ROTORUA NZ 12 - 20 MARCH, 2005

At last, a sport in which NZ can beat Australia's finest!!!!!!

It was NZ's turn to host this year's CD Rods Oceania Fly Fishing Championship - the fifth such competition in the bi-annual series which was started in 1996 in NZ. The regional competition is rganised alternately by Sport Fly Fishing NZ (Inc.) and Fly Fish Australia. These organisations are the national members of CIPS & FIPS Mouche. CIPS (which includes FIPS_Mouche) is the member of AGFIS (Assoc. Generale des Federations Internationale Sportif) for sport fishing is therefore the international controlling body for Coarse Fishing, Sea Angling and Fly FIshing. FIPS-Mouche is the part of CIPS responsible for international sport fly fishing.

The competition for the Oceania Trophy was, as usual, fished between the NZ Silver and Black teams and the Australian Gold & Green teams. This year both Canada and Japan were invited to send teams to compete for the medals (although ineligible to fish for the trophy as they are not part of the Olympic Oceania region).

The weather could not have been kinder for the first four days of practice. Warm sunny weather with a slight breeze left all the anglers in good spirits. The five man teams are divided into five groups for the competition with (this year) six anglers in each group.

The five sessions of the competition were fished on the Ohinimuri and Waihou Rivers, the Waimakariri Stream and Lake Aniwhenua. The competition water on the Waihou and Waimakariri was accessed through the farms of Messrs. Gary Major and Alistair Barbour for which the society is extremely grateful as this means that the competition water had been minimally fished in the weeks prior to the tournament thus ensuring great fishing. On Lake Aniwhenua, the society was able to use the boat ramp (and boats) of the owners of the picturesque Urewera Lodge and our thanks are due to Mr Ben Pierce for arranging this for us. The public supported the competition by refraining from fishing too much on the publicly accessible Ohinimuri beats which ensured some superb fishing on this river (including a 59 cm fish taken by Mr Rob Vaz of NZ Silver team).

The weather the first day on Aniwhenua was unfortunately somewhat wet so it was a bedraggled group of anglers who returned in the evening albeit with several quite good scores. The weather on the rivers was fine though and by Friday it has mostly cleared up to offer superb fishing conditions. On the day each group fished the Ohinimuri they also had a bye so it was really difficult to gauge how the competition was going during the first two days. However by Friday night the Australian Green team was just in the lead and look set to do really well. However like the opera (where, it is said, It's not over till the fat lady sings!"), its not over till the last caste.

Saturday dawned well with all the anglers raring to go and do battle in the last two sessions (only one for Group D as it was their day to fish the Ohinimuri). The NZ teams had a magnificent day with John Bell (NZ Black), Peter Scott (NZ Silver), Aaron West (NZ Silver) and Steve Brown (NZ Black) all scoring a 1st place in Session 5. Chris Dawson of Australia took first in the other session in the morning. Both Steve Brown & John Bell went on to place first in the afternoon in Session 6 with the other two winners of these sessions being Yoshi Nakagawa of Japan and Chris Dawson of Australia (gaining his second 1st place of the day).

Saturday evening the teams all relaxed with drinks and a wonderful banquet dinner at the Kingsgate Hotel where we all stayed. It was wonderful to welcome several distinguished guests including the Patron of Fly Fish Australia, Mrs Janet Holmes a'Court and her husband Peter, Former President of FFA, Mr Malcolm Crosse and his wife Kaylene, Mr & Mrs Ben Wilson and Mr Rob Pitketley representing Fish & Game, Mr & Mrs Alistair Barbour from the farm on the Waimakariri, and Mr Ben Pierce representing Heron Point/Urewera Lodge owners. In addition we were delighted to have the company of a number of people who had helped ensure the success of the competition including 3 of the 4 sector judges (Ray Port; Ohinimuri, Garth Plank: Waihou, Neil Hawes/Terry Kels Lake Aniwhenua together with Neville Robinson: Hotel dispatcher) some of the controllers(including three young members of Putaruru High School) and some former team members notably Mr Pat O'Keefe, Mr Terry Kelso and Mr John Pellew.

The evening was a great success and the anglers recorded their grateful thanks first and foremost to Mr Dave Pirrit, the Competition Organiser of SFFNZ and his sub-committee of Messrs Steve Brown, Ian Gibbs, Peter Scott and John Pellew who had organised all whole tournament and ensured that it ran smoothly. Secondly they thanked Mrs Janet Holmes a'Court who acted as the official photographer for the competition (some of whose photo's are attached) and Mrs Kaylene Crosse who very kindly took time out of her holiday in NZ to score the competition.

