(Text Carlo Forni – photos Ivan Palumbo)
After the stop in 2020, the 2021 Italian Spearfishing Championship has taken place in Apulia region, South of Italy, in Torre San Giovanni area. 35 athletes (minus Settimi stopped by physical problems) competing this year for a two days challenge, Friday 18 and Saturday 19 June, aiming for the final victory and podium, or at least manage to confirm their position in the first category, meaning they must be in the first 15 positions of the final standings. These classifications are made on the base of the % result, meaning the winner of day 1 or 2 will score 100%, while the other spearos will obtain a % that is their score in percent of the score of the winner of the day. The sum of the percent of the two days gives the final % which defines the position of the athlete in the general ranking.
Giacomo De Mola (Pathos Team), competing together, as usual, with Mirco Ominetti, is amazing in both days, with huge catches and the first position on Friday and Saturday, ending up with a score of 200%, the maximum possible. Behind him, Luigi Puretti (Seagang Team), second in both days, but with quite some gap from De Mola, and third is Fabio Dessi (Tuttopescamare Team), obtaining a magnificent third final position.
With no brown grouper allowed, De Mola has made a great difference with white groupers, among which an 11 kg one caught on the second day, being the biggest fish of the competition. Puretti has not been that far away, as his best white grouper weighed 8 kg, and he also caught a fantastic 4.5 kg snapper.
Photofinish between Fabio Dessi and Alfonso Cubiciotto, the latter having a golden grouper not valid for a few grams, with the third place finally won by the Sardinian athlete. Fifth is the always strong Nico Strambelli (Omer Team), sixth is Federico Giudice (Team Sigalsub) and seventh is the expert Angelo Ascione (Team Cressi).
Giacomo De Mola: “I’m happy. Here I liked the area from the beginning, a little similar to the depths where I am used to fishing with these large rocks of grotto. I immediately understood what there was to do. The most difficult field to prepare was that of the second day, in fact I spent more days on it, since the fish moved a lot. The competition field of the first day had a lot of isolated rocks and rich in fish, and it was more difficult because I did not find all the fish, as three golden groupers which were not there, but then slowly improved with the white grouper and more. Instead today (second day) I immediately took the 11 kg white grouper. The sea was in excellent condition during the race, with current and conditions variable compared to the preparation, but I still found most of the fish. For the future, let’s see if there is this world championship, where we are waiting for the other teams to sign up to go to Arbatax. “
Luigi Puretti: “Of course I was here for the win, but I still feel very satisfied. Giacomo deserved to win and certainly did a great race. Difficult conditions that certainly favored him, especially yesterday with a strong current at important depths that I suffered a lot. In normal conditions, I might have had more chances and today I could have played it differently. I have nothing to complain and congratulations to Giacomo. Especially today the fish found in preparation have been confirmed, with today’s 8 kg white grouper. Yesterday the big croakers and the white grouper were missing. Participation in the world championship does not depend on me and I don’t know what the current situation is, but I’m ready anyway! “
Fabio Dessi: “Many, many emotions. During the weighing, when we saw that the points benefited me on this day and we realized that I was going from fourth to third, the emotion was unique. I found points that confirmed the fish such as the today’s red scorpionfish, the golden grouper, even if in that hole there were 3 and the largest (over 5 kg) was not there today. Next to it another white grouper of 7 or 8 kg today wasn’t there due to a nearby net. We prepared the field in the north only thoroughly, while in the south we also dedicated half a day of preparation to the low bottom and it was useful in the race because I quickly caught two moray eels and a beautiful bream, to then go back to bottom fishing. The presence of an expert boatman is fundamental (in this case Sergio Oggiano) and must be on a par with the athlete, so that there is an important affinity, as with Sergio, who in the low bottom manages to be even more effective than me and it helped me a lot found rich in fish, but the current change eventually reduced the game bags. The strong current from Libeccio changed the conditions a lot, and I didn’t expect to get on the podium. “
This year a good participation of women athletes, 6 overall, with Maria Fanito, Tiziana Martinelli, Cinzia Cara, Alice Ferrari, Alessandra Totaro and Caterina Esposito. The winner is finally Maria Fanito, the more esperienced athlete, followed by Cinzia Cara (Cressi Team) and Alice Ferrari.