When nine-year-old Titirangi Primary student Toby Barry was featured in the Take A Kid Fishing (TAKF) pages of the July magazine with a snapper from the Manukau Harbour, he had no idea it would be his ticket to a brand-new boat.
The TAKF prize has been delivered by NZ Fishing News and generous sponsors for over 30 years. Mercury and Voyager Trailers have provided key aspects of the TAKF prize since the beginning, which has now seen 31 winners of new boats, and almost 5,000 young fishos proudly displaying their catches in the magazine.
This year Mercury provided a Mercury 290 Ocean Runner inflatable boat powered by a 9.9HP Mercury outboard, Voyager put up a shiny, customised Voyager trailer, and Kilwell came to the party with a new rod, reel and tackle box.
Watched by family and friends at Westhaven, Toby and dad Sean were given a detailed run-through from Mercury’s Peter Brown on the operation and maintenance of the outboard, boat and trailer.
Toby anticipates plenty of missions exploring his local patch – the Manukau Harbour – on his new pride and joy, which he has named Zephyr.
“We’ll take her on her maiden voyage tomorrow, I think,” said Sean when pressed about plans for the new vessel.
Toby is the fisherman in the Barry family and his angling enthusiasm was exhibited by drag-setting enquiries when, after the boat handover, his attention immediately turned to his new rod and reel. The Manukau Harbour kahawai, snapper and gurnard populations have plenty to fear with friends Archie, Charlie and Alex high on Toby’s crew list for fishing adventures.
“Mercury is proud to have been involved with Take A Kid Fishing from the beginning. It’s great to see kids’ enthusiasm about fishing in the pages of the magazine each month, and this handover is simply a wonderful occasion and a great way to finish off another year of the competition,” Peter Brown says.
Voyager Trailer’s Nathan Brown echoes Peter’s comments.
“This is one sponsorship we really enjoy being involved with. It is fantastic to see just how much the winners appreciate such a great prize and I know that for many, just getting their photos in the magazine is something that gives them a buzz,” Nathan says.
– Nick Jones
An excited Toby Barry (front right), surrounded by family and friends, next to his brand-new boat.
Mercury’s Peter Brown shows Toby and dad Sean the ropes during the prize handover.