My name is Donell Watson (pictured right) and I am from Kailua Kona Hawaii. I started to spearfish competitively in 2017 with my boyfriend Calvin (pictured left). My passion for the ocean started at a young age fishing, spearfishing and surfing. I am beyond thrilled to be representing not only the USA but also my home state Hawaii in this world competition. I would like to thank Cal for helping me with everything spearfishing, my #1 supporters my Kids (Aidan and kortney) and a Huge Mahalo to my friends, family and local supporters back home.
USA Women’s Team #1
Anne Doherty and Brandi Easter
Rocky Mountain Catfish Cazadoras
Anne began spearfishing in Rhode Island in 1995, and she began competing nationally in 1998. Brandi and Anne competed on the Women’s team in the 2004 World Championships in Iquique, Chile. She has competed in international meets in Norway and Mexico, as well as all local meets. She worked and dove as crew on a sea urchin boat in California, where the sunsets are endless, the water is clear and the ocean is beautiful. Despite the lure of clear water, she loves the Rhode Island dirty water, and dives there every weekend seven months a year. You just never know when a monster striped bass might just pass by in front of you…such a thrill! The magic of the ocean draws many adventurous and lovely people to it.
Brandi will be traveling from Northern California to participate in the 2nd Freshwater World Spearfishing Championship. She has been spearfishing – dinner to competition – for over 20 years locally and abroad. She has participated in numerous Central California Council of Dive Club and local spearfishing tournaments, USA National competitions, a World Cup in Mexico, several ‘Diving for A Cause trips’ and along with Anne, was on the first Women’s Team USA in Iquique, Chile 2004. Throughout, she has strived to be positive role model for women in all aspects of the sport – sportsmanship, safety, advocacy, stewardship, appreciation, fun and more – and hopes to inspire more women to enjoy the adventures and wonderment that only freediving and spearfishing holds. She is honored to dive with Anne and represent the USA again.
Brandi and Anne are excited to finally be going to New Zealand, and are looking forward to meeting everyone, and having a blast! Good luck and safe diving!
Ryan Peterson has been spearfishing for 7 years. He currently holds two IUSA world records. He is the president of a spearfishing group called Fresh Water Fish Slayers in Utah. His group encourages safe, fun, and lawful diving and is open to anyone. He is competing with his dive partner and wife of 4 years Shelby Peterson. Together they won 2nd place as a mixed team in the 2017 Freshwater Nationals in Nebraska and won 1st place in the 2018 Freshwater Nationals in Utah. They also placed 3rd as a mixed team at thefirst World Freshwater Spearfishing Championship in Las Vegas, NV in 2017z. Ryan is passionate about spearfishing and is always ready to get in the water and slay some fish
Women’s spearfishing champion & world record holder
Shelby Peterson has been spearfishing for 5 years. She currently holds 3 IUSA women’s world records. She dives with Ryan Peterson her dive partner and husband of 4 years. Together they won 2nd place as a mixed team in the 2017 Freshwater Nationals in Nebraska and won 1st place in the 2018 Freshwater Nationals in Utah. They also placed 3rd as a mixed team at the first World Freshwater Spearfishing Championship in Las Vegas, NV in 2017. She individually won 1st place woman at both 2017 and 2018 National tournaments as well as taking 3rd place woman in the world’s tournament in Las Vegas, NV. She is so excited to be a participant in the 2019 Worlds tournament, and hopes to make a name for herself among woman divers.
USA Womans Team
Kathy Cosby: USA
I have been spearfishing the North Coast of California for almost 5 years. I worked in Wellington years ago, and have hoped since then for an opportunity to return to New Zealand. Really looking forward to getting to know Lake Taupo, and getting to know competitors from around the world. I don’t have a lot of freshwater dive experience, but the North Coast of CA has been an amazing teacher when it comes to determination and stamina. Savanah and I will represent our country with pride and bring our best to the comp. See you all in the water soon!
When Paul Verveniotis is not working on the water in San Francisco Bay, he is shooting fish and game above, on, and below the surface.He hears that catfish tacos are particularly tasty.Paul is looking forward to seeing his colleagues and representing USA!
“Matt Lum lives in Santa Barbara, California. He enjoys surfing, freediving, fly-fishing and eating pizza. Matt knows a lot of really, really good spearfishermen.”
Mike Ban and Matthew Diechsel, both from Colorado, have enjoyed the sport of spearfishing for many years. Mike has been competing for 15 years, generally earning one of the top three spots, and he has three US Freshwater National titles under his belt. Matthew has been spearfishing for 12 years and has also competed in numerous freshwater tournaments throughout the United States. His accolades include placing in the top three as an individual and team for US Freshwater Nationals as well as many other tournaments over the years. Both competitors have shattered several IUSA records for freshwater fish species and relish their time spearfishing outside of competitions.
Outside of spearfishing, Mike’s other passion is bow hunting big and small wild game (including exotic animals) all over the world. One of his favorite hunts consisted of jumping on a wild hog and killing it with a knife.
Matthew truly loves the water and enjoys traveling around the world to chase after trophy fish species. He also likes playing sports such as indoor and futsal soccer, underwater hockey, and obstacle course races such as the Ultra Beast Spartan. Matthew’s friends often refer to him as the “Deaf Merman or Silent Sniper”.
The best part of this upcoming tournament is being able to dive with Mike Maguire as my teammate.
I was born into a diving family that loved to camp, dive, and take game along the Western coast of the US and into Mexico.
My brother Glen and I started in fresh water river competitions over 45 years ago and have been blessed with many great experiences at a national and world level. The spearo family we have developed along the way is what keeps me involved
I now enjoy giving back to the sport through the fresh water meets we hold in the mid west.Getting my daughter and son got involved at a young age and seeing them grow to be strong and safe divers has been the most exciting thing for me over these last few years. Although I am still adjusting to have them beat me in big fishing in competitions
WFSC for me is about giving the top divers from every country, in every division an opportunity compete and learn from each other in a competitive but fun format.
I believe this format is the key to building our sport and industry, One new diver, one fun mentoring opportunity at a time.
Fresh Water Rocks!
Goal for this year is to beat Andy Ruddock, The crazy Ausi.
Andrew Ruddock – TEAM AUSTRALIA
Born 1 / 11/ 1954.
Started spearfishing at age 11 with Kingfishers Spearfishing Club on the Sth Coast of NSW.
Aust open champion and vet champ.
Professional diving for pearl shell in Broome, Trochus and slugs in NT And Qld and sea urchin and abalone in the south. Spearfishing guide in Coral Sea.
Competed for the first time in freshwater at last Worlds in Lake Mead and thoroughly enjoyed the diving , competition and comradeship with the other divers and looking forward to renewing old friendships and new ones in Taupo.
It’s going to be a great Champs.
Monique Kehaunani Genereux – TEAM GUAMI am from the beautiful Island of Guam. I am 38 years old and I have been spearfishing since I was 13. This will be my second Fresh water competition and I have also had the amazing opportunity to compete in the inter Pacific division against some of the best speros in the world. I am blessed to have been able to go to all the places I have and to have met some of the most amazing people, all while doing one of the things I love the most. I look forward to meeting everyone and of course going back to NZ, one of my favorite places in the world!