club President, had been working hard for the club for many months in the lead-up to this comp and was pumped to finally have some fun competing... UNTIL - he had a COVID-19 positive RATS result on the Thursday night! Those of us who know Max know how much he was looking forward to a great day out spearing. Tough luck mate!
In the end, in the spirit of 'sharing the love' with our prizes amongst our members, the decision was made to award the hard luck prize to Max (as Mitch was already on the podium and the winner of a Yeti Esky and Andrew's hard luck actually turned into pretty good luck!).
Meritorious Fish -
Examples like this are one of the reasons why the NWSFC committee get so much reward out of running the club. Old mate 'almost hard-luck' Andrew Stanley was literally thrown in the deep end and had to adapt to spearing in the 14m depths of the other experienced crew on the boat. Andrew took his time and worked his way to deeper depths before eventually taking a very solid trout with a good shot. Bloody amazing effort for a new spearo!
Lucky Door - Brad Cavanagh - a new member for 2022, he walked away with a primo soft Yeti cooler.
Rowan Clark was also presented the 2021 Season Overall Champion Spearo trophy - congrats again mate!
It was a great vibe at the weigh-in - awesome to hear about a number of crew who were really enjoying their spearfishing and hitting PBs. Well done guys.
Thanks again to all the members who made it to the Oresome Air Dampier Classic, a welcome to the new crew who signed up, and of course a HUGE thanks to the legends at Oresome Air for your support!