Omer 2006 Hatteras Blue Water Open Final Results

HATTERAS, NC — Amid challenging weather conditions and more than one shark that wanted a speared fish just as much as the athlete that speared it, the fifth-annual Omer Hatteras Blue Water Open last weekend saw two days of spirited competition among the United States’ and Canada’s best underwater hunters.

Day 1 (Friday, 28 July) offshore weather saw southwest winds blowing 12-17 knots and seas of 3 to 5 feet, with Matt Turner of Ocean City, MD, leading the pack at the 5pm weigh-in with an 80.2-lb Amberjack that wound up earning him the trophy for landing the biggest fish of the tournament (as well as sixth place overall). Rene Rojas of Anaheim, CA, was hot on his heels with a 29.1-lb African Pompano and a pair of 20.2-lb Tunas.

Day 2 (Saturday, 29 July) was cancelled due to 15- to 20-knot winds and 4- to 6-foot seas, but the forecast 15- to 20-knot winds and 3- to 5-foot seas on Day 3 (Sunday, 30 July) didn’t deter the 29-plus athletes from getting back into the blue waters above the Graveyard of the Atlantic.

In the end, first place went to Rojas, a professional sea urchin harvester, who scored 110.7 points with his two-day haul of a 40.2-lb AJ, a 29.1-lb African Pompano and his pair of 20.2-lb Tunas. Upon accepting his trophy and a complete set of top-of-the-line Omer spearfishing gear to a standing ovation, Rojas commented that he liked coming back to this tournament because it has “the most friendly crowd” of all the competitions he has participated in.

The top three spearfishermen — Rojas, Wayne Butts and Ryan Moore — each received a trophy, and the top 10 won some seriously cool Omer gear.

Despite the weather, the event — for the fifth consecutive time — went off without major injury to the contestants, a point of pride for tournament organizer Mark Laboccetta.

“The fact that nobody’s getting hurt” is a testament to both the contestants’ abilities as well as the tournament’s emphasis on safety, Laboccetta said at the awards banquet on Sunday evening.

Proceeds from the fish caught at the tournament, as in years past, will go to the Hatteras Cancer Foundation.

Check out http://www.omerdiving.com/ in the coming days for pictures from the event (seeing as this reporter’s camera crapped out on him for the entire tournament).

FINAL RESULTS:

Place Points Athlete (Vessel) Fish

1. 110.7 Rene ROJAS (Indica) AJ 40.2, Pompano 29.1, Tuna 20.2X2

2. 99.3 Wayne BUTTS (Carolina Girl) AJ 42.5, Pompano 28, Cobia 28.8

3. 90.4 Ryan MOORE (Absolut) AJ 37.3, Pompano 19.4, Cobia 33.7

4. 81.7 Blake GAYLORD (Absolut) AJ 42.0, Pompano 27.1, Cobia 12.6

5. 80.4 Brandon WAHLERS (Runaway) AJ28.8, Pompano 22.5, Cobia 29.1

6. 80.2 Matt TURNER (Wanchese Ghost Ship) AJ 80.2 **Biggest Fish**

7. 77.2 Guy NESBITT (Carolina Girl) AJ 42.0, Pompano 35.2

8. 75.3 Gary SANCHEZ (Carolina Girl) AJ 37.3, Pompano 38.0

9. 72.9 Matt HEAD (Indica) AJ 29.8, Pompano 11.5, Cobia 31.6

10. 66.9 Mike JETTE (Fin Quest) AJ 37.6, Pompano 29.3

11. 66.4 Chris GARDINAL (Carolina Girl) AJ 39.2, Pompano 37.2

12. 63.4 John MAJESKI (Fin Quest) AJ 42.0, Pompano 21.4

13. 62.0 Billy DANIELS (Wanchese Ghost Ship) AJ 38.4, Pompano 23.3

14. 60.4 Jason WETMORE (Sea Angel) AJ35.4, Cobia 25.0

15. 59.6 Carl FRICKER (Fin Quest) AJ 33.3, Pompano 26.3

16. 55.9 Ryan DAVIS (Sea Angel) AJ 55.9

17. 46.6 Ted DIXON (Absolut) AJ 20.4, Pompano 26.2

18. 45.4 Ed WORMOLD (Everglades) AJ 45.4

19. 43.0 Richard BALTA (Runaway) Pompano 43.0

20. 40.6 KJ MALONE (Everglades) AJ 40.6

21. 32.8 Joey DANIELS (Wanchese Ghost Ship) AJ 32.8

22. 32.0 David HOLDSWORTH (Fin Quest) Pompano 32.0

23. 30.8 Bob FINLEY (Indica) AJ 30.8

24. 29.1 Kyle JONES (Fin Quest) AJ 29.1

25. 28.7 Larry SCHULDT (Runaway) Pompano 28.7

26. 25.8 Bill ERNST (Runaway) Mahi 12.9 X 2

27. 24.8 Lee RAMOS (Akula) AJ 24.8

28. 20.3 Ryan MCINNIS (Fin Quest) Pompano 20.3

29. 18.2 Rick RAMOS (Akula) AJ 18.2