Elize Smith and her crew aboard Mrs Seevarkie were thrilled with their first place prize of a Carry Cat 670 on a trailer, with two Yamaha F70hp motors plus plenty of extras — in total a prize worth almost R650 000.
S John Robertson’s poem rings in my head, this is how I sum up the Billfish 15 000: It is a competition of friendship, apprenticeship, workmanship, hardship and most of all it’s about your ship tagging and releasing fish ... The 2017 Billfish 15 000 tournament was once again hosted by Dorado Ski-Boat Club, at Sodwana Bay in KwaZulu-Natal. With a new base and new image it was once again a big success thanks to the hard work behind the scenes and the buy-in from sponsors and anglers alike. The camaraderie there is really something special. Last year the event’s base was moved to the Sodwana Bay Lodge, and with a new stage and bar trailers, it looked spectacular. The sponsors all
seemed very impressed with the Billfish 15 000’s new look. On the Sunday, all the boats were registered for the event and the tent was packed with all the teams excited to get on the water and start fishing. On Monday 13 November 2017 the Billfish tournament started off very slowly and only four billfish were tagged and released. Ever y night was tent night and there were prize give-aways galore, with happy hours and much game-plan chatter. Numerous daily cash prizes as well as prizes like limited edition cooler boxes, compressors and battery vouch-
ers from Probe Corporation, lure packs, reels, and lots more were handed out. It was a very emotional time for everyone present when Oupa Attie Janse van Rensburg, aged 94, (pictured below) had an opportunity to speak to the crowd. He’s a real angling legend and had most people in tears. On the second day all the boats went to sea but the billfish just did not want to be hooked; in the end only two billfish were released. On Wednesday things changed dramatically and the lucky crew aboard Mrs Seevarkie released three billfish before 10am and took the lead in the
SKI-BOAT March/April 2018 • 13
SKI-BOAT magazine — now in its 34th year — is Africa’s leading deep sea angling publication with an extensive readership in South Africa as...