Border Open Spearfishing Challenge 2021
The Border Open Spearfishing Challenge 2021 took place on the long weekend of 6th-9th August 2021
This competition is one of those legendary events that most divers here in KZN South Africa would love to attend. But entries are limited and go to Border Club members first for two weeks before opening up for the general public to enter. And if you do not enter the same day (read hour) that open entries start its game over.
Held in South Africa at Transkei Hole in the wall in winter there are bound to be some Class fish around and this year’s event was no different from previous years with some decent fish coming out even though most divers reported fish being scarce on the day. Some class fish came out before the comp during scouting and Gareth Brockett lucked a 32kg Daga salmon the day after the compo.
“A day late on the Daga salmon but bru you do not get a chance on a decent fish like that often. Ja the compo was great as usual this year really missed it last year due to COVID etc. Dived this year with skipper Master Gavin Nell and we placed well 9th and 8th respectively seeing as we arrived late on the day before the event and took a guess which way to go in the morning. Jumped in on the point and hit a luck with my 1st two fish! A Garrick and then a shoal of Tail whilst re loading with the Garrick on my belt! Managed 9 fish but unfortunately my Brusher did not make the minimum weight of 5kg after gutting and gilling it at 4.6kg” says Gareth via WhatsApp call.
Skipper Alistair Jones hit a big luck when there was a last minute cancelation and was able to squeeze in his boat Mr Grinch with crew Master Luke Mollison and Liam Mullany…
“Finding fish on the day was not easy without having scouted any real sweet spots but we got fish. Cherry on top for me was winning the biggest fish comp trophy with a Class 13.5kg Brusher. I was lying on the floor for a while watching the ledge in front of me looking for Poensies when I thought to check over my left shoulder and two Class Brusher were right behind me moving away to my left. Got in a good shot on the trailing fish and all hell broke loose! But I managed to get it on the boat and I am super chuffed with a new PB brusher (New USC record as well) and winning the Trophy for biggest fish.” Alistair said talking about the comp day at USC (Umhlanga spearfishing club) braai night.
Andrew Trevathan managed to place 4th in his 1st Border open ever! He says it was like a dream come true as he has been amped for years to enter the comp and dive Hole in the Wall Tkei. Also helps when your skipper is Master Guy Le Meme who has now won the Border open for the umpteenth time hey Andrew? And Master Guy managed to win the Trump Trophy with a Billy Bartle (Two tone fingerfin) of 0.83kg. Trump species get double points. But give Andrew credit as Guy didn’t shoot the fish for him! There is even video evidence! Thank you Scott Campbell for taking the time to film the lads in action and post to YouTube for us to get a POV on Master Guy’s boat and the trip as a whole. And thanks Andrew for the chat the other night via WhatsApp and taking the time to give the inside story below. Class! Safe travels with your big move!
Link for Scott’s video… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuiGntx7yrA
“Got the go ahead on Monday afternoon just before the event that I would be attending border open but it was only the next day that I found out I would actually be able to participate in the comp, excitement level through the roof as this has been a dream of mine for a few years now.
Border event day by day account
Day 1: Early morning missions (PT) and arriving at the Hole on Thursday only to be greeted with some crystal clean water. Boat launched and ready to get wet, we got to our first spot and 2nd down I was surrounded by a wall of Cape Tail, lined up and plugged one, lekker (great/awesome) hard fight and coming in at 17kg! That got me lekker warmed up and ready to hit the next spot and do some scouting. The day went on and my skipper The Great Glem (Guy Le Meme) found us a sizey (big) shoal of Piggies (Pignose grunter) and I managed to get my spear into a decent one. Then off to the next spot and I shafted a lekker Poensie, some big Bankies (Bank steenbras) and a whopper Bronze bream of 4kg and I have never seen one so big,I thought they had all been shot… hahaha. The smile on my face was definitely from ear to ear. Lekker day!!!
Day2: Definitely a turn for the worse, kak (bad) visibility, cold water (surface 18°c – floor 15°c) fish were few and far between so had to prepare for the worst for comp day.
Day 3: Comp day, all boats lined up on backline, a quick divers briefing and at 7.30am sharp we were all off! We were cruising at about 65kph (not even full taps, sh1t that Yamaha 70hp flies) heading south and leading the pack we got to the point first only to discover it was not looking very inviting, so its full taps again and off to the next spot. Guy and myself jumped in the water, conditions improved ever so slightly from the previous day so that was at least a good start. We both did one or two downs and then I heard Guy shoot! I couldn’t believe what I saw, this owe (lad) finds a lost Grey Bankie, like wtf… hahaha. Diving was game on and I got a Bankie and found a decent weighing Slinger, then back on the boat and off again.
As the day goes on we pick up a few species trying to get maxi points here and there, Guy gets a bus Brusher and obviously I’m over’s (really) jealous but hey that’s how it goes. I lucked a new species, a John brown and that added another fish to my 10 species tally.
At about the 5hr mark I was still scratching for one decent fish and out the blue (well greenish water) at 20m I look to my left and see a decent Piggy just sitting stupid looking at me, I slowly turned my gun and boom in the hatch it went, definitely a game changer for me. We hit the shallows in the last hour looking for some double point fish and got what we needed. Comp all done and dusted we headed back for the weigh in. There were some nice fish but also some very small bags and I could definitely see diving conditions played a big part! Fortunately for me I had a brilliant skipper and best mate to put me on some quality fish allowing me to get my 10 species which secured me 4th place!!! I couldn’t believe it, super stoked and thankful.
I just want to give a shout out to Scott Campbell, our team captain/topman and personal photographer (better watch out Barret Harvey, you got some competition hahaha) and Guy Le Meme for being an amazing skipper and finding the fish. It was an awesome trip and good laughs were had.
Final standings top 10 Men below. Well done Master Guy le Meme on taking the honours this year with 1st Place and Taking the Trump trophy as well!
|Border Open 2021 – Men’s Results|
|1st||Guy le Même||39.76|
Ladies Mariette de Jager (14.47 points) and Taylor-Rose Toich (12.04 points) placed 1st and 2nd in the women’s division so Mariette keeps the Trophy this year as she won it in the last event. Well done Mariette!
This year’s winner of the Gregg Audie biggest fish at the Border Open trophy went to Alistair Jones (KZN) for a Brusher of 12kg.
This year’s most improved diver at the Border Open went to Borders youngest diver Sean Audie(14yrs) from placing last in 2020 to placing 35th out of 48 divers at this year’s Border Open. Well done young lad!
So some cracker diving and a great event by all means! Maybe, just maybe I can also hit a luck and attend next year’s event! Well done KZN divers for cleaning up at the Open in the men’s division. KZN diving Diva’s hope to see some of you there next year and give these Cape ladies a run for their money!
Taylor and hubby Paul Toich have handed over to Ivan Wienk for the running of the next Border Open Challenge his details for contact… Ivan Wienk +27 74 589 9531 borderopeninfo
Well done Taylor and Paul! Organising this type of competition is no small task! Ivan you have big shoes to fill!
I have attached the hand written complete final standings as a picture for viewing and a list of all the Sponsors for the event (pdf) as these Competitions would not happen without community and local businesses support. Thank you one and all!
As always Dive Safe and Straight Spears from the Bear…