The Grand Hotel and Casino Vanuatu Marlin Classic was held from the 21st – 29th of May 2010. Our base this year was from The Grand Hotel which is located right in the heart of Port Vila. We had twelve teams enter the tournament with teams from Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia as well as the usual local contingents. Friday night was the Calcutta and Briefing and a great night was had by all, no fishing on the Saturday as we all needed a day of recovery before fishing started on the Sunday. Saturday night saw Port Vila cop over 250mm of rain! The rain did not let up on the Sunday and the first day of fishing was very wet to say the least. Apart from no visibility, Skippers had to dodge large logs and trees that had been washed down from the rivers. The water remained dirty for the whole week and added with water temperatures that fluctuated as much a 2 1/2 degrees centigrade it would prove to make fishing very difficult with numerous marlin being seen swimming on the surface, none of which could be enticed in to a bite. Shogun hooked a nice Blue on 15Kg only to have the marlin jump onto the line and break off! After cease fishing, we had the afternoon weigh ins and I must say that I have never seen wetter fishermen!
The weather cleared on Monday morning for the 7am shotgun start which we had every morning. Southern Destiny had a double hook up on Sailfish and managed to tag one out of the two. Nevagivup Supreme landed a new female Vanuatu Record for an 8.6Kg Skip Jack on 15Kg line and Michelle ended up with her first Spearfish which was also a female Vanuatu Record on 15Kg. Tuesday saw Nevagivup Team A land a nice Wahoo to Sean on 15Kg which ended up earning him the heaviest Wahoo for the tournament weighing in at 14.8Kg. A few marlin had been seen over the last couple of days but no one had managed to put a tag in.
Wednesday saw the Nevagivup Supreme team head out again, we had worked out a plan the night before and we stuck to it. At around 12.30pm we heard one of the reels scream off and blasting out of the water was a nice Blue around the 150pd mark. Grant was on the rod and after a 20 minute fight the tag was in! What a relief, that’s all I can say! Thursday saw Shogun tag a Blue on 24Kg for the NZ Fishing Council team. Friday was another day of fish seen but the fleet had trouble except for Team A on board Nevagivup. Sean managed to tag his Blue marlin on 15Kg and was estimated around the 100pd mark, after a 10 minute fight the tag was in. So this had Nevagivup Supreme and Nevagivup Team A in first and second place. Saturday was the last day of fishing so both the Nevagivup teams had a lay day and had to wait it out till cease fishing. Sirius landed a nice Spearfish that weighed in at 16.6Kg on 15Kg line.
Saturday night was the presentation night which was held at The Grand Hotel and Casino. Once everyone had pre dinner drinks, we were sat down for a delicious meal and melt in your mouth dessert. With all the formalities over with and the Nevagivup teams cleaning the winning pool including the Calcutta, Stu and Kathy (Crowning Moments) played some tunes for us all. A great night was had by all and I haven’t seen the wee small hours for along time! The winning team was Nevagivup Supreme and the anglers were Michelle Temminck, Charles Wheeler, Grant Hall and Russ Housby skippered by Charles. Nevagivup Team A consisted of Grant Hall, Sean Winslett, Russ Housby and Andrew Joe also skippered by Charles. Hopefully the winners will organise a team to represent Vanuatu as this event is a qualifying event for the IGFA Offshore World Championships.
A wonderful week of fun, fantastic weather (except for the first day), daily weigh ins where plenty of stories were told of the ones that were seen and lost and plenty of cold beer was had. We will soon be advising of the dates for next years tournament, so stay tuned!