The arrival of the boats might have caused a few angry moments but all that was quickly forgotten yesterday morning at the Matautu Wharf.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi triggered the gunshot started that kicked off the official part of the 20th Samoa International Game Fishing Tournament.
And for the next three days, the big fishes around the Samoan archipelago should be very afraid. Yesterday morning, 29 boats full of keen and experienced anglers launched from Matautu. Forgotten are the frustrations and difficulties which had overshadowed the event.
All that matters now for more than 200 anglers are the days on sea, comradeship and hopefully many big fishes on board to win the first prize in the competition’s prize pool, which includes prize money of more than $52,000.
When the tournament kicked off yesterday morning, it was more of a gradual process rather than a quick start to a race to land the biggest catch.
In fact, most of the competing boats left the harbour early, even before the mandatory starting shot by P.M. Tuilaepa.
The reason for the early start of most boats was obvious: the more time they spend on sea, the bigger the chance to get a big fish on the hook. However, some of the participants took it slow and left the harbour later than their comrades.
One of the last boats to set off for the catch of the day was the Taumafai. According to crewmember Steve Szigetvary, the urgent desire to start the tournament was on its peak when making the boat ready moments before the departure.
“I am very excited about everything and just want to finally get on the water. I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.
When it comes to the expectations for the next three days, Mr. Szigetvary was absolutely sure about what the experience on the South Pacific should be like for him and his fellow anglers.
“It’s always a pleasure to meet some new friends, have a good day, hopefully catch a fish and get back safe.” “Any fish would be good, but obviously a marlin, a sailfish or a yellowfin would be among the best to catch. But anything is a bonus.”