2022 AUSTRALIAN BLUEWATER FREEDIVING CLASSIC
Competition rules

  1. All competitors must not fish by any means before the Official start of competition.

  2. All competitors must be insured by a recognized Insurance Policy for death or injury due to the obvious hazards involved in the sport of freediving and spearfishing.

  3. Boats may have a boat captain present in the boat during the competition hours. Only competitors are allowed to enter the water during the competition.

  4. Boats are to be arranged by competitors. The organizers take no responsibility for arranging any boat rides. It is the responsibility of each diver and boat owners to ensure their boats are equipped with the safety gear required by Roads and Maritime Services regulations.

  5. All boat drivers must be licensed as required by Roads and Maritime Services.

  6. All divers competing in this event must depart from designated launch sites on each day of fishing and return to designated launch sites.

  7. No competitor is to enter the water for the purpose of competition before the official start of competition.

  8. Safety boats are not to be used to transport fish. Any person using a safety boat would be automatically disqualified. Being towed in by a safety vessel would not disqualify a crew from any day's event, provided that the crew arrived at Woolgoolga beach before 3 pm Saturday or 2pm Sunday.

  9. All vessels engaged in spearfishing activities during the competition shall fly, clearly visible above the vessel, an International Code A (blue/white) flag.

  10. No boat diver is to land either on any of the Islands within the Solitary Islands Marine Park (except in an emergency).

  11. Any advertising decals supplied by major sponsors must be displayed forward on all boats for promotional purposes

  12. Burleying is permitted. ONLY burley obtained in the water at the competition site during the hours of competition is to be used. No burley is to be taken from land.

  13. A sheathed knife is to be carried by each competitor during the hours of the competition.

  14. A float, colored RED, ORANGE OR YELLOW is to be towed by each competitor. An international letter "A" flag must be fixed to each competitors float and weighted so as to fly vertical at all times - even in windy conditions, and is to be used during the duration of the competition.
    Each diver's float and knife must be presented at the signing on area each morning, prior to the commencing of the day's event if requested.

  15. A competitor’s personal float may be capable of supporting him/her with the competitor wearing a maximum of: swimming costume, wetsuit, fins, snorkel and mask.

  16. Divers should dive in pairs for safety reasons during the duration of the competition.

  17. Fish must not be tethered to the body.

  18. All fish must be captured by a single competitor using a spear, speargun or similar device or by hand.

  19.  Competitors may only land fish between Evans Head in the north (29.10 S) and Hat Head in the south (31.06 S) for purposes of competing.

  20. No breathing aid other than a snorkel shall be permitted.

  21. Guns fired by the discharge of compressed or explosive gases into water are forbidden.

  22. The use of explosives, torches, poison or electricity in the capture of fish is forbidden. Competitors may carry powerheads for personal protection, provided they satisfy all legal requirements of the state of New South Wales law in allowing their use.

  23. Competitors must be immersed in the water at the time of spearing of any fish.

  24. The use of caddies (assistants) during the course of competition is illegal.

  25. Assisted catches are not allowed. All fish must be taken unassisted by the diver weighing them in.

  26. Competitors must not enlist transport for their fish by another boat back to the weigh in, unless they accompany their catch with all their equipment.

  27. Competitors must not load their guns out of water.

  28. Competitors must not discharge their guns for any purpose other than for underwater fishing for safety reasons.

  29. Competitors must not carry loaded guns on floats.

  30. When not in use spear heads and knives must at all times be sheathed in an adequate manner. Snorkels are an adequate cover for spear heads out of the water.

  31. A diver must remain within 30m of his/her float when he/she is at or near the surface of the water.

  32. All competitors must carry safety gear as mentioned as in Rules 13-14.

  33. Rock-hopping is allowed. Any rockhopper competing must have in their possession during the competition all the required safety gear.

  34. All competitors must sign on and off with the competition organizers on each day of competition, phone number to be provided during registration 19/03/21. Competitors must provide ETD, ETA, launch area and area of operation, updates may be made to maintain safety considerations.

  35. All fish presented for weigh-in are to be a minimum of 45 cm (18 inches) in length, with the exception of Spanish Mackerel, Spotted Mackerel, Dolphinfish, Mulloway and Yellowtail Kingfish whose minimum legal lengths must be adhered to.

  36. A fish bitten by a shark is still allowed to be weighed if it is over 45cm (or NSW minimum legal size applicable) but note this does not apply to mutilated fish (which cannot be weighed).

  37. Only fish listed on the species list (as defined at registration day) are eligible for weighing.

  38. Fish speared in traps, nets or on lines shall be ineligible for weigh in.

  39. At the weigh-in on both Saturday 3pm and Sunday 2pm: Each diver may weigh a maximum of 5 fish with a limit of two of any species (species limit is combined over both days). Fish are ONLY weighed to a maximum of 25 kg.

  40. Each competition day, a diver can only keep one of their weighed fish and the rest will need to be donated to the charity auction.

  41. In the event of a tied final score for any position in any event or category, the competitor with the greatest number of scoring species over the competition will be placed ahead of another competitor. Should this not decide the placing's, then the competitor with the heaviest fish or subsequent fish will be declared the winner.

  42. Any competitor entering the sealed off weigh-in area with their catch shall be deemed to have presented those fish for weigh in.

  43. Fish presented for weigh-in must be in a presentable manner, with no man-made deformations. Any fish deemed non presentable by the weigh master will not be accepted.

  44. The competitor or his/her agent should watch the weigh-in of their catch. If neither is available, the Match Referee will designate someone to do so.

  45. Notwithstanding the above, where a ruling is required that is not covered above, the competition rules of the AUF shall apply.

