Three unlikely battlers have won the World Carp Classic in the name of New Zealand after the team failed to catch a single fish in the same competition the year prior.

In a "zero to hero" turn around Marius Koekemoer, Jacques Niehaus, and Thomas Thibaud nabbed the top spot in France sealing the deal with an impressive 27.2kg carp among their haul.

Koekemoer's wife Lizel spoke to the Herald about how proud she was of the efforts of team New Zealand and their pure dedication.

The Koekemoers are from South Africa but moved to New Zealand in 2006 and now live on the North Shore.


While in New Zealand, Marius Koekemoer has kept his lifelong love of fishing alive, she said.

Last year he attended the World Carp Classic and he remained in good spirits despite not landing a catch - it was a learning experience, she said.

"This year they came out as champions," she said.

Before the trio were presented with their trophy the announcer took a moment to appreciate how far team New Zealand had come, both figuratively and literally.

"This is quite an exceptional moment - it's a team that have travelled from the other side of the world to be here," he said.

"They came last year, they battled against the elements, they fought hard and sadly they caught no fish.

"But this year they learnt, they came back and they conquered."

The New Zealand team were the overall winners with the combined weight of their top three catches landing at 69kg.


Held in Lac de Madine, the angling event was established in 1998 and attracts hundreds of competitors from across the globe.