Excitement, anticipation and anxiety quietly turned to anger and frustration for organisers of the 20th Samoa International Game Fishing Tournament yesterday.
It happened when it dawned on them that a ferry bringing in 12 boats from New Zealand for the tournament might not make it in time. It was scheduled to arrive last night but this could not be confirmed at press time.
One of the boats on the ship is “Greenie’s Waka 2.”
Speaking to the Samoa Observer, angler David Green, said they have invested money in bringing the boat to Samoa but with the tournament already delayed due to the ship’s late arrival, they are losing patience.
“The shipping company really should have done more to get the boats here in time,” he said. “They’ve got a lot of people waiting here and they know very well about it.
“I am indeed not happy about that because I’m one of the guys that paid thousands of dollars to be here. But also, the shipping company’s behaviour is certainly not family friendly.
“For instance, here are people which are away from their children for nearly a week now, and if the boats are still not coming, these people will do the most understandable thing and just head home.”
The ship in question is “Imua II” vessel.
Marty Maessen, a member of the organising committee, said the ship was to arrive right on time for the opening. But the original ship’s arrival in Apia was delayed due to technical problems, which occurred during the voyage from New Zealand.
“It had to go back to the harbour in New Zealand and there was a rope around the propeller, so that had to be fixed to ensure the continuation of the journey,” Mr. Maessen explained.
“But there was also another problem that appeared. At the end, they swapped all of our boats and the containers on to another vessel, so instead of coming from New Zealand directly to Samoa, it went via Fiji.
“It took an extra amount of two days for the time there, dropping off cargo and taking on new cargo to finally make its way to Samoa on Sunday.” As of yesterday afternoon, there was no sight of the vessel.
S.I.G.F.A.’s President, Vui Kevin Kohlhase, said it was scheduled to arrive last night.
“As for now, we’re expecting the vessel’s arrival soon and after the unloading, the boats will be at the harbour at around six o’clock or even later,” he said.
The ship dilemma has already disrupted the tournament’s schedule. The first day of fishing was on Monday with the women’s tournament and there was no fishing yesterday.
The only consolation was that on Monday, the women kicked off the tournament on a high note, landing some great fishes including a whopping marlin.