Spearfishing tryouts set for Jan. 6, 13
The Marianas Underwater Fishing Federation is looking for Guam’s best spearfishers to represent Guam and show their stuff come Jan. 6 and Jan. 13, says federation president James Borja.
The Guam National Team selections are due by the end of January for the Micronesian Games, says Borja. The Micronesian Games are scheduled for July 15-27, 2018 in Yap, he said.
Guam will be defending its team gold medals won in the 2014 Micro Games in Pohnpei and 2010 in Palau, he said.
“We are expecting veterans as well as some new faces to enter the qualifier. We don’t have any details on how Yap will format the spearfishing event but, we will be forming a 3-man team,” he said. “Safety divers will also be a part of the team. The safety diver acts as a spotter for the competitor to ensure he is OK after each dive since this is a free diving spearfishing competition.”
Borja says he expects the competition to be tight, with seven or eight familiar faces expected to join, including Todd Genereux, Ray Flores and Mike Cassidy – all former Team Guam medalists.
And, as a longtime representative on Team Guam, Borja himself might sit this one out, he said.
The format for the contest will be the same as in the past, with a point system determined by number of fish, as well fish caught within a range of acceptable species.
“We do put a cap on the species, no more than four for each, as it challenges each of the competitors,” he said. “We have a list of possible species and generally stay away from fish that could be ciguatoxic.”
Borja listed tataga (unicorn fish), parrotfish, all types of jacks as well as some pelagic fish as part of the game menu.
Team Guam's medalists from the 2014 Micronesian Games in Pohnpei. They are, from left, Ken Borja, Stephen Meno, Ray Flores, James Borja and Mike Cassidy. (Photo: Courtesy of James Borja)
Borja said competitors will have six hours to fish. All competitors will start in one location, and have to return to that start point by the end of the six-hour period.
And while Borja says he appreciates the experience and proven success that the returning competitors bring, he also welcomes the new blood.
“These returnees, they’ve been competing for the last 15-20 years so we are looking for newer guys,” he said. “And, although we’ve never had a woman on the team before, they are welcome to come out. There’s no women’s division so they would be judged equally among the men.”
For more information, people are welcome to call James Borja at 482-8264 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.