For Tasmanian-based Riviera skippers Ron O’Connor (Riviera 43’ ‘Royale II’) and Greg Plunkett (Riviera 36’ ‘The Specialist’) the St. Helens Gamefishing tournament staged over the last weekend of February will remain memorable for different reasons. Ron O’Connor and his crew will recall the marlin they lost; Greg Plunkett and his team will forever remember the tough fight they were given by a 56kg (124lbs) Mako.
Tough fight? Believe it, the Mako not only bent a gaff sadly out of shape, but also saw ‘The Specialist’s’ marlin board as being a likely snack, helping itself to a chunk of fine quality Riviera fibreglass! St.Helens is one of the prime fishing ‘hot spots’ off the north east coast of Tasmania, Australia’s island State. It’s about 150 nautical miles from the capital, Hobart. The tournament staged was an Open Class event, no line classes and any tackle allowed.
A strong field comprising 84 boats entered for the event. Although the field comprised primarily trailerboats, Hobart Riviera dealer, David Mayne (Mayne’s Marine), said the interest being shown by owners of larger craft was definitely on the increase. Ron O’Connor and Greg Plunkett are keen boaters and spend as much time as possible aboard their respective craft. ‘The Specialist’, powered by 3116 Caterpillar Marine Diesels, is in her sixth season; ‘Royale II’, a pair of 450hp Cummins Marine Diesels in her engine room, is a younger vessel, just 18 months old. Both, of course, were sold by Mayne’s Marine. It’s a safe bet that future Mayne’s Marine customers, on taking delivery of their Riviera, will be made aware of the St.Helens Gamefish tournament.