Thirty-two boats competed in the 21st annual Ribbons Tournament held out of Cairns on the first weekend in December.
Several out-of-town teams and individual anglers came from Innisfail, Townsville, Sunshine Coast, Cooktown, PNG and the Gold Coast. All up, 35 anglers were visitors and six juniors also fished the tournament.
For once the seas were kind to the ladies, although there were still a few ‘Greenie’ awards!
This annual all-women’s gamefishing tournament is conducted by women for women. The event had its origins at a social function prior to a men’s tournament in 1984 when a group of ladies decided they were tired of being left behind when their husbands went to sea. The idea quickly grew to reality and the first Ribbons tournament was held in December 1984.
In this tournament, men are just the sidekicks. They can only conduct menial tasks like skipper the boats or be deckies or cooks. The girls get to do the serious fishing, and although it’s a fun event the competition in serious.
The tournament kicked off with the hotly-contested sail past at the Marlin Marina in Cairns on Saturday morning, where each team decorated their boat to a theme to see who would take out the converted Best Decorated Boat title. It was certainly a colourful spectacle, with plenty of imagination going into the themes, and Chamios Free took the honours.
It was then straight out to the marlin grounds off Cairns where the serious fishing got underway. Unfortunately, no billfish were tagged this year, although a number were hooked. However, there were plenty of dolphinfish, mackerel, tuna and wahoo to keep competitors busy, with Kate Pelling (The Edge) taking out Champion Angler, Sophie Stewart (Snapdragon) winning Junior Angler, Kiama taking out Champion Boat Over 7m and The Edge winning Champion Boat Under 7m. Well done to all the winners. – Garry SmithReads: 1134