GREAT BARRIER ONE BASE 2020
Superb weather and enough fish to keep things interesting made for an excellent 2020 One Base.
The first stripie (2nd place Billfish Points) was tagged at the very northern edge of the grid by Nick Whittaker on Barry Plumptons rocket ship Xcellerate (Harbourview Farms cash prize—new sponsor, thank you Roger). This earnt them the Presidents Challenge. Sea conditions were the best for years, and have been the same all the following week! Are we even in the same country anymore?
Quite a few boats started up north, but the spread of captures was pretty much all over the grid. The 3rd Billfish Points prize went to Brenda L for a broadbill (GT Trailers cash prize), then Kevin Brown fishing solo on Game Time for a stripie (Gubbs prize), and Mark Postlewaight for a stripie on Armani (Gubbs prize).
The One Base Billfish Points system is modelled on well established tournament principles eg Whangaroa and it favours tagging, capturing fish early in the event, and still accounts for larger fish if they’re being put in the boot.
The heaviest weighed gamefish went to Tom Stewart for a 165.4kg blue marlin caught on Karakia. This fish took 1st place Billfish Points (HarbourView cash prize) and the One Base trophy. Tom has been doing the One Base for 9 years and brings most of the pre-prepared dinners for the crew. In recent years he could be forgiven for wondering if he was jinxed, so its great to finally have that monkey off his back. Tom’s blue also took out the Matakana ITM Makita drop saw and bench for heaviest blue/black/sword. That’s an awesome prize thanks James & Shane.
No mahimahi this year, but there’s no complaints because yellowfin tuna made an appearance after a long absence. Skippies were only located in small, isolated pockets. Nothing to do with the spotter plane and seiner out the back of Arid of course. Albacore of various sizes were fairly numerous and converted appreciably into delicious fresh sashimi and pan fried goodness.
Back to the Advanced Concrete Pumping sponsored YFT section, it was very close for the top placings. Aaron Stenbeck on Dirty Berty secured 1st place at 17kg, and because he backed himself in the Sweep-stake it was a double pay day. Daniel Otte (all the way from Wellington) was 2nd at 16.8kg, and Mark Postlewaight on Armani 3rd with a 15.4kg ‘fin.
Special thanks to Clive for running the weighstation and being Fire Warden on prizegiving night. Helluva nice guy and an asset to our event, thanks mate.
The Mason Contractors Snapper section went like this: 1st Doron Anderson on Xcellerate 76.5cm, Jess Pe-tersen 2nd at 75cm on Luna-Sea, and Michael Leggoe 3rd at 69.5cm on Kaella. Good snappers to be sure, but the great weather out wide meant less competi-tion for those targeting them. And they saved lots of fuel!
Tim Baldwin on Armani grabbed the kingfish prize at 104.5cm, and also on Armani Mark Postlewaight wrapped up the tagged shark section with a bronzie.
The Earlybird section was well subscribed, thanks for your upfront support anglers. Unbelievably Tom Hatfull was drawn again. That’s three 3.3hp Mercury engines in recent years to Tom. Maybe we should just take his name out of the next draw, he wont know. Being the GB that he is, Tom elected to have the EarlyBird prize redrawn and Reid Lyons all the way from Aussie and fishing on Rampage won it. Nope wewon’t be posting it out, looks like Rampage has a new dinghy motor. Aaron & Matt at Matakana Marine have provided this sought after prize consistently, thank you fellas.
It’s a bit random with reception vaguaries, but it seems the Radio Quizzes remain a highlight. We are starting to appreciate the research that some crews carry out—like knowing all the grid sponsors starting with respective letters, all the grids with respective coloured labels, the deliberately misnamed features, sponsors on specific lats and longs, etc. It was an eye opener to us as to how serious it’s getting! Not sure that Emmy would be happy with an hourly quiz, but maybe we could sneak an extra one into the daily schedule. Tackle & Outdoor, Beaure-paires, and Gubbs make the radio quizzes worth competing for. The boat packs made up for the briefing night were fattened up with products from Hunting & Fishing Wark-worth (thanks Colin) and motor products sponsored by Gubbs Motors, thank you Kevin. The Briefing night is a good opportunity to catch up and make plans. Hunting & Fishing gear and Gubbs products made up the bulk of the spot prizes on Sunday night too.
The Sponsors Draw for dinner and drinks at Sandspit Yacht Club Kitchen & Bar was won by Keith Andrews Fuso Trucks, thank you for your support Curtis and we hope you get to use this voucher soon. There will be pre-dinnerdrinks on Karakia too.
Our Skippers Draw was won by the one and only Logan Campbell on Violator. He picked up vouchers from Tack-le&Outdoor, Gubbs MTA, and a $400 Matakana Mobile Valet voucher from Dylan. Next time you see Violator make sure you’re wearing your sunglasses!
The Hardluck trophy was awarded to Anthony Roberts fishing on HarbourView. They tagged a stripie but it didn’t revive and was under qualifying weight when weighed. So the logical thing is to appreciate the fish by bringing it home to share. There was another hardluck story. Not sure if there was much luck involved, but it would take a lot to out-idiot that one! What happens at sea stays there. But just remember when you open that can of tuna at smoko that getting stuck in a can isn’t the worst thing that can happen to a tuna.
Caterers Kat and Jonquil served up an excellent meal on Sun-day. Whew! It was just like the ‘old days’ with a variety of per-fectly cooked and presented meats, salads, and vegies. Plenty to go around and knocked out bang on time. Thank you to the North Barrier Residents & Ratepayers Assoc for the hireage of the Fitzy Boating Club. And The Store at Fitzroy for use of the wharf chiller and staying open for fuel. We hope Jackson recovers quickly from his trip to hospital.
Logistically this year we had no choice to run b.y.o at the prize-giving. But there were no complaints—people earnt their cold beer at the top of the stairs, prizegving was more cohesive (instead of simultaneously people 3 deep at the bar), and there was more cash left in pockets.
Speaking of, over $500 was again raised in the Great Barrier Marine Radio raffle. Well done you guys. If you’re not a member of GBMR copy the subscription form on the back of this report and become one. So then we get to the Travel Prize. 12 people drawn from entries and then submitted to a reduction draw. When you consider the odds it’s amazing how many people seem to be in the 12 each year. Cam was sorting the consolation prizes when he got drawn as one of the 12. He started telling me how the prizes were ordered but I told him he would be eliminated early on so not to worry about telling me. First name out: Cam! Sorry buddy.
There were vouchers from Warkworth Auto Electri-cal, Gubbs lubes, Hunting & Fishing gear, Beaure-pairies merchandise, vouchers for bottles of rum, and the superb runner-up prize of a weekend with a new Range Rover and spending cash from Archi-bald & Shorter North Shore. And we were left with one man standing —Wayne Brown. Brownie has fished this comp since forever on First Affair and has recently had more than his fair share of busting a leg. A very popular winner.
It was an excellent tournament with great sponsor and angler support. We’re not fortunate enough to have blue water straight out the door so we have to run it a bit different to loosely comparable events. All the systems are in place to do this all over again next year. Dave announced his retirement and is looking forward to being ‘just another angler’. There are thoughts about bringing prizegiving back to the Sandspit Clubrooms and maybe some format tweeks—the WwGFC Committee welcome your thoughts, so just get word to any committee member or even better come along to a monthly meeting.
Have yourselves a trouble-free and fishy season.