Savaii Fishing Tournament set to begin
The Savaii Fishing Tournament will kick start the game fishing tournament season this year and anglers will be setting course for Asau, Savaii, before the 2019 SIGFA Tournament opens in Upolu next month.
Scheduled for April 14-17, the three-day event will be held at the Vaimoana Seaside Resort in Savaii.
Held for the third consecutive year in Asau, the tournament has quickly earned itself a reputation for its unique laid back and festive style making it ideal for anglers to bring their families along and take the rare opportunity to explore a territory at the edge of Samoa.
“The tournament is a chance for locals to get away from the hustle and bustle of Apia and fish in uncharted waters while experiencing a part of Samoa that they very rarely ever get the chance to experience,” Savaii Fishing Tournament Committee President, Tupa’i Saleimoa Vaai said.
“Upolu is traditionally the hub for a lot of anglers and die hard fishermen attending the SIGFA Tournament but we want to bring a slight change to what we do in Savaii because we are the preferred spot to bring families."
Tourists and locals alike who will be on the big island during the tournament can look forward to the event which welcomes non-anglers to come down and watch the weigh-ins and join in the evening festivities featuring food and drinks specials.
Despite the schedule reshuffle and facing a major challenge to the tournaments with the rising costs of transporting charter boats from overseas, Tupai said the show must go on.
“What’s changed this year is we worked together with SIGFA and our partners in Pago to try and see how we can coordinate all our tournaments so they don’t clash with each other.
“Hence we put it forward, it wasn’t a preference for us but it was one that was doable to ensure that we get enough boats. Tentatively we have 12 boats coming to this tournament. Our vision is of course to always keep improving it and make it a permanent fixture for Savaii.”
With an eye out for improving the tournament ensuring that not only does it survive but thrives despite the existing challenges, Tupai indicated that the tournament committee is looking ahead to permanently move the date of the tournament to coincide with Savaii’s Palolo Festival in October next year.
“Like everything, when we started this competition it was always about bringing more events to Savaii, that’s the most important thing to us. Whether there’s profit to be made at the start is irrelevant because it’s just about raising that profile of Savaii which will benefit the whole island.
“We have been very thankful for the sponsors and the donations that come in that enable us to host it but just like everything we just want to improve on it. We are looking at changing the venue and the dates to cater to our locals’ natural movements and it’s a given for most locals to head to Savaii for Palolo rising in October. It makes sense for people to get more out of their holiday and recreation time.”