March 16th was skippers brief for the 2018 Riviera Port Lincoln Tuna classic at the beautiful Marina hotel. This is always a fun night of joking and teasing with the competitive side being exposed early with the Calcutta. Spartacus skippered by Ralph Czabayski was the boat to beat for the heaviest fish, we ended up the 3rd highest bidded boat, did we have as much chance as everyone else? We certainly did and relished the chance to get amongst it. 10% of the Calcutta is donated to Tumby Bay VMR, Gary does a great job of babysitting us all while we are on the water.
There were 4 trailer boats this year and the competition was on. Its not easy for anyone of us to make the decision to fish the cabbage patch in a Trailer boat, especially knowing the weather was turning so nasty that day 2 had been called off and we were now fishing a one-day tournament. Another consideration is the distance, its approx a 80 nautical mile round trip, 148 kms for those who need the translation, we have a 280 litre fuel tank so something we have to watch. A bond of mateship was created amongst us as we discussed tactics and strategies. The great thing about this comp is as a trailer boat we can take the chance knowing full well that if we got into any trouble we would we helped by every one of the bigger boats.
Saturday morning came around pretty quick the sunrise that greeted us was simply amazing and as 16 boats lined up for the start we were away, I had warned Leah and Jules that we had 2 options we go out hard or stay at the back, the wake of 12, 50+ foot boats is not a nice experience for us on board justagirl. We decided to hang back. As Diana called GO we were overcome with excitement and went out hard only to get overtaken and smashed around with 2 meter wake broadside, Gulp next year we will behave 😊
The trip down to memory cove never fails to astound me the scenery is breathtaking. We met the other boats there, shared some chocolate fish, rigged up our rods ready to go, we expected the cabbage patch to be pretty rough with 2.5 meter swells and 1 meter of chop on top in the forecast, the girls had not fished there before and it was Jules first time out in justagirl. I prepared them for the worst.
Arrival at the cabbage patch was a pleasant surprise, while it wasn’t flat it certainly wasn’t as rough as anticipated so we settled in for the day, We hooked 4 and lost 3 no keepers by 1pm. We realised we had missed the sched at 12 and tried to use the radio, hmmm no radio, on closer inspection the aerial had fallen back onto the out rigger. With Leah being the tallest and having the longest arm reach we sent her out to fix it, yahoo reception again, radioed in and found out that the biggest fish was 95cm. The afternoon saw us boat another 8 fish with only 2 keepers for the day. We did have some fun with some stripeys. They are ferocious little fighters for their size and hold their own in the fun department. I checked the fuel at 2pm and we had used over half, I average 1 litre to 1 km and at that stage we had used 174 litres.
We decided at 4.45 to pull up and head back in, the strategy was we would be in front of the fleet should we run out of petrol and the wind had come up, the morning pleasant seas were gone. We high tailed it home and headed into the marina with approx. 20 litres of fuel in the tank.
Sunday nights presentation at Peter Teakle wines new restaurant The Line and Label was unforgettable, coffin bay oysters and plenty of them being my favourite, If you are up there make a booking, the décor is stunning and with world class interior designer Leah Hargraves in our crew she confirmed that it was surely that. Every item on the menu is produced from their own gardens or harvested, farmed or fished on the Eyre Peninsula
The winners were announced, the most memorable being small fry at age 7 Harry Czabayski who returned as small fry champion again this year, his speech was cute 😊
Champion Boat was The Battler with 52 fish, Champion Trailer boat was Sniper with 40 fish, they were also runner up overall, an amazing feat for a trailer boat, well done Kym Sheppard. Champion Female was Susan Czabayski
Runner up trailer boat with 28 fish was In The Red. Heaviest fish and the Calcutta went to Spartacus.
Monday morning, we hit the road back to Adelaide, our mission accomplished.
We made new friends and connected with some amazing people. We came home safe. We had a great weekend away. We got out to the cabbage patch and had a great crack at it. A special thank you to our sponsor for this trip LH Interiors and construction
Come join us next year and have some fun. There’s nothing greater than hanging out with others who love the same stuff we do. The comradery of this event is addictive, justlettingyouknow.
Thanks Peter Teakle and team for a great event, Can’t wait to see you all again next year.