The Final Chapter
Well I could have said, we went, we caught and we won. But thats pretty boring stuff. So lets continue. Now where was I, oh thats right, GK caught a kahawai. Time was lost to me for a while that final day. I think the Guru’s was about 1pm or thereabouts. I was fishing automatically, bait in, bait changed, recast. What day is it, in fact what year is it. Things got worse, ” Who am I and where am I” can one actually have hallucinations at Fishing Comps. Na, it was all the ” V ” I was scoffing to keep me awake and be a fishing machine. The sky blended with the sea and the offshore Islands became distant seagulls. I heard someone say, one hour to go. Right my mind snapped back into ” Thinking Mode” instead of ” Full Auto”. Time for a last desperate gasp for the Team.
Gary was onto it, desperate times call for desperate measures. And he was bolting on a bloody great Rapala Type Marlin shiny type lure. Frig I thought, look at the size of that thing. Its bigger than anything I have got. So I scrummaged around in the Lake in my Tackle Box. And found a No 8 Long Shanked Octopus Hook, a little something I had picked up from my trip to the Birdlings Flat Social Fishing Comp,(Canterbury) so social, I never got a hook in the water, but did pick up the most far travelled spot prize.
On went the biggest chunk of Salted Fresh Bonito I could manage, to match the Gurus brightly coloured submarime type thingie. Whilst he cast and retrieved, I sat patiently waiting, thinking, as I could only cast it 30 metres, will I even be close to the kill zone. But at least we were giving our best last shot.
Alas it was not to be. As there was only a half hour weigh in slot after Comp closing time of 3pm. And Gary had a weigher. So at 2.50pm. We called it quits. Loaded the gear and one half of the Team went back to Bills and the other to the Weigh In HQ. Time to get changed, unpack wet gear. Confidence was a wee bit low, after all only four fish for two days.
So reunited we headed of to HQ, and what a great HQ it was too, even had a bar, and all in a great big Sports Complex at ” Dolly Parton Park” or was that Parton Road. Who cares, it was a great venue. Sporting our “Team Hardy” caps sponsored by ” Pure Fishing” we entered the arena. Tales of joy were circulating as well as tales of dispear. We grabbed a table, a bottle of booz each and quietly waited. We were only quiet as we were, well, pretty bloody stuffed.
And so the prize giving and the usual recognitions (And Rightly So) associated with any sponsored event started.
And finally we got to the ” Team Event” they called second first, damm it wasn’t us. My heart went down. I was figuring maybe we might have got third or fourth. But there was no third or fourth. And then the big one, ” The No 1, a thousand fine notes and the Inaugral Cup”. And the winners are announced by Bill Hohepa, TEAM ATLEE”. Frig I thought, we were so close, somehow, the winning team had a name close to mine, bit of a kick in the guts I thought ” Tangaroa” after all we have been through together. What a trick to play on me, letting a team with a name similar to mine win. Oh well thems the breaks. But nobody got up, no four guys suddenly leapt in the air. My heart stopped as Bill looked at the “Result Sheet” is that Team “ALTY” he said. ” Shit thats us I cried’, and four guys leapt from their cheers simutaneously and almost hit the roof. As soon as out feet hit the ground we were off. And that is how it happened.
All that planning, travel, cunning plans etc had come to fruition. We had done it. Taken out the Team Prize. That was the one I was after. The biggest fish is a raffle as this contest showed. But the Team Prize does in my mind depend on skill, perseverance, dedication and true grit and the greatest one of all, Comarderie. And yep we were ” Brothers in Arms” no quarter asked and no quarter given. The only thing we gave each other was lots of sh=t, the way friends do. And true friends did we become. Remember I had never even met these guys before the Comp. It was all done through this forum, pms and emails.
My thanks to the Papamoa Rotary Club, great job on a first Comp. Next year will be even better, as you will get positive and helpful feedback on the comments site on your webpage.
To the Western Bay Surfcasting Club. What a great job you guys and gals did. Without you lot. this just wouldn’t have happened. My heart goes out to you all. a great dedication looking after your fellow surcasters. Only a very few of you could take part, (The Stationary Marshals) so here was the greatest Fishing Comp, right in your backyard, in fact on one of your beaches, and buggar, ya rods had to stay home. Thanks ya all. WBSC.
And I will tell you this. The Team Event was sponsored by the WBSC and winning your Cup meant a far lot nore to me than taking out the ATM World Kahawai Cup sponsored by ATM. “Team Hardy” (Alty) will treasure their name on ” The Big Gold Cup” and those ain’t minatures you sent out. They are the real deal. And will sit in place of honour on four mantle pieces, around the country.
And lastly to my ” Team” what can I say, Neil, a long way to come and thank you, Gary, you made a fine CEO, you will be kept on, sorry no pay rise, as you were paid nothing anyway. James, thank you for coming in with little notice. You my man, can make me laugh. And I can guess I can let this slip. I felt a bit humbled in the presence of you all, I learn’t a lot on fishing skills and all that goes with comps. You guys were the teachers and I the humble student. I learn’t well and will never forget. The ” Hardy Bunch” is indeed us.
And no Neil I cannot talk about the fact that on arriving at the Beach at 6am Sunday morning that Captain Crapper of the Sudden variety decided to visit me. And as the nice Rotary Lady had said at briefing,” please do not use our beaches as toilets” I had to borrow your car and do a runner, back to Bills, and a right runner it was too. Ever tried getting out of chest high waders and parka and jersy to unclip the velcro straps. Frig it was close. and on returning to the beach, history repeated itself, so it was a double runner. Na I was to embarrassed to say. So told you all I had left my parka back at Bills. Hence my rather long absence. But hey was finally back for the cruise missle launch at 7am.
And so end the tale, warts and all.
Cheers Hardy aka Trev