Ray Montoya clinched the first spot with a 7.4kg grouper in the IGFA category while Hani Macki and Mazin Al Asfoor landed a 6kg dorado and 5.2kg hammour respectively. While the teams were very competitive, it was the fun of the sport and good spirits that were the highlight of the competition
24 February 2013, Muscat: In the inaugural fishing challenge organised by the Jebel Sifah Marina, 14 teams tested out their skills and vied to haul in the biggest catch. A total of 50 contestants, including a team from Holland, competed as per the IGFA (International Game Fishing Association) rules with the support of the MGFA (Muscat Game Fishing Association).
After an early start at 7am and an exciting day at sea, the teams got back to the Jebel Sifah marina for the fish weighing at 4pm. Ray Montoya, a teacher at TAISM landed a 7.4kg white-blotched grouper clinching the first spot in the IGFA category. He came very close to setting a new record as the IGFA world record for a white-blotched grouper is 8.65kg! In the Biggest Catch Open, Hani Macki from Bank Dhofar scored with a 6kg dorado while Mazin Al Asfoor came a close second with 5.2kg hammour.
Philip A Jones, Certified Marina Manager and Senior Director Marinas, gave away the prizes. In addition to keeping their prized catches, Ray Montoya and Hani Macki won a two-night stay at the Juweira Boutique Hotel, Salalah Beach, inclusive of flight tickets for two while Mazin Al Asfoor got two nights at the Sifawy Boutique Hotel in Jebel Sifah.
“It was an exciting and memorable day for all of us. I hope to see all of this year’s participants, and many more, to join us for the next year’s Challenge and am sure the competition will get bigger and better,” stated Philip A Jones.
While some local participants headed back after a day at sea, others decided to stay back and relax at the Sifawy Boutique hotel and make the most of the attractive rates especially put together for the competitors and their families.