Port Lincoln, South Australia:
Riviera has hit the trifecta at the 6th annual 2011 Riviera Port Lincoln Tuna Classic with three Riviera’s taking the top prizes.
The two day competition began on April 30 when Australia’s first purpose built Tuna boat, the 60-year-old 25 metre, Tacoma, led the 14 tournament boats out of Lincoln Cove Marina to a shot gun start at 7.30am.
President of the Riviera Port Lincoln Tuna Classic Peter Teakle said there were light winds and rain on day one of the competition, but that did not deter the competition between Riviera 45 Saltiga and Riviera 56 The Battler which landed, measured and released 38 and 35 fish respectively.
On day two there were clear skies but an increased southern swell as the battle for the top prize came down to three Rivieras Saltiga, The Battlerand Riviera 51 Sledgehammer.
“The Battler recorded an eight metre swell on day two which was pretty frightening but the weather overall was kind to us,” Mr Teakle said.
“We had a spotter plane overhead telling people where the fish were and that enabled all the boats to catch and release fish.
“Of the 14 boats, six were Rivieras and we had about 42 anglers chasing down the Tuna.”
The prize for Champion Boat went to Saltiga with 88 Tuna, Runner Up Champion was awarded to The Battler with 71 Tuna and third place went to Sledgehammer with 71 Tuna.
Champion Male Angler went to Riviera’s dealer relationship manager Adrian Bothur who landed 30 Tuna on board The Battler while the Champion Junior Angler went to 13-year-old Orion Downing who landed eight Tuna on board Sledgehammer, and the prize for the heaviest fish went to Jason Swincer with a 12 kilogram Tuna on board Saltiga.
Mr Teakle said it was encouraging to see young people getting involved in boating and the competition.
“I want to introduce more junior anglers to the sport,” he said.
“Port Lincoln is the largest commercial fishing port in the country and it’s a very successful town, with $400 million of fish caught in Port Lincoln every year. It truly is a fisherman’s paradise, the mecca of fishing.
“There are very few places in the world where on a 10 kilogram line you can catch and release five tonne of tuna in two days – that’s serious fishing.”
The tournament rules stated that only 10 kilogram line was allowed and the fish had weigh 10 kilograms and be 78 centimetres to qualify.
Following on from the success of the Riviera Port Lincoln Tuna Classic, Mr Teakle has been asked to form a Game Fishing Club in Port Lincoln and he looks forward to organising more competitions in the future.