Fishermen ready to get PIST

PHUKET: The Phuket International Sportfishing Tournament (PIST) returns with three days of fun fishing and four nights of parties at the Tamarind Bar and Grill on Chalong Pier road.

The opening night event was held on November 18 with fisher-folk from around the world lining up to register for the tournament.

Last year the tournament celebrated its tenth anniversary and teams hailing from as far afield as the UK, Australia and the USA, as well as a number of European and Scandinavian countries, flew in to take part.

This year, tournament president Walter Dreier and organizer Uwe Schittek hope that even more teams will join. “Last year, we had 16 teams from 13 different countries,” Mr Drier said. “This year’s goal is to encourage more competitors to join and to make a new record for charity donations.”

Beyond the fun of fishing, PIST is very much geared toward fund raising, coming up with 175,000 baht last year.

The tournament has backed several children’s charities in the past, with a focus on the Koh Sirey children’s home in Phuket Sunshine Village.

To explain just how dedicated the fisher-folk are to helping out the kids, every prize purse awarded at the final night’s weigh in is accompanied by a chorus of “In da box, in da box, in da box!” as the winners are light-heartedly cajoled into ‘posting’ their winnings into the charity collection box.

Operating a strict catch-and-release policy for the big sail fish, the tournament also aims to be somewhat self-sustaining, with the smaller catches of the day finding their way onto the buffet table at the evening’s parties, with the remainder being distributed to the local Thai community.

So, not only is PIST one of the most fun sporting events on the island, it’s also one of the most delicious.

The event is proudly sponsored by the Phuket Gazette and the ‘Phuket Today’ show, the island’s only nationally broadcast television program – aired daily on True Visions, MCOT, and all leading provincial cable networks.

— Ferdinand Cabrinovic

Phuket News

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