The 2012 edition of the PENN Challenge ended last Friday night. The tournaments goal is to catch and release billfish. Four days fishing, battling for the honor of being the best team this year. Skippers and crew of the 20 participating boats also battled for being top boat in the competition.
The prize giving will be held, Sunday 25th March, 2 PM in the Pure Fishing Theatre at the VISMA fishing exhibition in Rotterdam. All prizes are sponsored by PENN Reels.
The heaviest fish in the tournament was a blue marlin, estimated weight 570 pounds and was caught by the PENN Force 1 fishing team, Richard and Sjaak Pronk.
In total 102 billfish were caught; 3 black marlin, 16 blue marlin, 10 striped marlin and 73 sailfish. On a catch/strike ratio 1:3 this means over 300 billfish was raised behind the lures.
Winning team after fishing four days is Strike Team; Iwan Raven and Jerry Vos. One black, one blue, one striped marlin and 9 sailfish proved to be enough to take home first prize! These guys took a gamble by fishing the Mambrui grounds, north of Malindi, targeting sailfish on the closing day. A gamble that paid off.
Runner up is the team Tuna Boys, Piet de Korte and Kees de Groot. They found one blue marlin, a striped marlin and 7 sailfish. After a blank on the first day, these guys trusted their skippers and stayed fishing South Lima, some 30 miles out of Watamu where to finally hooked their blue and stripey after several missed fish.
In third place ended the Wild Hookers team; Gerrit Edelijn and Peter Held. Two blues, a striped and two sails was their share. On the second en third day they fished the rips at Center Lima. There they found the blue marlin.
In the ‘best boat competition’ Snowgoose, skippered by Alfred of Kingfisher Boats Malindi ended first. During the first 3 days they found a marlin daily and added 8 sailfish in the closing day. Runner up; Neptune, skippered by Angus Paul. In third place skipper Rob Hellier on Unreel.
In the meanwhile our contenders visited the Blessed Generation orphanage and the orphanage Lea Mwana in the outskirts of Malindi to hand over bags full of clothes, toys and personal care items as toothbrushes, toothpaste and soap.
On Wednesday March 14 we officially handed over the biogas digester to the Blessed Generation orphanage. The digester is built by Afrisol Energy Ltd, a Nairobi based company specialist in green energy solutions. The digester is funded by SF Soepenberg GmbH, The Fishing Dutchmen Foundation and all the Malindi and Watamu skippers that competed in the PENN Challenge. The small fish caught on the first day of the competition, donated by the skippers, was prepared and cooked ‘fish and chips’- style by Pierre Bronsgeest and Ton Bos. 130 children ate the baked fish during lunch and will do so on a regular base in the coming weeks.
In all, the 2012 edition PENN Challenge was a big success thanks to our sponsors. With their help we achieved a smooth running competition with a great start at the Malindi Sea Fishing Club and a wonderful tournament closing diner at Sandies Coconut Village. Hemingways Fishing Center in Watamu took care of our contenders on the competition days.