Semana Master 2023

After a long wait following the pandemic that has hit the world, “normality” has returned. Finally, this great competition is back. We remember that the last edition was held in 2020. Organized as every year by the Balearic Federation of Underwater Activities(FBDAS), this time on January 27th and 28th. It has been mostly sponsored by Beuchat. This edition brought together more than 100 people, including athletes and organizers, from several different countries. Italy, Spain, France, Greece and Brazil among them, making this, as in every edition, a competition followed all over the world. Malen Sart(Spetton), winner 3 years ago, once again demonstrates her superiority in the III CMAS Women’s Cup.

Text by Nuhazer Moreno Castillo – Photos by Ludovica di Mario and Valentina Prokic

Malen Sart (Spetton) with her great fishing.

Giacomo De Mola (Pathos), the winner of the last Master, was unable to participate due to illness. The Masters Tournament went to Frenchman Eugene Guillaume(Pathos). For the second consecutive edition, the French group has returned to the top of the podium of the VI CMAS World Cup of National teams.

Final podium of the VI CMAS World Cup

The Sitcolgues team, formed by Juan Campins(Pathos), Carlos Martorell(Pathos) and the current Spanish champion, David Fernández Montero(Cressi), has been the best in the XXI Open Ciutat de Palma.. These were the results of the 2020 Competition.

Sitcolgues Team, from left to right, Juan Campins (Pathos), David Fernández (Cressi) and Carlos Martorell (Pathos).

Tribute to Andrés Sureda Milán

This year he has been honored for his great importance in spearfishing and in this competition. He has been three times World Champion as captain and National Coach, in addition to his great work as a member of FEDAS and CMAS (World Confederation of Underwater Activities). Here is a link to the Master Week 2023 presentation.

Award delivery for his great dedication.

As in every edition, great athletes have participated. Among these the current Champion of Spain, David Fernández Montero, Malen Sart Champion of Spain and Xavi Blanco (Mares), World Champion in 2014. Francisco Loffredi(Cressi), is an athlete from Brazil and captain of the United States spearfishing team. The great Italian fisherman Gabriele Delbene. At 56, he has shown that he is as capable as anyone else, securing the major piece of the Masters tournament. In addition to many other important athletes who have been present. On the other hand, Giacomo De Mola, who has been ill, and Oscar Cervantes, for personal reasons, could not be present.

Previous days

The athletes have encountered very tough conditions. Very cold days, rough sea, windy and rainy. All these conditions together made the recognition of the competition area very difficult, as visibility was practically nil. This made it much more difficult for the athletes who came from abroad and had never fished on the island. In the waters closer to the coast and with less depth, visibility was much better and the cliffs kept the area sheltered from the wind. However, the long walk from the pier to the fishing area on the first day was very difficult. Many spearfishermen and women even opted not to go out on the water on Wednesday, when conditions were at their worst.

Gabriele Delbene told us that to prepare for the Master, he simply swept the area from the echo sounder. He opted to use the sounder due to the bad weather and was able to find several interesting stones. The day before the competition, conditions improved greatly and he was able to go to sea to verify if the rocks he had seen with the eco sounder were worth the trouble. This time he limited himself to making only 6 deep descents, between 46 and 49 meters. On the last of these dives he was able to find a large grouper, which he called “osso”, as a tribute to his friend Nicola who was present. The large grouper ended up being the biggest fish, 13 kilos, of the XX Master Ciutat de Palma the following day.

Gabriele Delbene very satisfied with his two groupers.

Friday, January 27th

The day dawned with better conditions than the previous days. No rain, no wind and visibility in the water had increased to 15 meters. The cold was still present, about 4-5 degrees ambient temperature and between 13-14 degrees in the water.

XX Master Ciutat de Palma

It was held in a single day with a duration of 5 hours and 12 individual athletes participating. The new“Master” is Eugene Guillaume (Pathos). The Frenchman, with 16 catches of 7 species and 1 cup, has achieved the victory. Followed by Raul Astorga (Omer) , the Andalusian, second with 15 catches, 5 species and 1 cup. The third was the current Spanish champion David Fernández Montero (Cressi), with 17 catches of 8 different species. The largest fish of the day was caught by Gabriele Delbene (Honda Marine), a 12.982 kg grouper, with which he could only finish fourth.

The day left us with some great moments, such as the one we were able to follow live from the competition area with César Bustelo (Beuchat). He managed to land a good white grouper, which put his great skills to the test, having to make many dives to 30 meters in order to retrieve it.

