WEIPA Fishing Classic president Aaron Schleich has praised his hard-working committee ahead of what should be the biggest event on record.
With the biggest prize pool on offer, those at the Andoom Oval grounds on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will also be blessed with top-notch entertainment, including two fireworks displays and performances from home-grown Australian Idol winner Royston Sagigi-Baira.
Mr Schleich, who had to steer the event through COVID in his first year as president, said all the thanks should go to the team of committee members.
“They are the unsung heroes,” he said.
“We know that our sponsors are important and we couldn’t put on an event without them, but without a committee, we wouldn’t even be in a position to chase those businesses.
“I’m pleased to say that this year’s Classic has returned to having a Top 30 prize pool in the main draw, with prizes surpassing pre-COVID levels.
“It will definitely be the biggest Weipa Fishing Classic on record in terms of prizes.”
Mr Schleich, backed by event secretary Jo Moloney, treasurer Lisa May, vice-president Joelene Bray and a strong committee, said it was a team effort to put the Classic on each year.
“You’ll see the results on the weekend but a lot of the work is done months in advance,” he said.
“We’ve got a very good and robust committee and at our meetings, everyone gets a chance to have their say and share ideas.
“I’ve noticed in my time in Weipa that it’s becoming harder and harder to get volunteers and we’ve probably seen a drop in community participation in the Fishing Classic as a result.
“We’d love to see more clubs and groups put on performances as they have in the past, but there just hasn’t been a lot of interest from them.”
Mr Schleich, who will also MC the live-streamed event over the three nights, said he expected the last raffle tickets to sell by the middle of the week.
“For those who haven’t been to a Weipa Fishing Classic before, entry is free all weekend to Andoom Oval,” he said.
“You can enjoy the music and the fireworks for free, but if you want to enter the draw to win a boat or one of the other excellent prizes, you’ll need to buy a keyring.
“That will also get you entry into the fishing competition, which also has great prizes.”
There are just 2600 keyrings sold this year and, at the time of writing, fewer than 300 were left to sell.
Those wanting to buy one prior to the weekend should go to Weipa Furniture and Electrical to avoid disappointment.
Editor’s update: All tickets have sold out for the main prize draw, although tickets into the fishing competitions are still on sale at a reduced price.