Ab Divers Get Your Irons and Spearguns Ready!
The Annual Randy Fry Memorial Dive Tournament is just around the corner!
Have you registered yet? We hope so because today is your last day for Early Bird registration!
Signing up early saves you money and guarantees a T-shirt in your size. Altogether, the cost includes dues for the tournament, lunch and shirt.
Afterward, tickets purchased September 15- October 12 cost $55. Remaining T-shirts will be made available on a first come first serve basis.
Non-participants sign up for lunch during early sign up also. However, you may sign up the day of the tournament on a first come, first serve basis while food remains.
A Family Fun Event
The Randy Fry Big X Memorial Dive Tournament is a family event.
“The Randy Fry is more than a dive competition,” explains Matt Mattison, event organizer, “It’s a wonderful opportunity to enjoy great camaraderie of the NorCal diving community in a family atmosphere.”
Safety is paramount for the organizers, according Mattison. Therefore, divers must sign up in buddy pairs. A pre-diving meeting stresses safe diving practices and determines if the weather will permit safe diving. Participants must also sign a liability waiver agreeing to adhere to safe diving practices. On the morning of the event, organizers will determine if the weather intends to cooperate with safe seas.
Rain or Shine
Even if organizers determine the dive must be called for safety reasons, the fun will continue offering plenty of food, fun, and a raffle of some incredible prizes, including a two-night stay in Abalone Bay!
Later, plaques are awarded to each category winner instead of prizes to keep the event friendly with just the right amount of competition.
So call your dive buddy up and sign up now for this awesome free diving tournament on Saturday, October 14.
In Memory of Randy Fry
The Randy Fry Memorial Dive Tournament was organized in 2009 in memory of Randy Fry. Randy was a kind and generous man. He was also an outstanding advocate for fisherman.
Sadly, in 2004, a shark attack killed Randy instantly as he dived the Mendocino Coast. Randy died engaged in a sport he was passionate about. Therefore, it is only fitting that he is remembered with a sport he loved dearly.
Tireless Advocate for Anglers and Divers
Randy was a tireless advocate for fishing rights and coastal access. The ocean was his love. He had a zeal for fishing and diving for abalone along the craggy Mendocino coast. He made it his mission to organize anglers and lobby for recreational fishing. In fact, his tireless advocacy efforts on everything – from the size of catch to the length of season – often stole time from the sport itself.
In Honor of Randy Fry
The Randy Big X Memorial Dive Tournament honor’s Randy’s memory and carries on Randy’s commitment to preserve effectively a healthy fishery. Consequently, its work with California Fish and Wildlife helps maintain a healthy fishery by using best management techniques, and to ensure continued public access to recreational fishing. Therefore, they work in unison with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and other local organizations to accomplish this mission.
Proceeds Donated to Watermen’s Alliance
For this reason, all the proceeds of the Randy Fry Memorial Dive Tournament are donated to the Watermen’s Alliance.
This event’s proceeds will help with the sea urchin removal project in the coming year. The plan has been approved by the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG).
“The purple urchin removal project has two phases. The first phase uses permitted commercial divers to harvest the urchins over a two day period and move them to deeper water,”Josh Russo, President of the Waterman’s Alliance explains.
Russo estimates that each diver could remove 500 of the prickly pests over a 2,000 sq.ft area per day. Currently he is evaluating the possibility of adding a third diver using a compressor.
Both Mattison and Russo, point out they are unpaid volunteers and that 100% of all proceeds from the Randy Fry Tournament will be used for diver compensation of this first phase.
A second phase is currently in negotiation with CDFG. Its proposed goal is to permit recreational divers to assist in the clearing of the urchins. Divers would be eligible to harvest without daily limits during specific days in designated areas. The proposal suggests these dives coincide with recreational community events or Northern California diving clubs, such as NorCAl Divers.
Accordingly, the goal of these specific projects is to aid in rebound of our local ocean’s eco system including bolstering the growth of the kelp leading to improved the abalone health and fishery.
Randy Fry Memorial Dive Tournament Official Rules
Rules for the tournament are as follows:
- Largest aggregate pound weight of fish from 5 SPECIFIC species listed below:
- Blue Rockfish
- Black Rockfish
- Lincod (must be 30″)
- Cabezone (must be 15″)
- Vermillion or Halibut (Halibut must be 22″)
- All fish must be at least 14″ in length unless otherwise specified above.
- A 10 point bonus for having each of the 5 fish sized as stated above.
- Abalone must be 9″ to enter. 10 points for an Abalone 9″ or greater. Points go up for larger abalone.
Categories to be judged include:
- General Admission 1st place for the most points.
- General Admission Largest Abalone
- Junior’s 1st place for the most points. (Junior is under 18 years of age.)
- Junior’s Largest Abalone
- Women’s 1st place for the most points
- Women’s Largest Abalone.
- Honorable mentions for 2nd and 3rd place for points and abalone in these same categories.
Check-In and Weigh-in Procedures
Participants in this year’s Annual Randy Fry Memorial Dive Tournament must check-in after 6:30 AM at the Manchester KOA campground. Likewise, you must check in with your dive buddy. All divers must dive with a buddy ~ No solo divers allowed.
The tournament starts at 8:00 AM, though you can leave for your dive spot upon registering. Buddies must check in together.
IMPORTANT: Do not enter the water with abalone fishing equipment before 8 AM. California Department of Fish and Wildlife do not allow taking abalone fishing gear in the water before 8 AM. Doing so makes you subject to a citation. Furthermore, the goal is to harvest large abalones. Any under 7″ is illegal. Therefore, be mindful of all regulations.
You and your buddy may dive anywhere permissible on the North Coast but must be back together in the weigh-in line no later than 2:00 PM to have your catch officially weighed in.
If you are not able stay at Abalone Bay, then consider booking prior to the tournament a campsite or cabin at the tournament’s location, Manchester KOA: 44300 Kinney Rd, Manchester, CA 95459, Phone 707-882-2375.
Either way remember to book early!
Abalone Bay Donates to The Big X” Randy Fry Memorial Freediving Tournament 2017
Naturally, Abalone Bay proudly supports the “The Big X” Randy Fry Memorial Freediving Tournament 2017. We donated a two-night stay at Abalone Bay , of course!
We Invite YOU to Donate Too
We encourage YOU to donate too. The organizers welcome all donations, even those not dive related. Donors receive a mailed thank you letter with an EIN number for your tax deductible gif, plus promotion on several social media forums upon receipt of your donation.
You can ship donations to organizer, Matt Mattison directly at
FEDEX or UPS 21499 Highland Terrace Monte Rio Ca. 95462
USPS po. Box 365 Monte Rio Ca. 95462
Learn more here
If you have questions contact Contact Matt Mattison (email:email@example.com) for further information.
Follow on Facebook: Randy Fry Memorial “Big X”
Abalone Bay Awaits Your Next Dive or Fishing Trip
We’d love to see you on social media too! Click the buttons directly below to learn more about Sea Ranch Abalone Bay.