III CMAS Women’s Cup

Held in the same competition area as the Master, and this is the third consecutive edition, it has been dominated once again by the Majorcan Malen Sart ((Spetton)How far will she be able to go? She has done a much better fishing than the other athletes with 5 catches of 1 species. Laura González Blanco (Spetton) with 1 catch was second while Sandra Osorio (Omer) closed the podium of this edition. The scarcity of catches has been the predominant trend and any of the participants could have been on the podium.

Presentation of trophies to the first 3 classified

Saturday, January 28

On this day, the competitions would last 6 hours and the competition area was much larger than the previous day. Weather conditions had worsened considerably, with more wind blowing and heavy rain in several areas.

V Brands World Cup

In this edition the Blausub team, composed by Alex Abato Edwards, Julen Pérez and Raúl Ojeda Izquierdo, was proclaimed champion. They have achieved 17 catches of 7 different species. Second was the team Beuchatwith Andrés Sureda, Jordi Ferrer and Antonio Morata. They have not been able to revalidate the title they had won in 2020, although that time the team was made of other members. Even so, they have done a very good fishing, with 16 catches of 5 different species. In third position was the Routepont team, made up of Juan Manuel Ávila, Álvaro Roldán and Jorge Lázaro with 4 catches of 2 different species.

VI CMAS World Cup of National Teams

The great fishing of the French group composed by the new “Master” Eugene Guillaume together with Valentin Galliero (Beuchat) and Roustan Quentin (Seac). With 18 catches of 4 different species and 1 cup placed them on the top of the podium, just like in the last edition, that of 2020. We asked them about the strategy with which they approached the day as the competition area was larger. Surprisingly, they told us that they just fished the same spots as Eugene the day before. They bet on preparing only a part of the zone and it worked out very well. The runners-up were the Greeks. Kostas Dais, Cristos Simatis and Nikos Kambanis, with 14 catches of 8 different species. Third was the Spanish team, with Xavi Blanco (Mares), Raúl Astorga (Omer) and Andrés Soto (Cressi). With 16 catches of 6 different species.

Podium of the VI CMAS World Cup of National teams.

The Spaniards told us that they had torn several fish that could have made a big change in the final classification. Only 898 points separated the top 3. But that’s fishing and they have all proven that they are very good spearfishermen. We hope that next time it comes out a “little bit” better.

XXI Ciutat de Palma Open (X memorial Sebastiá Carbonell)

It was the competition with the most participants of the Master Week, 21 teams with 59 athletes. All participating equally, in the same conditions and in the same fishing area. The Sitcolgues team is formed by the incommensurable Juan Campins (Pathos), Carlos Martorell (Pathos) and David Fernández (Cressi). It has taken the first place with a spectacular fishing, 13 catches of 5 different species and closing 3 cups. In addition to winning the biggest catch of the day and of the whole weekend, a large white grouper weighing 13.868 kg.

Team Sitcolgues, winners of the Open with their great fishing

Second was the Beuchat 2 team, composed of the Canary Islanders Oliver Guerra and Ayoze Monzón together with Javier Amores. With 16 catches of 8 different species, we also managed to catch a white grouper weighing just over 10 kg.

Javier Amores, from the Beuchat 2 team with a large white grouper

Third was Team Blausub 1 formed by Guillem Miralles, Manuel Pérez and Miguel Ángel Galera with 17 catches of 8 different species and managing to close 1 quota.

Presentation of trophies of the XXI Open

Words of thanks from Andrés Sureda Milán

We bid you farewell, but not before passing on the words of Andrés Sureda. He wanted to thank all the athletes who participated in this great competition. With the difficulties presented by the sea, the cold, the wind and even so, there were always good faces, smiles and companionship among all of them. He also wanted to thank Joan Mas, president of FBDAS, FEDAS and CMAS for their support over the years. Emphasizing that it has been a great honor to have received this tribute during his lifetime. Something that is very rare and that he has been able to enjoy to the fullest, even competing in the Brands Cup with his sponsor Beuchat, teaming up with two of his best friends, Jordi Ferrer and Antonio Morata.

Also this weekend, Anna Arzhanova, President of CMAS, proposed him as a candidate to join the board of directors and he gladly accepted. A very important fact for our sport. Having a spearfisherman as a board member is a great step forward for the future of spearfishing. A Master Week that will have a very special place in his memory, who knows what the future will bring.