Although the prizes were a big draw for contenders from Victoria and South Australia, it was the titles for Individual Challenge Winner and Best Catch that spurred them on the most.
Local and national brands, such as Spotters Sunglasses, Drystore, BerleyPro and many others sponsored the event which took place at Henty Bay Beachfront Holiday Park. It is also here where most of the entrants, many who brought their families along for the experience, stayed over. In fact, competitors were eager to get a feel for the water and spent the Thursday and Friday before the competition fishing in Portland already.
On the day of the competition many of the camp goers in the area where tempted out of their beds early to witness the spectacular sight of 35 kayaks setting out as the sun rose. It was a scenic view that was made even more picturesque by the cruise ship, Europa, arriving at the bay.
After a fierce contest, it was Mr Gabriele Meoni who walked away with the Individual Challenge Award and Best Catch Award. This was thanks to the 98cm tuna that he managed to catch from his Stealth fibreglass kayak. The second prize winner, Mr Peter Ritchie, caught two snapper and a salmon, while the third prize went to Mr Nelson Rouw with his haul of two snapper. A Portland local, Mr David Webb, attained fourth place and Mr Luke Easton took fifth. Each one of these gentlemen walked away with over $300 worth of prizes for their accomplishments.
The competition also saw some great sportsmanship from Mr Meoni who gifted Mr Jordan Rouw with his Best Catch Award prize. This came about after Mr Rouw caught a 19.4kg tuna in his fibreglass kayak, but only made it back to shore 20 minutes after the competition window had ended.
Another entrant, Mr Shane Esmore, also caught a tuna measuring in over 100cm, but didn’t make it back to shore in time for it to count for the competition.
Eoin Corroon, who is the founder of Sea Sherpa and organizer of the competition, said that he would love to see more locals entering and encourages them to take part in the next competition. According to Mr Corroon, the fourth place finish by David Webb shows how helpful a little local knowledge can be and that he looks forward to the locals showing everyone how it is done in Portland.