Ribbons is affiliated with the Queensland Game Fishing Association – click here to visit the QGFA website and learn more about this association.
Citizens of Cairns live in a unique environment which has much to offer. The tablelands, rainforests, a lovely city nestled on Trinity Inlet surrounded by mountain ranges, all bordered by a magnificent coastline and ocean. This ocean not only boasts the Great Barrier Reef but some of the best fishing in the world. It is in these sparkling tropical waters that each year on the first weekend in December Cairns is host to a unique event, the Ribbons Ladies Game Fishing Tournament; a tournament run by women for women of fun, fishing and friendship.
At a social function prior to a fishing tournament in 1983, a group of adventurous women, came up with the idea of running a tournament for women only, thus giving them the opportunity to experience what was seen as a predominately male recreational pastime.
The seed was sown, the idea of Ribbons grew to a reality and the first tournament was held in December 1984. The overwhelming response from keen women anglers has seen the tournament grow from humble beginnings to one of the highlights on the Cairns fishing calendar. Entrant numbers (as many as 46 boats and 160 anglers in one year) rival those of dual-gender tournaments such as the Lizard Island Classic and the Townsville Billfish Challenge.
Ribbons is timed to coincide with the end of the heavy tackle season as a “wind down” and a more relaxed day for the skippers and deckhands on the charter boats, yet still providing excellent conditions for catching fish! Line class is 10kg, 15kg and as of 2008, 24kg which has brought in some even bigger and better catches. Anglers are mostly local but each year a few intrepid women come from interstate and we’ve even had international teams from Japan and the USA.
Ribbons has evolved as a huge 3 day event on the Cairns social calendar and in addition to the one day fishing, teams come together for merriment at our pre-tournament briefing and our post-fishing Awards Presentation Gala.
Hours before a lure is cast, the competition has already begun to heat up with the frivolity of the annual Ribbons Sailpast on Trinity Inlet. Boats, anglers and even the crew find themselves dressed to the nines all vying for the Best Decorated Boat prize before heading into the sunrise to reach the fishing grounds. A glass of champagne greets the weary anglers at the weigh-in gantry in the evening and quite a few stories, some taller than others, are told of the day’s events.
Celebrations conclude with a fabulous Awards Presentation Gala where we reflect on some wonderful footage from the sailpast and fishing as well as encourage those unlucky anglers that had the big one get away or let the weather get the better of them.
Our club constitution is: