Guest rallying for Pirtek Fishing Challenge entries
Monday 17th April, 2023 - 3:51pm
Rallying trailblazer Michael Guest is encouraging would-be anglers to try their hand at Australia’s top fishing championship.
The Pirtek Fishing Challenge encourages participants to grab their rods and catch fish all in the name of a good cause, with last year’s event attracting a world-record number of participants.
What is not so well known about Australia’s biggest national fishing competition is the role that motorsport played in its origins.
Motorsport played a pivotal role in the formation of the Pirtek Fishing Challenge, with Event Director and Pirtek Ambassador Michael Guest the first Australian to compete in the FIA World Rally Championship on a regular basis.
Prior to his WRC career, which totalled 21 events, Guest competed in rallying at local, state and national level.
“I started rallying in 1989 when I first kicked off at a really basic club motorsport level and just became addicted, I just couldn’t get enough of it,” Guest said.
Rising through the ranks, Guest won a NSW State Rally Championship, two Australian Production titles and an Asia-Pacific championship before taking on the WRC.
He went onto record class victories in the WRC including at the 1992 Rally Australia (Formula 2), 1996 Rally of New Zealand (Group N), 1998 Rally Australia (Group N), 1998 Rally of New Zealand (Group N), 2000 Acropolis Rally (Formula 2) and 2000 Rally of Portugal (Formula 2).
“Anytime that you can compete against the best in the world, in your category, class and come out on top is always pretty cool,” Guest added.
“Not a lot of Aussies get to do that in motorsport, compete at the highest level in the world, so it’s pretty exciting when you get to go and do that at a world level.”
After taking a hiatus from the sport, Guest returned to the Australian Rally Championship in 2007, heading up the Pirtek Rally Team campaign, competing for Jason Bright’s Britek outfit.
Shortly after his return to rallying, a crash in the South Australian round of the Australian Rally Championship would ultimately play a crucial role in the formation of the Pirtek Fishing Challenge.
“I had a huge accident in South Australia, a massive accident that probably could have easily ended up with me not being around anymore,” Guest added.
“It wasn’t a great outcome for the car, so far it is the only car I’ve ever totally destroyed and luckily it didn’t destroy me, but after that Peter Duncan [Pirtek founder] wanted to see me and have a chat.
“It was a very heartfelt conversation and he said to me, ‘Guesty you like fishing, let’s have a fishing competition.
“So through motorsport is born this idea to have a fishing competition.”
Since then, Guest turned his attention to fishing in a full-time capacity, going on to have his own fishing television programme and radio show.
He said that there are many parallels between motorsport and fishing.
“To do well in motorsport requires an amazing amount of concentration, perseverance and the ability to be technically-minded and if you want to do well and fishing, it’s all the same,” Guest added.
“It definitely makes a big difference, helps you become better at it and yeah, I think there are definitely some parallels there.”
Guest said the Pirtek Fishing Challenge is designed to allow people of all ages and experiences to get involved and enjoy a couple of days on the water.
“It doesn’t matter whether you’re an experienced angler or picking up a rod for the first time,” Guest said.
“The Pirtek Fishing Challenge is all about getting together with your friends and family, having fun and supporting our charity partners.”
This year’s Challenge will be a two-day event taking place on Saturday, April 22 and Sunday April 23.
Competitors will fish for their favourite species, photograph their catch and then upload the photos to the Pirtek Fishing Challenge website.
There are 22 target species nationally covering all States and Territories both fresh and
Vitally, the Pirtek Fishing Challenge is a major fundraising initiative assisting to raise funds and awareness for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA), as well as the Peter Duncan Neurosciences Research Unit at St Vincent’s Hospital.
This year, a record $280,000 in cash and prizes is up for grabs.
Entries for the Pirtek Fishing Challenge are open until this Saturday, April 22.
CLICK HERE to register for this year’s Pirtek Fishing Challenge.
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