Spearfishing champ comes to town

Maui native Kimi Werner, the 2008 women’s national spearfishing champion, is set to defend her title in Malibu on Aug. 6 as she competes in the 2009 U.S. Spearfishing Championships.

Werner clinched the title last year by spearing a 33-pound striped bass, the largest fish caught in the woman’s division. Despite only taking up spearfishing four years ago, she was named the 2008 rookie of the year after her title win.

The sport of spearfishing involves shooting a fish with a spear at close range, calling on strategy and skill. Spearfishers hold their breaths underwater anywhere from two to four minutes. Werner typically settles around 70 feet and surfaces after about two minutes.

“We basically have one breath and one shot to catch our prey,” Werner said in a press release. “This is the challenge that draws me to the sport. I like the fact that there’s no bycatch in this style of fishing.”

More information on the 2009 U.S. National Spearfishing Championships can be obtained online at www.nationals09.com.

-Olivia Damavandi

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