Hosted by the Dorado Ski Boat Club every November in Sodwana Bay on KwaZulu-Natal’s beautiful North coast, the Billfish 15000 draws hundreds of anglers from across the globe and is the biggest deep sea fishing competition of its kind in the world. Probe has been a proud sponsor of the legendary Billfish 15000 for the last six years and has amazing prizes and a revolutionary new product launch in store for the anglers at the 35th edition of the popular event, which runs from 7-12 November 2021.
The Probe Billfish 15000 team will compete on two boats, Captain Fine skippered by Billfish legend and prior winner Michael Fourie, or Snowy Owl skippered by Springbok angler Riaan Odendaal. “It is a unique experience to be part of the early mornings and camaraderie on and off the water, as over 70 teams compete to reel in the big one,” says Probe CEO Rick Rovelli. “Over the years, great friendships have formed and we’re really looking forward to catching up with everyone and enjoying some healthy rivalry.”
Rovelli says that the Billfish 15000 is an obvious fit for the company and one that they like to support each year. “We’re proud to be involved with an event that has a solid impact, both for the environment and through job creation and tourism in the local community,” says Rovelli. “This adrenaline-filled event is attended by a host of talented anglers who extremely serious about their sport. When they’re out on the water, there’s no time to worry about the reliability of their boats. Probe supplies a variety of batteries that are ideally suited to marine applications, include starting batteries, multipurpose and deep cycle batteries.”
The tournament is a conservation-friendly tag-and-release competition fished on an open line class, with a 37 kg maximum line class. In accordance with international angling rules, only two game fish may be weighed by the teams each day, and all caught billfish and kingfish are to be released following capture. However, it is permissible to take ashore bycatch hooked during the tournament. This fuels further tournament excitement in that the biggest daily bycatch weighed at the weigh-bridge receives a prize, as well as an overall prize awarded for the biggest bycatch of the tournament.
Probe will again sponsor fantastic prizes as the official sponsor of the the weigh bridge and the by-catch of the day each day, as well as an overall tournament prize. As the bycatch tournament sponsor, Probe will power up the overall bycatch winner with a 48V 2000W Probenergy Inverter and four 12 AGM 100 batteries, valued at over R25,000. The biggest bycatch of each day will win popular Stanley Fatmax DIY air compressor kits or Schumacher 12V 450A Super Cap Jump Starters, each valued at over R3 500.
The new Fox ESS Hybrid inverter, an all-in-one solar and storage solution, will be launched at the event. “We are excited to be launching a real innovation in solar energy storage systems. This compact inverter integrates everything you need into a pre-wired complete system, making it easier to install and manage, efficient and affordable.”
The Billfish 15000 not only provides a high-octane fishing experience for anglers, but actively contributes towards research by assisting O.R.I in collecting all statistics of catches of game fish and the T&R of every billfish that is released. The tournament further provides a generous financial contribution towards Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife for conservation and development. “The Billfish 15000 is definitely one of the highlights of the year and a very important event for the community. We’re so excited to be a part of it,” says Rovelli.
This year Probe will highlight the the Izame Zabantu Nature Helpers, a new coastal clean-up initiative the organisation supports that is creating employment and removing thousands of bags of plastic from the ocean. “Along with skills development and job creation, environmental sustainability is a clear priority and our sponsorships and corporate social responsibility investments reflect this,” says Rovelli. “Izame Zabantu has great potential to expand nationwide and we hope that our customers and partners will join us in supporting this vital initiative.”