The fourth annual Underwater Festival 2010 was recently held on the Christmas Islands, the first three having been held at Byron Bay on the Australian Mainland East Coast. It was co-organized by the Christmas Island Tourism Association. Linda Cash, staff members and local volunteers all put in a fantastic effort and provided a welcoming atmosphere, great food, social events and a seamless festival for the 34 participants.
The timing of this year’s Underwater Festival coincided with the end of the wet and whaleshark seasons on the island and the expectations of the visiting divers for the event were high.
During the festival, there were underwater photography workshops with esteemed Singapore photographer Mathieu Meur, marine wildlife presentations and the opportunity to try out Sealife cameras, Aunoc torches and Frog dive gear. The five days of the festival provided some great photographic opportunities, with encounters with spinner dolphins, white tip reef sharks, barracudas, and mantas.
In the results of the competition run during the festival, the winning video was again won by Gold Cost local Kieren Curry and a Byron Bay local, Lynton Burger, won the SLR category. The best portfolio prize went to a Christmas Island local Rob Reynolds. In the compact category, visitor Matt Timbrell won first prize with a great manta ray shot. Kirsty Faulkner was awarded the best Novice award.
The organisers of the 2010 Underwater Festival plan a further event in 2010 with the tagline ‘The Australasia Challenge’. This is planned to incorporate a unique Australasia-wide simultaneous photo and video shootout competition