The 2nd CMAS World Cup for Clubs will be held in Rio de Janeiro from March 7th to March 10th, 2024.  The competition and the zone of the Tijuca islands on the coast of Rio de Janeiro have already attracted more than 20 teams from around the world. This was expected, as there are only 30 places for registering, and many athletes want to fish in the zone where Bruno Hermanny won his second gold medal in 1963 at CMAS World Spearfishing Championship.

Champions from the world

Rio de Janeiro’s Yacht Club will be the home of the event. This is a very traditional club, more than a hundred years old and that organizes many sports tournaments, including the Olympic Games. The club’s spearfishing team has been active since the 1950s. World spearfishing champion Bruno Hermanny and world-freediving record holder Amerigo Santarelli were members. Besides Bruno and Amerigo, Rio Yacht Club members include multiple world champion athletes in different sports like Olympic gold medal athletes Alan Adler and Marcelo Falcao (sailing) besides other spearfishermen with top 10 positions in different CMAS World championships. 

The Competition in Rio de Janeiro will gather athletes from Italy, Croatia, Spain, Cyprus, USA, Mexico, and Uruguay…as everyone wants to win the trophy in the country of Samba and football.

In the athletes list are two ex-world champions Stefano Bellani (Cressi) and George Vasiliou (XT Diving), the vice-world champion Maurizio Ramacciotti, the ex-Spanish national team member Raul Astorga, and many more.

The first edition of the CMAS World Cup for Clubs was held in 2018, in Tunisia, and the winner was a team from the Spanish club Trafalgar, of which Raul Astorga (Beuchat) was a member.

Interview to Raul Astorga

Oscar Cervantes with Samuel Tomas and Raul Astorga during preparation in Sardinia

Raul Astorga: “After the World Cup for Clubs held in Tunisia in 2018, in which we were proclaimed champions, we wanted to retain the title in Croatia, but due to various events, such as COVID and technical issues, the championship could not be held. Now we want to go to Rio and live this experience in other seas. On this occasion, both my partner Guillermo Natera and I have decided to go with more preparation time than in Tunisia, since the idea we have clear is to fight to retain the title of champions.

Since the 2nd CMAS World Cup for Clubs will be held in a different sea and we don`t know anything about those waters, we want to prepare it well in advance, study the behavior of the fish, and be clear about all the species that fall into the regulations. We will have to study well what are the different depth levels where the various species move. Regardless of the result we obtain, we are clear that it will be an unforgettable experience, in which we will surely learn a lot, and that it will be a precious memory for a lifetime”.

Comments from George Vasiliou

Cyprus spearfisherman George Vasiliou, World Champion from Greece 2016, had stopped competing because of some health issues, but now he is back.

“First of all, Brazil is a very beautiful country. I visited Brazil in 2016 for holidays and watched the Olympic Games, but I didn’t have a chance to dive and spearfish. I have completely recovered from my health problems and it is a good opportunity to start again with competitions. My expectations are always the same, to do my best and give a hundred percent of my power to have a good result”, said George Vasiliou.

Stefano Bellani’s words

Italian champions Stefano Bellani and Maurizio Ramacciotti will compete in Brazil together with Marco Paggini, a well-known spearo and CMAS Technical delegate who will be in the role of athlete, not judge. Bellani finished fourth at the CMAS World Championship 2002, in Cabo Frio.

“It was not a tough decision as Brazil is very attractive for spearfishing. Maurizio and I were there at the CMAS World Championship in 2002. I like that way of fishing. I had an opportunity to learn about species and fish behavior and this will be even better because in Cabo Frio we competed near the coast, while now we will be more out in the open sea around islands”, said Stefano Bellani.

“The Italian championships were not attractive for me when I decided to quit competitions in 2010. After all the titles that we won, this one is missing from the collection, so we will do our best to win it. But it is also important is that we will regather with some old friends and meet new ones”, added Bellani.

Interesting is that in this World Cup, Flamengo, the Brazilian football champion club, with participate with their own spearfishing team.