Monday, October 20, 2008

World Spearfishing Championships in Venezuela

Less than a week to go before the World Spearfishing Championships in Venezuela. Here is a report back by Gyula,

All the teams here now. Is about 23 countries. There is an obvious difference between the top and bottom teams. Some countries (including SA) have fit healthy looking athletes. Some countries have teams of Elephant seals. Some like Chile have 4 foot eight specials with tummies. Looks can be deceptive (or maybe not). I saw a huge guy do a 2.5 minute dive yesterday. We shot out the area yesterday. Landed 300kg quality fish before lunch. All the other teams saw our catch. To put it mildly they were very impressed (but secretly incredulous.) No one else here even sees what we land.
Moo as usual has an eye for the special fish. He got a 10 kg Grouper plus a 7kg Snapper on top of his Barracuda Yesterday. Jaco as usual swims (kicks continually) - heaven help anyone that tries to follow him in the comp. I tried a new gun from Rob yesterday. Had the 50 M dynema stripped 4 times in a row. Landed all 4 fish (Barras of 16 to 20 kg each). Had to wait 5 minutes because reelgun overheated (not joking). Shot and killed another 6 Barras with spine shots. (I have to lock my guns in a safe here .) Apparently it has nothing to do with my trigger finger.
We caught a 6kg lobster in a cave at 32 meters. They are big and deep here. Never seen a cray that size before. I also saw the little skinny fisherman. He weighs about 50 kg and carries his 75 Yamaha outboard on his shoulders about 200 meters from his shed to his boat every day by himself.. They steal about 20 outboards in Venezuela every week so he has no choice.
Moo has a cut on his little toe (should be ok in 3 days) Moo knew a week ago what he wants to do in the comp.He has incredible fish sense (better than anyone I ever dived with ) He is over this scouting thing. He has gained at least 5 pounds and looks like a man now,. His shoulders have grown wider. Jaco is highly fined tuned (another word for stressed) about his body and where to dive in the comp. We now know this is normal for him so we just ignore his perfectionism. We do however acknowledge his opinion and he will be appropriately briefed before the comp.
The comp is quite tricky. Fish could be shallow, deep., in caves or the game fish could be thick. My individual strategy is as follows.
Day one (6 hour comp in scratch zone)
I dive on 14 small rocks I found in the deep (all 35 to 38 meters) More current just means I work harder. If I am specific enough no one can touch my potential fish catch there, Everywhere else in the zone is a scratch.(70 divers) I am not diving to cover up. I am diving to smash the fish. Like Cory says . Honour and Glory. However I have scouted and trained for months and am satisfied that all these rocks will be flattened. The Spanish cannot cover all the rocks all the time. Jaco has some shallow cave mining ideas plus a few other plans that are not finalised.Moo will decide on morning of comp. He is unfazed right now. My pool bottom time is 4.5 minutes (official team trial time here) I training Apnea in pool but boys find this boring. My longest dive in Ocean 2.5 minutes. Comp budget is 60 dives of 33 to 38 meters for me (1 min 20 to 1 min 45 each dive) Fish every 3 dives. Winning catch here estimated at 14 fish by the Marine biologists. Yes I might get nothing but this is my realistic out of the box approach.
Day 2.(5 hour comp in good zone)
I will be tired. So will target the easy small gamefish in 25 meters for the first 2 hours. (Kingies., Bonito, Rainbow rum=nner, Wahoo, barras) Then 2 hours on a small ledge (1 foot high in 36 meters) If I can maintain here I know where the fish hiding. I told the boys about this sppot but they only laughed about my torch diving at 36 meters) I have freedived this place (without drop weight). Is like a supermarket. Only issue is to get there before the Spanish (Joseba knows the ledge) Thereafter I dive another place to shoot 10 small grunters in 30 meters.Plan B I just target 5 Barras . (had enough practice shooting them)
Jaco has a good spot for Rock Salmon elsewhere and this whole comp zone is quite fishy. Moo got a 20kg Cubera here last month. We have to first see if the gamefish are thick before we can rush for caves here. In scouting you can stab the wahoo with your diving knife (not joking ask Mark) Also a big shoal of resident Barras.
So hold thumbs. We having big team plans closer to the time dependant on the water conditions.
There are few secrets here so may the best divers win. SA has 4 top notch divers here. Mark the diplomat has made our lives much easier for everyone.
I chat later
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