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Port Lincoln prepares for highly anticipated Tuna Classic

Edition 1 - 2021, Owners, Owners Events

Port Lincoln prepares for highly anticipated Tuna Classic


The first major event on the Australian fishing calendar is drawing near with the Riviera Port Lincoln Tuna Classic preparing for a shotgun start on March 13, 2021.

The cut-off date for entries to the tournament is February 1 and organisers for the not-for-profit event, Russell Bianco and Gabriella Gabanna, say interest is high.

“The two-day tournament has a reputation for being great fun and, of course, for its great fishing. Already we have more than a dozen boats registered for the competition,” Ms Gabanna says.

View the 2020 adrenaline-charged start of the Riviera Port Lincoln Tuna Classic     1:24 min duration

“Last year, a total of 145 fish were caught and released across the weekend. It was a huge success with 24 boats and 115 anglers – and that was after 10 boats pulled out because of COVID. In 2021, we expect to have more than 30 entrants.”

The 10-kilogram line class competition is a ‘tag and release’ event that only targets Southern Bluefin tuna. Committed to sustainable fishing practices, it was the first event of its kind in Australia to disallow three-pronged fishing hooks. 

Ms Gabbana says the tuna capital of Australia is only too happy to host the annual tournament which is a favourite among Riviera motor yacht owners.

The flotilla heading out at full throttle after the start of the hugely successful 2020 Port Lincoln Tuna Classic

“The event brings a vibrant energy to Port Lincoln. Boats fill into the anchorages in the national parks, the marina is full, and the beautiful Marina Hotel is always thriving with people,” she says.

“So far, most of the boats are from South Australia, but their crews come from all over the country – their fishing friends or family – and in the past we’ve even had international crews.

“There’s so much camaraderie between everyone and, yes, it’s competitive, but it’s all for a trophy…and pride! We also run a Calcutta for the heaviest fish caught and in 2020 the prize pool was $37,080.”


Riviera is a founding partner of the tournament.

“We are proud to show our continued support for the Riviera Port Lincoln Tuna Classic, now in its 15th year,” Riviera owner Rodney Longhurst says.

“Involving the whole family so that everyone can enjoy a positive and fun-filled boating experience is what Riviera believes in strongly. So we’re delighted the Tuna Classic encourages junior and lady anglers, raising the skill and enjoyment levels of everyone on board.

Riviera motor yacht owners are well represented each year in the Tuna Classic, a competitive event that also is known for its camaraderie

“We look forward to seeing what the spectacular fishing grounds of the Eyre Peninsula have in store for 2021.”

Crews will meet on the evening of March 12 at a briefing at the Marina Hotel. The tournament is opened by a shotgun start on Saturday March 13, with the competition drawing to a close on Sunday March 14, followed by a presentation evening.

For more information and to enter, visit: Rivieratunaclassic.com.


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