Friday, July 13, 2012

Report on the banning of SAUFF from World Spearfishing Champs 2012

Unbeknownst to any of the SAUFF committee member, there was a change to the registration process for competing in world events sanctioned by CMAS, from a paper submission to a web based submission.

If any “unpaid” licences for competing in previous world events where outstanding then the web based registration process could not be completed. Despite the full payment of over €4500 to the organisers, we were never informed that we have not complied fully with the CMAS process. In fact there was no communication from CMAS with regards to the payment of the outstanding licence fees. In the past there has been no problem in sorting these payments out and South African competitors have competed in zones and world events with these outstanding fees not causing issues. A number of these fees date back 4 years.

The organisers, FEGAS, and CMAS were very aware that the South African competitors where in Spain as they competed in a friendly competition weeks before the start of the event and had valid licences for diving in Spain. It is surprising that other Federations knew about this problem before any of the South African team or committee members, weeks before the start of the event. The South African side was deliberately kept in the dark and at no time did CMAS make an effort to discuss this issue with us.

Three days before the event I went to the organisers and spoke to them about the registration and I was assured that everything was in order.
That evening, Jaco Blignaut and I went to drop off the flag and we were told that there was an “issue”, the same afternoon that we had received an email from FEGAS, not CMAS, informing us there was a technical issue that needed to be sorted out.

I spoke with the CMAS disciplinary official who informed me that there was an outstanding internet submission that was required. The next morning as soon as possible I paid the outstanding amount of €485 personally and forwarded proof of payment to CMAS who confirmed the payment. With the help of SAUSF we completed the outstanding forms and submitted them.

Despite full payment they flatly refused to discuss the matter as they said there was a disclosure on the web site that these fees had to be paid 30 days before the competition. Again there was no information about this given to us, nor any communication from CMAS about this prior to the boys landing in Spain, or at any time before the registration with the Spanish Federation. One would have thought that there would have been some effort to communicate the fact that there where outstanding “issues” before the massive effort of the South African competitors.

For three days I fought to get the boys permission to be able to compete. We had complied with all the outstanding requirements as soon as we knew about them. This was the first time these requirements were implemented.

CMAS could have allowed us to compete, but decided against it due to a technicality.

I cannot explain how gutted and disappointed I was with the treatment of an issue that could easily have been resolved. The South African competitors have sacrificed more than most as we are self-funded and all full time employees. This means not only having to pay in full for the trip themselves but also having to take up unpaid leave in some instances or forgo job opportunities.

SA spearfishing was made a political example of on purpose as we are a tiny federation with little recourse and we were used as a pawn to “make a point”, but were a significant threat in terms of competing for the top spots.

Making a point of disallowing us to participate goes against the very nature of what sport is about. Putting politics before fair competition highlights how CMAS, in my opinion, has lost sight of what they are there for.

There could have been many other ways of resolving this issue positively and in the best interests of competitive sport. We are desperately unhappy with the attitude of the regulating authorities and cannot understand why this prevailing attitude should be allowed to continue. It is surely not in the best interests of building this sport for the future.

I have organised a meeting with the South African authorities on Monday the 16th July to discuss a way forward and will keep all those involved informed on any progress.

Yours Sincerely,

Iain Ewing

Sunday, July 8, 2012

SA get Barred from World Spearfishing Champs

As the CMAS World Spearfishing gets under way the South African Spearfishing team is having to sit out. The SA team was barred due to some unpaid subs from last year.... funny they let the team go all the way to Spain to give them the middle finger!

This is the message from Iain Ewing from SAUFF who is over there with the boys and tried to sort the issue out.

Hi all.
We are out of the compo. No diving for the SA boys at all.
Despite all the issues of subs and payments being sorted out the decision was taken by CMAS not to allow us to dive. it's been a hectic few days trying to resolve what we thought was a fairly simple issue. We are very disappointed! Both with regards to not being allowed to compete and the way we have been treated. We have always understood that regulating authorities are there to help with the development and facilitation of sport not the dictation and preclusion of small federations.
This is truly a very sad day for the SA side who had giving up work and huge amounts of their own cash to be there. I know Jaco was in fine form and was hungry to show the world what he could do. Maybe the Europeans are just scared??

On a personal note I think it is high time that the rest of the world break from CMAS and the Europeans
control of the sport. Thing change and spearfishing needs a change. Just like in surfing they moved the contests away from the traditional beaches with 2ft slop to the best spots in the world creating the 'Dream Tour'
Just think about that for a moment! Spearfishing competitions in the best spots with real fish not eels and palm sized Black Tail. How practical I don't know? But it will be a hell of a lot more interesting.

A big thumbs down for CMAS


Monday, July 2, 2012

1 Million Spearfishing Channel Views

1Million views and 2283 subscribers - In The Zone's Spearfishing Channel
Today is a special day as the Spearfishing production company that I am involved with called In The Zone has cracked the 1 Million views mark!!! I know this is not massive in Youtube terms, but in the world of spearfishing it is BIG. In fact its the channel with the most views and subscribers out of the dedicated spearfishing Youtube channels.

This partly due to the fact that our latest trailer for the film Onefish Going East has over 300 000 views in just a few months. I think the 2283 loyal subscribers who like our films also help, and having this many subscribers is also a huge achievement.

If you have not checked in on our Video Channel yet and seen all our other videos HAVE A LOOK NOW

A big thanks to all the crew that have contributed to reaching this milestone.

Thanks a MILLION


Spearfishing North to South

Graham Sinclar 21kg Wahoo - Cape Vidal
This past week I was up at Cape Vidal with some guys, it was great showing the guys around the place. We had great weather and some how even with a morning out fixing a broken steering helm we dived 3 out of 3 days and had epic calm conditions. The fish were a little quiet, but Graham managed to bad a great Wahoo of 21kg, the guys saw a couple more Wahoo and a big Sailfish off the point the one after noon.
Another shoal Couta off to the deep freeze.
There were a few shoal Couta around and there was no problem getting dinner each night. But it was strange not to see any Snoek. I did manage to find a few Snoek back on out home reefs this weekend on a shore dive, but for the most part it has been very quiet.

The spearfishing down south has been quiet, with the odd chap finding some fish here and there. By now areas like Hiberdene should be cooking. Maybe its the no show by the Sards that has messed with the situation. On that note the guys in the Transkei waiting for the Sards have almost totally given up. I know of a few guys that have already pulled the plug and come home with not being shoals of Sardines even after a couple weeks.
Craig Montgommery 41.6kg Couta on Line at Port Edward
That said there is still hope, and a mammoth Couta of 41.6kg came out at Port Edward ... imagine coming across that beast while diving!!
Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come. Especially since this week end is the Hibiscus Gamefish Open  one of KZNs premeir spearfishing comps with loads of prizes up for grabs including R5000 for the biggest gamefish. Download the HUC ENTRY FORM here.



Book your own Spearfishing adventure go to: Cape Vidal Spearfishing Charters and Guided Trips