KOTA KINABALU – Participants in the annual Sabah International Fishing Tournament (SIFT) organised by the Sabah Anglers Association (SAA) will take their fishing paraphernalia to Layang Layang Reef off Labuan shore this year.
Sports fishing enthusiasts will show off their prowess in reeling in the big one during the five days event to be held from April 22 to 26.
Some 100 strong anglers are expected to make the 18 hours journey from Kota Kinabalu, SAA President Datuk Wilfred Lingham said during a press conference to announce the event today.
He said the format for SIFT has changed to individual Championship event where RM25,000 cash prizes awaits anglers with the heaviest fish landed.
“We are expecting several participants from Penang as well as from our neighbouring countries including Dubai, Singapore, Brunei and Macau but it is not finalised yet,” he said.
Participants with the Second and third place will take home RM10,000 and RM5,000 respectively.
Lingham informed the media that as in previous years, Sharks and Rays will not be allowed as catch in the tournament and they are to be released immediately if caught or participants will be disqualified.
“We have included also the ‘MAMENG’ (Giant Wrasse) in the list of prohibited catch,” he said.
The minimum age for tournament participants has been amended from 19 to 16-year-old with the aim to promote the sport of deep sea fishing among the younger generation.
“Participants will be flag off at 9 am on April 22 at the Sutera Harbour Marina & Country Club and all participants must return to the marina before1pm on April 26,” he added.
Lingham also disclosed that for security reason, SAA is required to send in the details of participants one month before the tournament.
“As this year’s tournament will be held in Layang Layang Reef we have applied for and received the necessary approval from the relevant security agency and there is a process of screening that needed to be done,” he said.
He stated that the closing date for the SIFT 2015 registration is on March 14.
The registration forms are available at Sabah Tourism Board,Sri Pelancongan Sabah and Sutera Harbour Marina and Country Club. For more information or inquiries on the tournament, please contact Sabah Anglers Association members Nancy Lai (013-8509788), Richard Leong (019-8818015), Christy Justinus (019-8929254) or Ching Kok Wee (016-8269985) – SayangSabah