19 Mar 2014

Around 228 excited anglers descended on the coastal town of Richards Bay recently each with a dream of catching as many of the heaviest Marlin as possible. And there was plenty of reason for the keen anticipation in this year’s SADSAA Nissan Billfish Classic  - at stake was a huge cash prize of R100 000, a prestigious trophy and a coveted invite to the IGFA World Offshore championships in Mexico next year.

Boating World Durban’s Craig Oostingh went up north to experience his first Richards Bay competition which traditionally has a number of Riviera Sport Fishers taking part. He was able to meet some of the skippers at the registration evening on the Tuesday night. There was a great vibe as organizers efficiently checked each angler in and anglers’ poured into the popular socializing spots on the clubhouse verandah and under the thatched Boma’s areas next to the water.  The briefing in the giant marquee that evening, followed by a delicious finger supper turned out to be a festive affair

The first two days presented perfect fishing weather but by the third day the sea was on its head which eliminated some of the entrants who decided not to risk the “upside down” seas. Those brave enough to take their chances included a Riviera 3350 “Predator” and a Riviera 43 which easily handled the rough conditions.

Ideal for our coastline, the luxurious Rivera’s are perfect for long days at sea with the all the necessary power, comfort and fuel capacity. The IPS (Inboard Performance System) creates up to 30% greater fuel efficient and no diesel fumes – both essential when travelling to those far-out  favorite spots in the deep and particularly in turbulent waters.  (Novice anglers are well catered for in the comfortable en-suite cabins should they be overwhelmed with seasickness).

Despite the difficult conditions on the last day, anticipation was at an all time high as two boats, Rampage and Charlie Brown, notched up the same points on the leader board overnight! The fight was on and it boiled down to who caught their last Marlin first on the final day.

Deon Auby’s relief was palpable as he clinched the deal for Rampage with his Blue Marlin which he brought in and released mid-morning - taking the honors for the competition.  OJ Grinaker fishing off Charlie Brown caught and released a Black Marlin but it was three hours too late. However, he and his team took home the Bronze Medal and R30 000 cash. Team Uli Buli took silver and the R50 000 cash prize.

Craig also spent time visiting the Tuzi Gazi marina where several Riviera clients moor their boats.