The British Spearfishing Association (“BSA“) – with the support of its forming clubs – organizes every year the UK Spearfishing Championship. This is a series of key events for spearos in the UK and a great opportunity to meet new people and discover new fishing areas. It is also the only official Spearfishing Championship in England where the best divers compete for the selection in the British National Team.
The Championship involves 40 to 60 divers on a regular basis and takes place over 6 or 7 competitions throughout the country, from early May to September. Previous locations included Bognor Regis and Selsey in Sussex, Durdle Door, Porland and Ringstead in Dorset, Sandy Bay and Branscombe in South Devon, or Talland Bay in Cornwall. Each BSA Club, including the London International Club, typically organizes one competition of the Championship.
Most competitions are shore entry however the BSA has also organized boat competitions in the past. Participants compete individually and in teams of three members. Divers start from a designated area and have to be back by a certain time to avoid heavy penalties in their final score. Divers can either run on the coast to reach the best shore entry points or swim to the best locations. Competitions last for up to 6 hours and take place within a designated competition area of approximately 2 to 3 miles. Safety boats patrol the area and are ready to provide assistance if needed. Food and drinks are also provided during the day.
At the end of the competition the organizing club awards trophies and prizes for the best individual and team positions, for both juniors and seniors. Points are awarded as a function of the size of the fish, the difficulty in catching the species, the variety and number of catches. This is also a fun moment when divers share their experiences in the day and talk about the “one that has escaped”.
The spirit and ambiance of the BSA Competitions is quite relaxed, certainly more than other competitions in the Mediterranean. The objective is to get some good quality fish, possibly a good position and have fun with many people who share the same passion. Beginners are more then welcome to participate and can learn a lot from more experienced divers.
To see a selection of pictures from the BSA competition organized by the London International Club in Talland Bay, Cornwall, click on the following link to Dan Burton’swebsite.
To learn more about the UK Spearfishing Championship and the competition rules visit the BSA