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  49. Penalties

  50. All Australian Underwater Federation A and B section rules of competition will apply.

  51. A penalty will be incurred by any competitor who enters the sealed off weigh in area with a fish less than 450mm long.
    PENALTY: 50 POINTS

  52. A penalty will be incurred by any competitor proven to have been in the water prior to the official start of competition or anyone who returns after Saturday, 3pm or Sunday, 2pm to the weigh in ring.
    PENALTY: DISQUALIFICATION FROM ALL EVENTS

  53. A penalty will be incurred by any competitor who takes or presents any fish weighing less than the legal minimum length (prescribed by State Fisheries Laws).
    PENALTY: DISQUALIFICATION FROM ALL EVENTS

  54. A penalty will be imposed on any competitor proven to have been fishing in any of the Sanctuary Zones of the Solitary Islands Marine Park.
    PENALTY: DISQUALIFICATION FROM ALL EVENTS

  55. A penalty will be imposed on any competitor who takes any fish on the list of Protected Species for New South Wales as set out in the NSW State Fisheries Regulations.
    PENALTY: DISQUALIFICATION FROM ALL EVENTS.

  56. A penalty will be imposed on any competitor who is found spearfishing without a suitable float and flag.
    PENALTY: DISQUALIFICATION FROM ALL EVENTS.

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  59. COMPETITION OFFICIALS

  60. FISHING REFEREE: TBA
    SIGN/SIGN OFF CLERK: TBA
    TIMEKEEPER: TBA
    WEIGHMASTER: TBA

  61. SAFETY COMMITTEE: TBA

  62. Each Official may have assistants as required.

    PROTESTS

  63. In the Australian Bluewater Classic all protests including those involving discrepancies in the score sheets must be notified within one (1) hour of the weigh in being concluded by the Fishing Referee. Notice of release of score sheets must be prominently displayed by the Fishing Referee on the front door of the Woolgoolga Bowling Club. The time of release shall be as soon as practical after the weighing-in of all competitors fish.

  64. All protests during the "Classic" shall be handed in writing to the Fishing Referee who shall ensure they are in order prior to presentation to the Organizing Committee. The Organizing Committee shall consist of up to five persons including the Fishing Referee who shall preside as Chairman over the meeting, and present to it all relevant details after investigation, and indicate where applicable rules and regulations pertaining to the matter apply.

  65. Protests in this competition may be made by any competitor or official, and must be handed to the Fishing Referee or appointed Deputy no later than one hour from the time of conclusion of the weigh-in for the day's event.

  66. All protests must be in writing, dated and complete with the name and signature of the person protesting.

  67. Protests in this competition must be accompanied by a fee of AU$25 to be refunded if the protest is upheld, or at the discretion of the Committee if the protest is rejected.

  68. In the case of exceptional circumstances for which no provision has been made in the Rules, the Committee may, on protest from the competitor concerned, use its discretion to lift a disqualification and impose a different penalty.

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  70. General Rules

  71. All divers shall sign on at REGISTRATION, both Saturday and Sunday and sign off at 3pm Saturday and 2pm Sundday. On the days of competition, divers will not be regarded as competing unless information relating to boat, divers, launch, ETD, ETA and area of operation are provided to the safety committee before launching and after returning on EVERY day of competition.

  72. If the competitor has NOT signed on and off, the competitor is considered not to have entered the event.

  73. The Weighmaster is responsible for ensuring all fish which are deposited at the designated fish depositing points are transferred to the weigh in area and weighed on scales which are in Government test. A single set of scales will be used wherever possible, but should it be impracticable to weigh very large fish on these scales, a second set of scales may be used.
    The Weighmaster must ensure all competitor's fish are treated in the same way after being deposited by the competitors. In particular, no competitor's fish shall be allowed to be kept in water unless all competitor's fish are kept in water.

  74. Only officials appointed by the Weighmaster may handle, process or record fish. Fish may be tailed by slicing off all or part of the tail fin after weighing.
    The Weighmaster, or his Deputy, must ensure all fish are washed in water before being placed on the weighing scale. Only the weighmaster shall handle fish for measurement or weighing purposes.
    The Fishing Referee shall ensure there are sufficient supplies at the fish deposit points to securely bag or wire all fish to be weighed in.

  75. Scoring: 150 points/species, 50 points for a second fish of the same species. 10 points per kg to a maximum of 25 kg. Therefore the maximum a diver can possibly weigh are 5 fish over 25 kg of 5 different species scoring 5 X (150 + 250) = 2000 points, per day.

  76. The procedure for the conclusion of the competition shall be as follows:

  77. Competitors shall deposit their final batch of fish at the designated deposit point and then sign off on the record sheet held by the Sign On/Off clerk at any time before the Timekeeper signals the end of the competition. A competitor may be signed off by the Sign On/Off Clerk only if the competitor is clearly within the designated competition finish area. It is the competitor’s responsibility to ensure he/she is properly signed off. Once a competitor enters the sealed off weigh in area, all fish in his possession shall be deemed to have been presented for weigh in.
    (b) After signing off a competitor may not dive in the water in the competition area and may neither deposit more fish nor interfere with fish previously deposited in the weigh in area.
    c) The timekeeper shall signal clearly and loudly (by starting gun, siren, bell or horn) the end of the competition. If during the hours of the competition, a radio message is broadcast on 27.880 MHz signalling the end of the competition by the Event Organizer, all competitors must cease fishing and return to Woolgoolga Beach. This would only occur in an emergency.
    d) Whilst failure to sign off before the Timekeeper signals the end of competition means automatic disqualification, it is still necessary for late competitors to sign off. A competitor who has failed to sign off within one (1) hour of the conclusion of an event shall be disqualified from all events remaining in the series, unless an acceptable reason is given to the jury.

                                                                    Printable 2022 Competition Rules below