Prizes auctioned off after rough seas stymie boats

A line wasn't even cast in the annual Taranaki Cockies Classic fishing contest off Port Taranaki this week, yet there were a number of big winners.

Rough seas kept the boats on the land, and the prizes were instead auctioned off at the New Plymouth Sportfishing and Underwater club on Thursday night.

Three of the big winners were the Mellowpuff Trust, Sport Taranaki's Future Champions programme and the Taranaki Cycle Trust.

"We gave $24,600 away. We gave the Mellowpuff Trust $13,450, Taranaki Future Achievers $5100 and the Taranaki Cycle Trust $4600. The cycle people don't even know about it yet," contest organiser Mike Green, of New Plymouth, said.

The other organisation to benefit was Coastguard who received $1450.

"It's our annual event. It's basically an invitation-only event. We don't advertise it," he said.

"We get people from all around New Zealand entering as well as a few from overseas.

"This time we couldn't get out, the sea was too rough on both days."

Mr Green said some of the money raised came from three signed All Blacks jerseys.

"We auctioned one off at the Taranaki rugby awards last year and we auctioned the other two on Thursday night. We had a number of prizes donated back which we also auctioned off, including a ride-on lawn mower which was given back by Shaun Morresey from Kaponga. We auctioned it off for $5100. The generosity of people was amazing."

Mr Green said it was only the second time in the 16 years of the tournament that there had been no fishing.

Taranaki Daily News