ULLADULLA’S Kate Rogers has recently returned from the Interpacific spearfishing competition in Guam, where she helped her Australian team place second.
Held on March 30-31, Rogers, who had a unique selection into the team, was teamed up with Taylah Martindale with Joe Martindale as their manager.
“Usually, the selection process is based on state and national titles but unfortunately, due to individual circumstances or finances, the winners from those competitions may not be able to attend,” Rogers said.
“I have only been spearfishing for the last year and a half, and have only competed in three local competitions.
“The AUF (Australian Underwater Federation) called me out of the blue and invited me to make up the women's team with Taylah Martindale.
“The Interpacific competition was in Guam was challenging, as it’s difficult place to dive, as it is really deep.
“It was a pairs event which is a safer way to compete, as teammates keep an eye on each other during each dive.
“The first day of the competition was hard due to the weather conditions, and our team was beaten by the Tahitian women, who got lucky with a couple of good fish.
“On day two we resolved to try different tactics and we ended up winning the second day, but unfortunately the score wasn't enough to take out the Tahitians.”
During the annual Interpacific competition, Rogers took on teams from New Zealand, Tahiti and Guam, while Hawaii and New Caledonia also had men’s teams there.
“This is my first time competing at an international level representing Australia,” she said.
“This is the highest achievement I have attained since spearfishing – other notable achievements include spearing an 18kg Cobia recently off a shore dive which I claimed as the Australian and NSW state record for the fish in the women's category.
“I will be now looking forward to competing in upcoming local competitions and hope to compete again in the Interpacifics in Hawaii 2018.”
Despite only being involved in the sport for a short amount of time, Rogers is excited for what the future holds.
“I would love for more women to get involved in the sport, and more locals. There aren't enough spearfishermen out there,’ Rogers said.
“I've always lived by the ocean and my mum and dad instilled my love of the ocean in me.
“My love of eating fresh, sustainably caught seafood drives me to dive and find bigger and better fish for the table, and to share with family and friends.
“Personally, I started out grabbing lobsters and abalone, and eventually bought a hand spear, and progressed onto a speargun which my best friend Irene bought for me on my birthday – I've never looked back since.
“I can’t emphasise enough that spearfishing is a sustainable way of living and learning how to correctly identify fish and prepare them is one of the most rewarding life experiences.
“I also want to empower other women to take a chance and try something new and out of the ordinary.
“At the moment there are only a handful of other women that I know who spearfish regularly or at a competitive level.”
If other women would like to learn or know more, they can get in contact with Rogers on Instagram @k8osm8os.