The scores for the competition were very close and by tradition are kept secret until the prize giving at the banquet on the Saturday evening So it was with great delight that Ms Jill Mandeno, the President of SFFNZ was able to announce a clean sweep of both the medals and the Oceania Trophy to New Zealand. Final results were:

Individual Medals:  First, Steve Brown, NZ Black Team
  Second, John Bell, NZ Black Team
  Third, Aaron West, NZ Silver Team 
Team Gold Medal: NZ Black comprising the Team Captain Mr Paul Dewar, John Bell, Steve Brown, Ian Gibbs, Margaret Williams and Rob Vaz.
Oceania Trophy:  NZ Black Team

Paul Dewar accepted the Oceania Trophy on behalf of his team from Mr Rene Vaz, CD Rods - the sponsors of the NZ Silver Flies World Championship team and the Oceania Championships. The Oceania Trophy will therefore stay in NZ this time with the NZ Black Team (in Paul's care).

A special prize was awarded to Yoshi Nakagawa for the longest fish being a 61 cm brown trout caught on Lake Aniwhenua. A total of 354 fish were caught (and released again unharmed) during the three days of the competition.

Full results for the teams and the 30 anglers competing are as follows:
Team results are calculated by ranking the teams in ascending order of the number of place points cumulatively amassed by the members of the team from their five fishing sessions:

NZ Black:  66 place points
Australia Gold:  79 place points
NZ Silver:  81 place points
Australia Green:  91 place points
Japan:  105 place points
Canada:  116 place points

Individual results are calculated on the same basis as the team but anglers tied with the same number of points are separated by first, the number of fish points received, next by the number of fish caught and thirdly by the largest fish caught.

Overall Placing Name  Total Place Total Fish point/# of Fish      Fishing Group Team
1 Steve Brown 6 points 17,240 fish pts (23 fish) Gp E: NZ Black
2 John Bell 7 points 18,100 fish pts (25 fish) Gp B: NZ Black
3 Aaron West 9 points 25,840 fish pts (35 fish) Gp D: NZ Silver
4 Joe Riley 10 points 19,460 fish pts (23 fish) Gp D: Australia Green
5 Peter Scott 10 points 14,320 fish pts (19 fish) Gp C: NZ Silver
6 Rob Vaz 11 point 13 points ,400 fish pts (16 fish)       Gp A: NZ Black
7 Yoshi Nakagawa 12 points 16,720 fish pts (21 fish) Gp C: Japan
8 Chris Dawson 12 points 11,360 fish pts (17 fish) Gp A: Australia Gold
9 Tim Urbanc 13 points 11,800 fish pts (17 fish) Gp E: Australia Gold
10 Ian Sewell 15 points 8,500 fish pts (12 fish) Gp D: Australia Gold
11 Jim Davis 17 points 13,720 fish pts (19 fish) Gp C: Australia Green
12 Masayuki Mori 17 points 6,540 fish pts (9 fish) Gp B: Japan
13 Lloyd Struthers 18 points 7,540 fish pts (9 fish) Gp B: NZ Silver
14 Todd Pittman 18 points 5,580 fish pts (7 fish) Gp A: Canada
15 Jason Sealie 19 points 4,720 fish pts (7 fish) Gp B: Australia Gold
16 Mark Youngman 20 points 7,560 fish pts (10 fish) Gp C: Australian Gold
17 Pat Kennedy 20 points 5,860 fish pts (8 fish) Gp B: Australia Green
18 Tom Irvine 20 points 5,540 fish pts (8 fish) Gp E: Canada
19 Nick Rhoades 20 points 5,360 fish pts (7 fish) Gp A: Australia Green
20 Ian Gibbs 21 points 6,780 fish pts (11 fish) Gp D: NZ Black
21 Margaret William 21 points 6,480 fish pts (9 fish) Gp C: NZ Black
22 Strato Cotsilini 22 points 4,140 fish pts (6 fish) Gp E: NZ Silver
23 Neil Hirtzel 22 points 2,940 fish pts (5 fish) Gp A: NZ Silver
24 John Abordi 24 points 3,460 fish pts (6 fish) Gp E: Australia Green
25 Art Barnes 25 points 5,500 fish pts (7 fish) Gp C: Canada
26 Musayuki Musashi 25 points 2,860 fish pts (3 fish) Gp A: Japan
27 Kazuhito Sugihara 25 points 2,520 fish pts (3 fish) Gp D: Japan
28 Yasukazu Mizumoto 26 points 3,420 fish pts (5 fish) Gp E: Japan
29 Jack Simpson 26 points 1,320 fish pts (2 fish) Gp B: Canada
30 Mark Skursky 27 points 3,700 fish pts (5 fish) Gp D: Canada

The evening was rounded out by much celebration and we have all gladly accepted 
the invitation of Mr Jim Williams to attend the next Oceania in 2007, probably in Tasmania.

Congratulations to all the winners and my personal thanks to all the many people who put in so much hard work to making this competition such a

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