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Just a quick update regarding the AGM that was held last Saturday night.
Six members attended and the new committee is now made up of:
President – Gerard Saunders Vice President – Daniel Madden Secretary – Russell O’Flynn Treasurer – Peter Field General – Jordan Whilt
It was a great night with plenty discussed and we’re looking forward to planning out some interesting activities in the near future – particularly in the freediving space.
Thanks to everybody who’s participated in the committee over the last year(s). Particularly Hayden who has done a great job as el presidente for many years.
If you’re interested in participating formally in the committee let us know, there’s plenty of room.
We’re also interested in knowing what diving activities you’d like to participate in. Over the last couple of years we’ve seen a significant turnaround in the direction of the club from how it began. Feel free to email, private message, group discuss etc.. your ideas.
We’ve been watching the various weather forecasting tools closely for the last week and it looks like Sunday is actually not going to be as good as initially forecast. What was already a very marginal average day has been determined to be inappropriate. Whilst this is unfortunate it’s also part of diving Victoria.
So we are cancelling tomorrow’s competition. However we’re very keen to get either the pole spear or shore dive events completed this year and it should be possible.
The next two weekends are candidates for 2019 so and there’s a projected ease in swell towards the end of next week. We’ll be assessing the conditions again during the week and will endeavour to get out a notification as early as possible if an event can be run.
Since there’s two events feel free to suggest which one you’d prefer via facebook/email etc..
Apologies for the late notice. We were pretty keen to push forward with an event and wanted to more certain what weather to expect this weekend.
Just a quick reminder that this years AGM & Club Awards Night on Saturday the 10th of August, in the front bar of the Sir Charles Hotham hotel in Geelong, kicking off at 6:30pm.
We will be presenting a number of awards for notable spearfishing related accomplishments of our club members, and release competition results for the season just gone.
Sometime during the night we will also hold the club AGM, where all committee positions will be vacated & the club will vote in the new committee. Only current financial members have the right to nominate for committee positions & vote, so if you want to take part but have let your membership lapse, make sure you sign up prior! The committee STRONGLY encourage any members who would like to contribute to the club more to get involved in the committee.
Its shaping up to be a great night! Partners welcome.
The Eden 3 Way competition was held this weekend and managed to coincide with some fantastic weather. It was a big turnout with over 120 individual divers spread out over fifty something boats/jetskis with a small number shore diving. Four members of the Geelong Freediving Club were there to ‘represent’.
The days prior saw quite a lot of scouting going on. There had been some reasonably big swell earlier in the week however by the Friday the majority of this had subsided. Visibility was the slowest to improve however it was definitely diveable with a gentle swell as a reminder that it was the ocean you were traversing.
The coastline at Eden is absolutely spectacular with many diving spots right at a cliff edge, headlands or adjacent to golden beaches. While scouting we were lucky to see a whale breaching not far offshore. Conversely the whale was also lucky not to be run over – it was a close call. Look closely in the following video to spot the whale.
After finishing scouting for the day a game plan was agreed upon for the competition day. We’d head ‘south’ stopping off at a few spots and then go beyond Green Cape. On the way back a few more spots would be checked. Quite a few kilometres overall, however Malcolm’s Edencraft would make covering the distance efficient and comfortable.
Competition day saw everybody up bright and early. The boat was in the water by 7:30am and we waited while a long procession of trailer boats waited their turn to launch. It was a bit chilly at 6 degrees however the water was a luxurious 16 degrees or so.
There was a flurry of activity just prior to the formal introduction speech as the quickly dropping tide saw a number of boats (including us) get stuck on the sand. Soon after the competition rules were read out to a mostly attentive crowd.
After the introduction and sign-on everybody proceeded to jump in their boats and begin the journey out into the bay. The idea was to line up and wait for a signal from the organisers and then race to the headland. I’ll let the next video give you an idea how much fun this was. Make sure you turn the volume up for the section near the end.
I found there’s a real skill in holding a handheld camera still while travelling at 80+ km/hour… and you’ll see my ribs almost breaking at the beginning of the race as Malcolm redlined the throttle – ouch! I think we were third out of all the boats however at the time all I could think was holding on for dear life with one hand and trying to keep the camera still with the other.
After absolutely flying through the bay we started on the game plan. The competition seemed to go very quickly. Visibility wasn’t great however there were a few spots around Green Cape where it was fairly good and the diving interesting.
After making our way back and signing off we watched all the other boats coming in. Many containers of fish were placed in the weighing area. It was very clear we’d been outclassed as some of the competitors had managed to get many more species including Kingfish which was impressive.
Fortunately our fish were weighed quickly due to being near the front of the line and we were able to leave early to wash the boat and clean our catch.
One of the local community assistance groups were hard at work as most of competition catch was donated to assist those in need. Anybody in this group who wasn’t an expert at the scaling, filleting & cleaning process would’ve been afterward.
The Eden competition was definitely a great experience. I’d encourage people to give it a go next year if possible.
Saturday morning saw a small bunch of GFD members gearing up for a combined spear and photo comp. This is the first time such an event has been attempted within the club so it was going to be interesting to see how well it works.
The ocean was very flat from when we arrived to the time we left the water. From the first glance we knew the visibility was not going to be on par with the general ocean conditions however it still looked too nice not to jump in. P
Hayden went off on a quick scouting trip further down the coast however it was all pretty much the same so we stuck with Pt. Roadknight.
