Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Rules Format for Natal Spearfishing Trials

  1. Natal Spearfishing Trials will be held from October 2007 to March 2008 to prepare and select the best team to represent the province at National Champs. National Champs are scheduled for May 2008 at Sodwana Bay.
  2. Refer to attached plan of scheduled Trial dates and reserve weekends.
  3. Each provincial Union can select a maximum of four teams of four divers to represent their province at Nationals. In Natal Union we have three divers per team and sacrifice the fourth team member for a top man to handle the boat during the competition.
  4. Thus the top twelve divers are determined from a series of three competitions called “Trials” held to very strict rules and regulations similar to those of Nationals.
  5. The selection of these divers is orchestrated by a selection committee made up of the Natal Underwater Union (NUU) Spearfishing Officer, the Midlands Underwater Union Spearfishing Officer and one other experienced spearfisherman (to be selected by the NUU Officer)
  6. In the event of dispute and or conflict the decision will be referred to the committee for adjudication and advice, however in the event of deadlock, the Natal Underwater Union Officer has final say.
  7. Every diver participating in Natal Trials must be a paid-up member of a Club recognized by the Natal Underwater Union.
  8. The Entrance Fee for trials is R400.00. To enter contact Graham Carlisle on 082 462 1256, alternatively the entry form is available from Dive Factory, Freedivers, Wahoo and DUC Diving Clubs. This must be filled in and paid to Graham ON or BEFORE the first trial.
  9. The R400 will go towards the four teams’ costs during Nationals and is also a token of your commitment to competing in Trials and at Nationals.

  1. Divers are required to phone Graham between 5pm and 8pm on the Friday before a trial to confirm the dive area, meeting place and time.
  2. If due to bad weather a trial has to be canceled on the Saturday it then takes place on the Sunday. Decisions on whether or not to dive will be made by 8pm on the day preceding the competition. If the weather is not suitable then the trial will be carried forward to the allocated reserve weekends (Refer planned dates and reserve weekends).
  3. Remember that a lot of people are getting up early and may be traveling from afar to attend a trial so divers can be forgiven for being ten minutes late but will lose one point for every five minutes thereafter. (This will be strictly monitored.)
  4. There will be a meeting to discuss the day’s proceedings, and a meeting place at sea will be decided. Once all the boats meet at sea the trial can begin. (No spearing is allowed before this time.)
  5. All diving will be from boats because Nationals take place off boats and World Champs are dived off boats.
  6. Each boat is allowed to have a top man to handle the boat during a Trial and no less than 2 divers may dive on a boat. Prior to a Trial commencing divers must arrange the boat they are diving on. It is not the responsibility of the organizers to do this.
  7. Note that no chum or burlying is allowed.
  8. All divers must dive within 40m of their OWN float. Floats must be used at all times when a diver is in the water, must be a readily visible color, be a minimum of 1.5 liters, and be clearly visible in the water during choppy or rough seas.
  9. A trial lasts for six hours. Any diver seen in the water after the six hours will be disqualified. For safety reasons at the sixth hour the safety boat must be notified by radio or cellular phone that all is ok, and the boat is heading for the launch site.
  10. All participants must comply with current regulations of Sea Fisheries and Marine Resources legislation
  11. Points are allocated to each divers catch as follows.

  • Sea Fisheries rules apply
  • Only one fish per species is allowed. All fish may be weighed in un-gutted
  • A maximum of 10 fish may be shot (CH refer to Nationals Rule Book)
  • Divers may keep their fish after the weigh-in is complete.
  • Each fish must weigh a minimum of 1 kg to qualify.
  • Seven species that are excluded from competition are Surgeons, Angel fish, Unicorn fish, Batfish, Sea Barbel, Barbel Eel and File fish
  • Each fish can earn a maximum of five points (5kgs) for the weight (i.e. a point per kg) PLUS extra point that will be awarded for each species (See Bruce Mann List).
  • Example: One Spotted Rock cod weighing 2kgs, Wahoo of 15kgs and a Tomato Rockcod weighing 4.8kg
  • 2 points for the Spotty for the weight but none for the species
  • 4.8 points for the Tomato PLUS 1 species point for the Rock Cod.
  • 5 points for the Wahoo PLUS 5 species points for the gamefish.

12. After beaching all divers are required to load their fish into bliks and proceed to the weigh-in.
13. It is forbidden to exchange catches.
14. To facilitate comparison between different competition days, each diver’s points are calculated as a percentage of the top diver. The top diver scores 100%.
15. After four trials each diver’s top three percentages are averaged and thus ranked.


1. If a diver makes the top twelve in Natal Trials they are divided into the A, B, C and Development Team. All twelve divers are awarded NUU Colors (Dolphins).
2. For a diver to get Natal Colors (Wildebeest) they must have dived in the A, B or C team at least three times and at least once in the A team or if never in the A team then they must have come in the top ten at Nationals once.
3. The Natal Underwater Union Awards three trophies each year to competitive divers based on Trials results.
• Anthony Benjamin Trophy for the biggest bottom fish. - 2002 Ryan Burmester 24kg Black Musselcracker.
• Biggest Gamefish Trophy. – Not awarded
• Top of the Log Trophy for overall highest percentage. – 2002 Gary Hazel.

Every 2 years the world Spearfishing Championships take place and the highest ranking Springbok is awarded the beautiful Shaun Atlas Trophy, a Len Jones Bronze of a Red Steenbras, a fish fittingly endemic to South Africa and one we are most proud of. Previous winners are:
• 1996 Len de Beer
• 1998 Len de Beer
• 2000 John Girzda
• 2002 Jaco Blignaut

Trials are the first step to Nationals and National are the first step to Springbok Trials so start practicing.


Trials Dates '07 - '08

Additional info Area
Month Date - Host - First area - Second area

October 13 - Natal Union As per previous trials Joint trial - Umdloti Bluff

November10 - Southern Natal - Open competition - Joint trial TBA TBA

December1 - MidlandsProposed - Gamefish onlyJoint trial - Deep Scott Warner/Toti

February2 - Natal Union - Stand alone trial - Warner/TotiBluff

March1 - Northern natal - Proposed (alt. Natal Union) Joint trial Bluff - Deep Scott


The four trials will take place within the following zones as and when conditions allow:

Umdloti (Selection reef at Umdloti to Westbrook)
Warner Beach (Isipingo River – Warner Beach Launch)
Deep Scottbourgh (Umkomaas to Park Rynie)
Bluff (South Pier to Cutting)

Reserve Areas:
Shelley Beach
Hibberdene (Mtwalume to Mzumbe)

For info Please call
Graham Carlisle

tel:(031) 903-5438
mobile:082 462 1256

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