Epic Spearfishing Championships with a New State Record Fish!

On the 8th and 9th of March, the 2020 Victorian State Spearfishing Championships was hosted by Southern Freedivers on behalf of the Victorian Spearfishing Commission. The Championships were held on the Bass Coast, with day 1 held at Phillip Island and day 2 at Cape Schanck. Many different species were brought in by competitors; even a state record Sea Mullet by Marcus Dorfstatter.

Overall Champion: Murray Peterson
Ladies Champion: Kaylah Charles
Juniors Champion: Jarvis Espie

Below is the full Championship write-up from Adrian Tan.

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Due to inclement weather, the first day of the competition was pushed back from the 7th to the 8th March.

Day 1 – Phillip Island

It was a brisk morning with competitors rolling in for the sign-in from 7.30am. Competitors who came from interstate or further afield elected to find accommodation on the island or arrived several days before to acclimatize to conditions on the island.


Signups closed as competitors prepared their gear and readied themselves for what would prove to be an intense competition.

Moving towards the start area of Cats bay with their equipment.


When the whistle blew, competitors spread out in all directions, some jumping straight into the water, relying on the current to bring them down towards the Nobbies.

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While others sprinted back up the stairs and Ventnor road towards Cowrie beach. Most notably, Dave Scholefield lead the pack sprinting at a blazing pace towards Cowrie so he could hit the fresh ground before anyone else. 

As the currents carried the competitors towards the Nobbies there were many species and plenty of fresh ground to discover.


As Bob Manning lined up to shoot, his speargun rubber came loose.

Thanks to years of experience, and a sharp dive knife, he was able to fix it on the spot; keeping him in the competition.


Competitors started arriving at the Nobbies and Round island; even though there were some strong breakers on the south side of the island, some competitors braved the 


As the sign-out time drew closer, competitors had to fight against the outgoing current back to Shelley beach with their fish.

Several nearly missed the 3pm cut-off, barely making it back with minutes to spare as the currents tugged at their weary bodies.

The competitors were after a day of intense competition and indulged in the sumptuous bbq hosted by Geelong Freedivers.

As day 1 drew to a close, Watto was in the lead… had the student surpassed his master?

Day 2 – Cape Schanck

Conditions proved more challenging, as were the long narrow steps at Cape Schanck.


As the competition kicked into high gear, Murray was fired up and keen to retake the lead.

Once again, Dave Scholefield sprinted down to the ocean; while other competitors opted to conserve their energy for the day ahead.


Unfortunately, due to a broken speargun rubber, Mitchell Kornberg was forced to retire after 2 hours; showing the importance of having your gear in peak condition. 

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However, Mitch still managed a respectable 13 species, placing him among the top competitors for the day.


With the exception of a few competitors there was no last-minute rush for sign-out as competitors were still recovering for the previous day of competition.

During the climb up plenty of tourists were stopping competitors to get some pictures of the fish, most notably Crays like the 3.3kg Bull captured by Kim Adair.

Kudos to all competitors and a thank you to all our sponsors!

The competition was tough and there were plenty of prizes for all thanks to sponsors:

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