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2019 NSW Game Fishing Association Interclub Tournament is cancelled

by John Curnow 22 Feb 08:27 UTC
Manouevering at the weight station at the end of the day. © John Curnow

On the afternoon of Thursday, February 22, 2019, the New South Wales Game Fishing Association (NSWGFA) made the prudent decision to cancel the impending Interclub tournament at Port Stephens. Naturally, whilst this was the only option available, it was certainly disappointing to the association, especially so when there were 140 boats and their anglers all set to have a great time, and assist with fisheries science.

Speaking with the President of the NSWGFA, Gary Chenoweth, we got to understand the decision making process in the face of severe and significant weather conditions. “Safety is always paramount out at sea. We have to look after our anglers over the sake of the competition. We always keep an eye out on the official government information as delivered by the Bureau of Meteorology, and in this case, we waited until the latest update for the final decision. This was released at 1600hrs on Thursday.”

“We had five knots of current running down the coast from North to South, with a significant Southerly swell pushing up against it. All of this could have been disastrous for any vessel with a fish hooked up and manoeuvring, ending up beam on to the waves.”

“In addition to that, merely exiting the bay over the bar at the heads would have been very challenging, especially on the first morning, where there was a tide running out and meeting a 25knot Sou’easterly blow, almost head on. There is also a lot of fresh water running into the bay from all of the rain that has been received, which just creates more volume of water trying to egress, and therefore even bigger standing waves.”

“Our fleet is not made up entirely of local vessels, so reading the conditions would have been a challenging prospect for some. We wanted to cause as little inconvenience to all, and come from an informed position, so we waited for both the latest forecast, and also for all of the boats that had been out on Thursday for Ladies Day to return from the Continental Shelf, which is around 35nm out, so that we could talk with all of the Skippers. The unanimous call made by them was that the conditions were fair to frightening”, said Chenoweth.

“This was not a situation we wanted to place anybody else in. We had a 140 vessels booked in, and this continues the big increases we have seen over the last four years. We needed to give our members and entrants the opportunity to review the Bluewater Expo at the Leagues Club, so this went ahead none the less”, Chenoweth closed with.

The Interclub will return in 2020, no doubt with sponsors such as Pantaenius Sail and Motor Yacht Insurance by the side of the association that is prepared to make the right calls at the right time. To see what the NSWGFA do, or to partake in one of their events, please go to and get set to fish.

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