Two clubs shared honours at the largest game fishing event in the Southern Hemisphere, the Riviera New South Wales Interclub Tournament at Port Stephens early last month.
The Newcastle and Port Stephens Game Fish Club took top prize for the number of points scored for tag and release of fish while the nearby Lake Macquarie Game Fish Club took honours for the capture section of the tournament.
More than 1000 anglers aboard 212 boats competed over two weekends off Port Stephens for a range of prizes as well as for the honour of representing their clubs. With 13 NSW clubs and six interstate visitors, competition was fierce among 43 teams.
Under the competition rules, clubs may enter a number of teams of five boats. The Newcastle and Port Stephens Club entered nine teams for the event.
Hundreds of spectators thronged the foreshores at the Nelson Bay Marina each afternoon to watch the boats return to report their results and undergo stringent equipment checks.
The President of the NSW Game Fishing Association, Otto Volz, welcomed Riviera as a partner in the event for the first time.
“We are delighted to work with an iconic Australian boat builder for this prestigious event,” he said. “It is worth noting that there were 28 Rivieras entered in the tournament, the largest number for any one boat brand.
“The dedication and enthusiasm of the owners, skippers and anglers in this tournament is extraordinary. This annual event offers no prizemoney. The teams compete for trophies – for a piece of wood that is very highly prized.”
Riviera’s director of brand and communications, Stephen Milne, said that Riviera has a strong commitment to game fishing and was proud to be associated with the tournament.
“The Riviera Interclub tournament is a great spectacle, encourages a powerful sense of camaraderie and friendly competition between all the teams,” he said. “Of course, we are thrilled to see so many Rivieras in this competition. We are looking forward to working with the association to make this an even bigger and better event in the coming years.”
The Riviera Trophy for the most tag-and-release points scored by a Riviera went to visiting boat Jag, all the way from Tasmania. Owner Mike Gardner said it was a long way to come but very worthwhile for the competition, the fun and the trophy.
Champion boat in the tag-and release category went to Born Free, skippered by Geoff Leonard of the Newcastle and Port Stephens Game Fish Club. Champion boat in the capture category was Hellfish, skippered by Will Quinlivan of the Sydney Game Fishing Club.
As well as picking up the Riviera Trophy, Jag also took the champion visiting boat trophy.
– Denby BrowningReads: 2409