Sunday, April 22, 2012

Spearfishing with Brod Whittaker Vol 10

See video on YouTube Watch Here

Brod Whittaker has become possible one the best guys utilizing a head cam while spearfishing. I personally prefer to hold the camera in my other hand, as head cam footage can often be very shaky. Brod has this system down to a fine art. You only have to go through and watch through his previous videos to see what I am talking about.

I think we also forget sometimes that Brod is also one of the best spearfisherman in the country, a previous SA champ and he recently finished 6th as SA champs in PE. I guess it is the combination of being a phenomenal dive and a great underwater videographer that makes it such a pleasure to watch his films.

This one from up on the North Coast is a cracker ...I hope you enjoy.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

South African National Spearfishing Championships 2012 Final Results

1st National Individual Camp Charl Blignaut
South African National Spearfishing Championships 2012 was wrapped up this weekend down in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. The windy city lived up to its name and only 2 days were divable. The 2 days were complete opposites of each other. The First Day the visability was far better than what is usually en-counted in the Eastern Cape. Making spearfishing the common species very difficult. Jaco Blignaut SA's favourite for the event came out in the lead with a small margin with only 9 weighers. 
2nd National Individual Camp  Jacob Blignaut
Day Two was a complete different affair with the wind turning from the east making the visibility really bad. Eventually sending the guys packing early on in the day, with most guys scratching to find some fish to weigh in. Local knowledge clearly made the difference on day 2 with the local guys having a clear edge at the weigh in. Carl Blignaut who was only a few points behind Jaco going into day 2 put in a big effort to come out just ahead. This gave him just enough points to clinch the title from Jaco when the points were finalised.

I could have only imagined the tension going into the last day. Jaco probably wanted another day at sea to have an opportunity to get better points on the board, while Charl was probably praying for the wind not to stop and seal the deal. 
Lohan Geel & 3rd National Individual Camp Carl Werner
The surprise in the competition was the Natal B team that stepped up to the plate from Day one. Carl Werner lead the team & proved himself by holding the 3rd spot on both the 1st and second days. And despite some good scores by some good divers on day 2, he came out in 3rd place overall.
 1st National Team Campions - EP A - Martin van Niekerk, Darryl Hiscock, Charl Blignaut
But its the local boys that had the smiles EP A although being in third position on day 1, came out on day 2 and showed the the other teams a thing or two about diving the Eastern Cape. Martin van Niekerk improved his 1st day score eventually posting a 9th overall with Darryl Hiscock coming in at 12th.
2nd National Team Campions - KZN B  - Carl Werner, Guy Le Meme, Garrick Morris 
 The Natal B team came second over all and 1st in the B division were very happy with their position. Day 2 although challenging for the Natal boys they all did well. Garrick Morris started day one in 5th and finished in 4th position over all and Guy Le Meme came in from out of the top 10 on day one to finally finish in a respectable 8th position. 

Here is a short report by Richard Leonard from the Gully Jumpers on SA Spearfishing Nationals 2012

We had 2 weeks of pristine diving conditions, 10 of the 14 days were dive-able, a phenomena for PE. The west came up the ground swell pulled in and then we started they say, Murphy's law:-(
To sum up the SA Spearfishing National Champs for 2012, in just a few words, most of the contestants said "One of the toughest Nationals we have ever competed in". Out of the 6 allotted dive days the competitors only managed to get in the water on a short 2 day window period between the blasting west and howling east.
Day 1 proved to be amazing, vis wise, but a desperate scratch for most divers with only 1 diver, the local legend Charl Blignaut, weighing in 10 fish. Even so this could not match the quality of fish landed by the SA Dive legend Jaco Blignaut placing Jaco just over 1 point ahead of Charl for day 1.
The big question was what was going to happen on day 2. Jaco new that this title was not going to be a steal, Charl knew the area well and with the tough diving conditions looming ahead of them for the second day's diving, local knowledge combined with great diving ability was going to be hard to beat.
With day 2 pushing up an icy theromocline making it super tough conditions it again made for some super hard diving. Jaco hit the beach with a great catch seemingly the best catch of the day until Charl beached and started hauling out a catch that most competitors would have dreamed of achieving on a perfect days diving. Charl again the only competitor who managed a full 10 weigh'ers but this time he had 5 maxi weigh'ers giving him a substantial lead over Jaco. This left Jaco and a couple other competitors in suspense for the A Team captons meeting shortly after the day 2 weigh in. The big question now was - Was this going to be the final day of the comp or would Jaco get a miracle and dive again? The decision in the meeting was well stated and, quite simply no matter what the comp situation was if there was no vis to dive in then the would be no diving. A huge bummer for the Jaco as the forecast was not good and he was desperate to challenge Charl's lead. In true PE fashion the 2 days of hard east totally destroyed the vis and any chance of a dive hence leaving Charl Blignait, the EP A team captain, the title of 2012 SA National Spearfishing Champion!
A HUGE thank you to Mares for not only sponsoring the event with 25 thousand rands worth of prizes but also for making borrie roles for the competitors and just being there in full support of the competition.
Also a huge shout out and thank you to the hosting club, Gully Jumpers, for the months of planing organising and excellent execution of the event.
Richard Leonard
Gully Jumpers Committee Member 

 Here are the final results at the end of the 2 days:

Nationals 2012 - Individuals
1   Charl Blignaut   69.75
2     Jaco Blignaut     63.9
3     Carl Werner     46.05
4     Garrick Morris     43.1
5     Devon Swart    39.95
6   Brod Whittaker   37.3
7   Kurt Roberts   37.15
8   Guy Le Meme   35.35
9   Martin van Niekerk   32.1
10   Charl Myburgh   31.15
11   Fred Bester   30.6
12   Darryl Hiscock   30.55
13   Hein Eksteen   29.1
14   Garret Staats   28.8
15   Corry Versluis    28
16   Riaan Weiderman   27
17   Angelo Spada   26.35
18   Paul Toich   26.15
19   Manus Nienaber   25.85
20   Iain Ewing   25.75
21   Terance Belinghan   24.6
22   Gary Uys   22.95
23   Hein Sigfreid   22.2
24   Eugene van Wyngaardt   19
25   Nick Horne   13.6
26   Lohan Geel   10.95
27   Max Harrington   10.25
28   Rick van der Merwe   9.35
29   Peter Jacobsen   8.65
30   Christiaan Steffers   6.7
31   Tyron Theeson 4.35
32 Paul Jooste 3.9

Nationals 2012 - Team Results
1   EP A     132.4     100.00%
2   Natal B     124.5     94.03%
3   Border A     93.35     70.51%
4   Natal A     86.6     65.41%
5   EP B     83.55     63.10%
6   Natal C     82.55     62.35%
7   Boland B     82.45     62.27%
8   Boland A     49.45     37.35%
9   Border B     38.1     28.78%
10   EPC     31.25     23.60%
11   EPD     28.25     21.34%

From what I hear the comp was well organised and a big thanks must go out to the local spearfishing club Gully Jumpers for although being in their first year have successfully organised and run a main event like Nationals. New come to the scene was Mares who with a strong presents and support at the event have put their stamp on South African spearfishing in a big way.

I guess for all competitors it back home now and get ready for the next round of trials in prep for next years National Championships. Congrats to Charl and the EP A side for cleaning up, and to Jaco for always putting in a strong appearance at any competition he enters.

Oh and of course lets not forget Carl, Garrick and Guy from the Natal B side, I am sure they will have plenty ammo at the bar for months to come as to how they beat the Natal A side.


Friday, April 13, 2012

South African National Spearfishing Championships Day-2

Local favorite Charl Blignaut notching up some maxi weighers.
Conditions at the second days diving at the South African National Championships made a turn for the worst and the divers had to put in some serious effort to get some quality fish. Local knowledge came in really helpful as the guys in the know managed to still get some good fish.

With the next few days not looking good, and the possibility of the divers getting in again looking slim, the committee running the event have not released yesterdays scores. They say that the results are really close and they want to keep the final result for the prize giving on the weekend.
Jaco Blignaut one of SA's top divers making sure he is not out done.
 I have however been sent an report by Richard Leonard for Gully Jumpers regarding yesterdays diving.

Day 2 started off with light easterlies and clean water in the deap but the competitors soon found ot that it was going to be way more challenging than they thought. The thermocline had pushed in and at most places from 10 meters down there was a radical temperature shift from 18degees to 10 degrees in temperature. The report announced that the east wind was going to increase through out the day gusting up to 25 knots by 11am. The pressure was on, the competitors knew they needed to find their fish early on in the day before conditions got too bad too dive in.
Well the forcast was dead on, the wind started howling by 11 and the water got progressively worse. It proved to be a very challenging dive day for the competitors with most divers scratching out 3-6 weigh'ers. A nice surprise was the Geelbeck and the ever so saught after Miss Lucy or as the EC divers call - Stump which made an appearance in some of the bags.
The big show down and point of suspense was between 2 SA dive legends, Jaco Blignaut and Charl Blignaut. The question was how would Jaco be able to contend against Charl the local champ with local knowledge. Jaco Beached first with a great catch, better than any one else at that point, that was untill Charl hit the beach and started unloading his hatch. It seems local knowledge combined with great diving ability gave Charl the edge and a amazing catch of 10 species - again the only diver of the day to achieve this but what really blew us all away was the 5 maxie weigh'ers in his bag with a 14.5 KG tail to seal the deal as the diver in the lead of this competition.
The results will remain un announced as the weather is up, the divers are not diveing today and there might not be another dive day for the rest of the comp. The results will be anounced on Sat evening after the prize giving.
Richard Leonard
Gully Jumpers Committee Member
Local boy Darryl giving some of the top divers something to think about.

We hope that this is not it for Nationals 2012 and hope that tomorrow sees some diveable conditions. I know from the reports I have gotten back from the Natal boys is that its been tough, very tough.

I will have the final results up before the weekend is out.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

South African National Spearfishing Champs Day-1

As always Jaco Blignaut coming out on top.
South African National Spearfishing Champs hosted by EP's Gully Jumpers Spearfishing Club finally got under way yesterday after a few days of strong west winds. The day proving to be quite a challenge, the divers got some great viz for PE, 10 - 15 meters in most spots. This clean water however proved to be difficult to hunt in with only one contestant the local favorite, Charl Blignaut, weighing in his full quoter of 10 fish.

EP-B team with some really good weighers.
 Some of the surprises were Deven Swart a development spearo diving with the EP B team coming in at 4th place with an awesome eastern cape mixed bag and Terence Bellingan also EP B team shooting the fish of the day. A 12 KG Garrick on the bottom at 23meters depth, insane!.

A huge thank you to Mares who have not only donated 25k worth of equipment in prizes for this years event but are also at the event in full force showing their support for the sport of spearfishing in South Africa.

Here are the results for Day 1:

Individual Results:

1st - Jaco Blignaut - 31.4
2nd - Charl Blignaut - 29.3
3rd - Carl Werner - 26.6
4th - Devon Swart - 24.6
5th - Garrick Morris - 24.1

Provincial Team Results:
1st - Natal B - 68.05
2nd - Boarder A - 59.35
3rd - EP A - 53.5
4th - Boland B - 50.3
5th - EP B - 50

Will keep the you up to date as I get more info.