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MEDIA RELEASE - Successful Hooked on Portland confirmed for next year

29 January 2018

Portland’s inaugural Hooked on Portland festival attracted more than 10,000 people to the region including international tourists, booking out accommodation, adding more than $2 million to the local economy over three days.

Visitors from as far as Sydney travelled to Portland for the Australia Day long weekend festivities which were headlined by the Pierce Brothers, with cooking demonstrations from MasterChef’s and a fishing competition.

Glenelg Shire Council Mayor Cr Anita Rank said the festival was a huge success after positive praise from the community.

“The town was absolutely buzzing at the weekend as people overflowed from the festival into the township. We are extremely excited to say Hooked on Portland is locked in to return in 2019,” Cr Rank said.

“It was a success from the start with hundreds of people gathering on the Bentinck Street lawns on Friday evening for live entertainment from locals Dean and Kane Outtram followed by Finding Nemo on the big screen.

“The Twilight Cinema is always a popular community event and council is ecstatic to host another event on Friday 9 February at the Portland Botanical Gardens with the film ‘Valentine’s Day’.”

Cr Rank said Saturday was the busiest day of the festival with people enjoying Hooked on Portland either down at the foreshore, on board one of the many tours offered or taking part in the fishing competition.

“It was a very exciting day down at the foreshore on Saturday with the Triple J Hottest 100, Youth Zone, fishing talks from celebrity fishermen Aaron Habgood and cooking demos from MasterChef’s Eliza Wilson and Sam Goodwin,” Cr Rank said.

“The Foodie Marquee was packed to the rafters the entire day with cooking demonstrations from MasterChef’s and local chefs, as well as a filleting display from Reel Adventures’ Aaron Habgood.

“Aaron, Eliza and Sam worked incredibly well together and supplied a lot of entertainment beyond their cooking demonstrations. It was great to hear they spent Thursday out diving and cooking up local fresh seafood before the festival,” she said.

Cr Rank said the Hooked on Portland Fishing Competition played a large role in the success of the weekend with more than 180 registered competitors vying for $3000 in cash prizes.

“The boat ramp was overflowing the entire day with fishermen launching their boats as well as those returning with some very sizeable catches,” Cr Rank said.

Skipton’s Josh Cahill won the heaviest salmon in the seniors at 2.075kg with Melbourne’s Evan Diaz winning the junior with a 1.66kg catch. Heaviest senior tuna went to Melbourne man Mason Shulze with a 25kg haul and local Glen Stephens winning heaviest senior gummy shark at 12.92kg.

The heaviest king fish was claimed by Casterton’s Mark Nolte at 10.71kg with Portland’s Storrie family dominating the heaviest whiting with Andrew winning the senior category at 6.4kg and Hamish in the junior category with a 645g catch.

Portland brothers and keen fishermen Lachlan and Jamieson Goldby were king of the snapper with Lachlan claiming the senior prize with a 2.160kg catch and Jamieson winning the junior prize with 1.555kg.

Cr Rank said the live entertainment was sensational with Saturday night’s entertainment rocking the foreshore.

“The entire festival congregated to the main stage as the night went on with sensational sets from This Way North, Sal Kimber and The Rollin’ Wheel, Mark Lang, Louise Adams and the Lost Era and headline act the Pierce Brothers,” she said.

“The Pierce Brothers were incredible and absolutely rocked their set with their entertaining antics all night. They had the entire crowd on their feet dancing the whole time. It was the perfect ending to a fun day.

“After a very successful weekend in Portland, we are excited to say Hooked on Portland will be back bigger and better next year.”

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