With a few new guys in the club diving buddies were chosen and we were away.
It was a super low tide during the first hours of the competition which made it easy to find a few bommies and marks.
Nam was a bit tentative about getting in first so he sent his buddy Ivan in at gunpoint just to test the water. Mental note: Don’t choose Nam for your buddy 🙂
Since Pt. Roadknight holds a relatively small area to dive the next few hours saw people crisscrossing each other looking for productive patches of reef – of which there were relatively few. It seemed since last time I’d been here the ocean floor had actually changed dramatically, but that may just be my fading memory.
Due to the visibility being poor the spearfishing was popular for scoring points. A few divers took photos and speared and one scored using photos only. Overall it looks like this event has a lot of potential for the future.
The top three positions were:
Nam found some nice Crays which scored highly winning today’s competition.
The bbq was generously cooked by Hayden again and well received.
At this stage there’s now only the Boat Dive remaining in the Surf Coast Cup which we’ll try and schedule sometime in the next month.
Once again, thanks to competition sponsor Continuum Fins for making this possible.
Thanks everybody for attending and making a great morning’s dive…
For the second underwater photography competition we had 6 staunch competitors all keen to get cracking at the non-gentleman’s hour of 7:00am. The chosen location was the marine park at Springs beach Point Lonsdale.
The weather was… terrible. However due to the winds being offshore for the entire duration and the preceding days of northerlies the visibility was actually quite good. Probably worst case of 5 and best 15+ metres.
As you can see conditions looked quite reasonable.
However it was chilly and we were all suffering and amused at ourselves for even turning up at the beginning.
Naturally somebody had to forget crucial equipment. Here’s Nam fashioning a weight belt made from gaffa tape. Impressive work!
Finally we got to the water at around 7:30am. If you look closely there’s actually a 7th competitor who Richard is giving some solid advice too regarding the rules of the competition.
Rule 1: You must wear appropriate clothing
Rule 2: Please bring a camera 🙂
We were all actually put to shame by a dozen or so people simply swimming in the water for the fun of it – what’s that all about? Is it possible that a wet suit is not mandatory in the water at all times??
The lady above was calling Richard an overdressed wussy as you can see below:
It was interesting to see that the camera of choice was the trusty GoPro. However one “fancy pants” camera was on show and took a bunch of quality photos.
Here is the wielder of this magnificent camera and some other characters who turned up…
During the competition the conditions changed from breezy to extremely windy, rainy to complete downpour and just repeated continually. The diving though was largely unaffected – underwater it was actually quite peaceful and a nicer alternative to being battered by the wild weather on the surface.
Here’s Russell enjoying the serenity.
On average 8 species were photographed and submitted for reviewing & scoring which is typical for this area. There were actually quite a few fish about. These photography events are a great way to learn more fish species as taking a good photo is actually harder than simply spearing a fish.
Gerard 12 species – 1455
Richard 9 species – 1065
Luke 9 species – 1045
Nam 8 species – 955
Hayden 8 species – 930
Russell 5 species – 575
You may be wondering how we score a fish that’s been submitted? Firstly, is the fish identifiable? We then overlay some concentric rings over the photo and from this judge how centered is it.
Waking up this morning I was wondering whether the predicted swell increase was going to arrive early or wait until after the social dive had completed. I was hopeful that the visibility was going to be at least as good as Saturday’s dive at Queenscliff (10-15m).
Approaching Anglesea all was looking good. From the cliffs near Pt. Roadknight the ocean was flat so I was confident we would be having a successful social dive.
Here’s how the conditions presented at Aireys. Very nice if I must say so myself.
Some of the SFD guys were already at the carpark and ready to go at 7:30am. These guys are keen. You can see them about to launch in the below picture.
I should have taken a few more photographs just a little past this point as some sets came in and what looked like an easy beach entry became much trickier i.e. overturned float boat and diving under waves. Good entertainment as I waited for the GFD guys to arrive at the more appropriate and gentlemanly 8:00am.
Finally the full group of GFD social divers arrived and five divers and three dedicated bbq participants were checked in. Conditions had turned quite windy by this stage and a few fronts had moved through.
The northerly winds and rain showers were quite impressive however they didn’t match the calibre of our father and son team. Watch this young guy, he’s going to take all our trophies and is already a great diver!
Here we are making preparations for our own launch – actually this looks more like a posing photo. I mean, who doesn’t pose before they hit the water?
No launching dramas.
Thirty minutes of swimming later we had hit our spot. Unfortunately the visibility over the reef sections was quite poor, not what we had anticipated. But then this is Aireys Inlet which can be hard to predict.
However if you were willing to commit to diving through the murky water there were a few species to be seen, particularly for this time of the year. Some decent sized sweep and long fin pike were speared.
Little did we know that the main event was to be the BBQ being prepared by Hayden. Take a look at the spread just before we totally demolished it:
This BBQ made the diving pale in comparison. So much so that we almost had a vote to change the club name to GFDB – Geelong Freedivers BBQ Club.
So if you’re sitting on the fence about joining the club for the diving aspect, definitely join for the post dive BBQs as they are so good!
Overall it was a really good Father’s day dive and social get-together. The conditions as we consumed the BBQ produce were probably more severe than the pesky currents, waves and murky water. Some fish were weighed in and accounts opened for the 2017-18 Club Spearfishing Challenge.