Canberra Karpathian Association’s annual fishing competition reels in success

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Every year, on the last weekend of February, the Karpathian Progressive Association of Canberra hosts their annual Karpathian Tuross Classic fishing competition.

It invites young kids aged 11 up until older men aged 80 and over to come along and join in on a three-day event that combines fishing, Greek feasts, and fun for everyone.

Now in its 27th year, the fishing competition has become a staple event in the Canberra Greek community.

Karpathian Association's annual fishing competition.
Karpathian Association’s annual fishing competition.
Karpathian Association's annual fishing competition.
Karpathian Association's annual fishing competition.
Karpathian Association's annual fishing competition.
Karpathian Association's annual fishing competition.
Karpathian Association's annual fishing competition.

The President of the Karpathian Progressive Association of Canberra, Frank Kochinos told The Greek Herald the competition was a popular hit every year and ties the community together.

“The satisfaction of giving back to people and bringing the Greeks together at least once a year is immense,” Mr Kochinos said.

Karpathian Association's annual fishing competition.

“The event serves as more than just a fishing contest; it’s a means of fostering connections, strengthening bonds, and preserving traditions.

“It’s also about touching base, spending quality time together, strengthening our bonds and creating memories that last a lifetime.”

Over the years, the competition has seen remarkable growth, with this year’s event having more than 170 people attend. It involves young boys, their siblings, cousins, uncles, dads, grandparents, and friends staying in cabins, with their boats docked nearby, and enjoying endless fun and fishing.

Karpathian Association's annual fishing competition.
Karpathian Association's annual fishing competition.
It invites young kids aged 11 up until older men aged 80 and over to come along and join in on a three-day event that combines fishing, Greek feasts, and fun for everyone.
Karpathian Association's annual fishing competition.

This year’s event involved a feast on Friday night, a full day of fishing on Saturday, followed by a dinner, and then more fishing on Sunday.

Across the weekend, there were also six shoutouts made, which were little challenges that prompted people to participate to win prizes. They varied from anything from ‘best 20 second video,’ to ‘first to catch certain varieties of fish.’

The major prize across the competition was the big brim (biggest fish) winner. In the senior division, Christoforos Kalantzis was victorious, whilst Cambell McGrath won in the junior division.

Karpathian Association's annual fishing competition.
the big brim (biggest fish) winner.
Karpathian Association's annual fishing competition.
Karpathian Association's annual fishing competition.
Karpathian Association's annual fishing competition.
Karpathian Association's annual fishing competition.
Karpathian Association's annual fishing competition.
Karpathian Association's annual fishing competition.

Mr Kochinos is also known for putting on a great feast every year, with support of many generous sponsors and supporters. This year, he cooked up oysters, meats, gourmet meals and a delicious array of salads.

 “The event was a huge success this year,” Mr Kochinos said.

“Everything went like clockwork, and seeing everyone happy and healthy was so rewarding.

Karpathian Association's annual fishing competition.

“The success of the competition wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of sponsors, who contribute to everything from food to prizes. Their contributions ensure that the event remains accessible and enjoyable for all.”

John Mantinaos, a member of the Association since 1999, said the competition began in 1997, and was started by his brother Leo Mantinaos. The first competition was then attended by himself, his brother Leo, his dad Con Mantinaos, as well as Con Haniotis, Harry Tzifas, Sal Zorzi, Harry Krisaris, Leo Hazilias, Harry Hazadonis, Mano Constantine, Tony Sorentino and the late Laz Naumidis.

Karpathian Association's annual fishing competition.

“The philosophy behind the fishing comp is that it has a father-son focus, we really push that because we’ve got a lot of fathers who come down with their kids… and it gives them the opportunity to spend good, quality time together,” Mr Mantinaos said.

Karpathian Association's annual fishing competition.
Karpathian Association's annual fishing competition.
Karpathian Association's annual fishing competition.
fathers who come down with their kids.

“We’ve now lowered the age to 11 for younger kids to come along too.

“Spending time on a boat is an opportunity for people to talk, be open and be able to resolve any issues they might be having.”

Mr Kochinos said the Karpathian Tuross Classic fishing competition is a testament to the resilience and unity of the community.

“I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of it,” Mr Kochinos added.

“It’s all about bringing people together and keeping the Greek community spirit alive and we look forward to hosting many more events.”

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