Like the saying, 'It takes a village to raise a child,' it also requires a massive community effort to pull off a special community event which the 2018 GXB Surfcasting Competition turned out to be.

The fifth annual fishing competition — where fishing takes place exclusively at Great Exhibition Bay — was this year held over Friday and Saturday, November 2-3, with prizegiving at the local rugby club in Te Kao.

Spokeswoman for the annual two-day tournament, Lisa Everitt, said the highlight of this year's event was raising $4200 for the local Houhora Rural Volunteer Fire Fighters organisation.

In accepting a cheque, HRVFF head Warren Bunn said the money would be put towards the set-up of a new emergency response 4WD for the North, she said.

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"All I can say is pat yourselves on the back.

"When you see this vehicle on the road you can proudly say, 'I gave to this service,'" Everitt said to those who'd helped contribute to the fundraiser.

She said organisers decided to have three divisions this year, which allowed everyone to have some fun and kept the competition fair.

"Our little babies to the age of seven were given the chance to fish from the pool full of rubber fish. Each of these fish had a species and weight on the bottom side of the fish.

"The real competitiveness began in the intermediates and could be seen at the beach and weigh in, [while] for many of the seniors it was the enjoyment of fishing a scenic and peaceful piece of paradise and enjoy the fun of competition."

The event once again attracted a huge crowd to the prizegiving on the Saturday afternoon with 12 major lucky draws — part of a total prize pool in excess of $6400 — up for grabs along with 120 minor lucky prize draws offering everything from products to vouchers and cash.

Everitt singled out the individuals and groups who had contributed to the success of this year's event, primarily due the work of a small committee of six people, the myriad sponsors [see public notice elsewhere] and all the fisher people who took part, from nippers to those with decades of experience.

Special praise was reserved for the weigh masters and data entry team of Mike Rider, Nicketa McConachy, Derryn Woods, Kayleigh Welch, Maania Nathan, Emma Everitt, the fish runners — Andrew Ihaka, Sandra, Robert, George, Tim and Charlie Everitt — the bank team for the auction — Mani Ihaka and Maria Pereira — and the set-up and clean-up teams.

Also acknowledged were those who ran the bouncy castle, food stalls and helped prepare a hangi, along with MC Mike Rider, the DJ at the Saturday afternoon prizegiving at the Aupouri Rugby Football Club, the bar staff for keeping everyone hydrated, and auctioneer Brad Jackson.

"We salute you!

"To our 2018 committee, we started with absolutely nothing this year and the achievement was huge.

"There is a lot of networking, trips to town, general catch-ups with people and many, many selfless hours to achieve what we did through so much of your own time given to the cause."

Also singled out was Sandra Everitt.

"Many don't understand but without you the day would not have occurred," Everitt said.
"From the GXB team thank you again for your support.

"May the coming summer bring you fun, memories and good catches ... Here's to GXB 2019 if we are given the chance," Everitt said.

¦ See Thursday's edition for a full list of results and more images from the event.