1st Place: Dan Silveira
2nd Place: Harold Gibson
3rd Place: Alex Reynaud
1st Place: Dan Silveira / Dave Edlund / Harold Gibson (188.45 pts)
2nd Place: Paul Young / Eric McDermott / Justin Smith (149.05 pts)
3rd Place: Brock Kennedy / David Lang / Paul Castillou (107.7 pts)
Biggest Fish (weight is rounded to nearest lb)
1st: Dan Silveira (37lb Ling Cod & New Pending World Record)
2nd: Alex Reynaud (25lb Ling Cod)
3rd: Paul Castillou (24lb Ling Cod)
1st Place: Rick Duenas / Lou Galliazzo (74.95 pts)
2nd Place: Dennis Haussler / Keely Haussler (73.60 pts)
3rd Place: Bob Humphrey / Brandi Easter (68.25 pts)
1st Place: Keely Haussler (23.05 pts)
2nd Place: Amanda Ernst (22.25 pts)
3rd Place: Brandi Easter (10.35 pts)
The Triton X 2011 Spearfishing Tournament
By Dan Silveira
At 2:30am I heard the sipper to my tent opening. Startled, I woke up to the sound of raccoons parting in my cooler. I swung my arm against the side of my tent, to scare the little beast, and I made contact with him. Off they went scurrying in every direction, and I had to question myself; “do I really want to wake up at 6am to scout for the Triton X spearfishing comp”? Groggy as can be, I stumbled out of my tent as the sun was rising, packed my diving gear and drove to the beach. The stench of a rotten sea lion on the sand filled the air as I slid into my freezing cold wetsuit. Ahead of me I had a 2.5 mile paddle into a 25 mile head wind and 6 foot seas. What motivates me to scout for these competitions is simple. I like to map the ocean floor with my eyes and mark every hole, crack, pinnacle, and fish with my GPS. Yes, I am addicted to it!!!
With no food in my stomach and the rough conditions, I knew what had to be done to put up a top score. I scouted my ass off for seven hours. I found several great fish including two twenty pound lingcod that I hoped would stay in their holes till competition day. I also found four vermilion rockfish, a highly prized red colored fish that is among the best eating quality, and to top it all off I found an eleven-pound cabazon. I knew that I would have a good chance of putting up a top score if I could land some of these fish.
The rules to the competition were simple. A diver could weigh-in five fish and one abalone. Only one fish of each species were allowed with a minimum length of fourteen inches unless DFG limited otherwise. The only fish that had to be bigger was the Lingcod, which had to be a minimum of 30 inches. Each fish was given ten points plus one point per pound. The maximum weight for points was twenty pounds. For example, a twenty-pound lingcod would score 30 points for the diver. If the diver wanted to bring an abalone to the weigh-ins for points, it had to be over nine inches. Divers were given ten points for the nine-inch abalone and one point for each tenth of an inch over. For example, a ten-inch abalone would score twenty points.
On the day of the competition, I checked in at 6:30am and rushed to the beach. The rules stated that all competitors had to be back at 1:30pm or risk being disqualified. This gave everyone 7 hours to work on his or her stringer of fish. Accounting for travel time, divers would have to shoot approximately one fish per hour to max out their fish count. My dive buddies Dave Edlund, Harold Gibson, Paul Young, and Carl Krupansky were going to be diving the same general area that I was diving.
After a long two mile paddle, I checked my first hole, and to my surprise, the twenty pound lingcod was gone and a smaller ling had replaced it. I shot the fish and after putting it on my stringer, I dove down to the same hole and found the eleven-pound Cabazon. Now I had a fish on the board. I quickly got into my kayak and moved to the second big ling I has scouted. I dove down and that ling too had been replaced with a smaller ling – a fourteen ponder. I shot the ling and now I had two fish on the board.
I was feeling confident that the day was going to turn out good so I worked my way to a vermilion spot I had found the day before. The spot was 50 feet deep and on the back side of a large pinnacle where a pile of boulders met with some sand – perfect habitat for “Reds”. I took a deep breath and descended along the slope of the pinnacle. Once I landed on the bottom, the grumpy vermilion came in for a look. The last thing he saw was my spear shaft in his head! Now it was time for black and blue rockfish. I went to a spot that was about thirty feet deep and dove to the bottom. A loan black swam up to me kamikaze style and now I had four big fish on my kayak! One more dive and I shot my blue.
I was almost done, but I needed to find a big abalone. I found a ledge that was loaded with nine-inch ab’s, but I needed one closer to ten inches to produce the best score possible. After hours of searching for a big abalone, the best I could do was 9.5 inches.
When it was all said and done, I ended up winning the Triton X spearfishing tournament with 101.25 points. It was a 5 species meet + 1 abalone. The tournament format was more challenging than I had expected. Finding the biggest and badest of each species is very difficult! I would like to thank the Freedive Shop for organizing the event, and I would like to commend my dive buddies for a job well done. Dave Edlund = 2nd place (96.05 pts), Justin Smith = 3rd place (91.85 pts and big abalone 10.33”), Harold Gibson = 4th place (87.45 pts), Paul Young = 7th place. Louis Galliazzo shot the big ling of the day (24.1 lbs). Great weekend!!! The most inspiration divers of the meet were Carl Krupansky age 77, and Rick Duenas age 15 (Top Junior 77.95 pts)!!!
Till the next adventure,