Lucrative Underwater Shootout & Sylvia Earle – Manado 2018
Are you an underwater photographer looking to pit your skills in one of the world’s most lucrative shootouts? The Celebrate the Sea Festival returns to Manado from 31st March to 5th April 2018 with cash and holiday prizes that total a staggering US $35,000, spread over 5 categories, and with an individual “Master of Competition” prize of IDR 66 million (approx. US $5,000 cash).
Here at Murex our Dive Guides are already excited about the event and the prospect of guiding underwater photographers around North Sulawesi, searching out the best critters and photography opportunities and hoping that Murex guests will win some of the amazing awards and prizes on offer. With two Murex resorts to spread your time across, in two very distinct areas you’ll have double the opportunities and diversity to shoot. Murex Dive Guides all undergo intensive training programs, which include Underwater Photography and Marine Biology training – skills that will be of invaluable use to competitors. The shootout is open to all levels of photographers and includes a compact camera category so don’t worry if you don’t have a large camera setup – you don’t need it and our guides will help you to maximize your cameras potential. If you’d like a more exclusive competition week we also have Private Guide services available so you’ll have your own personal spotter. We want you to win as much as you do!
If you are keen to take part in the 2018 Celebrate the Sea Festival we recommend arriving early so you have at least a few days in the water before the shootout days (1st – 3rd) to fine tune your shooting, check out the photography opportunities available with our guides and get to grips with your camera equipment. Dividing up your time during the competition days between Murex Manado and Murex Bangka will give you a broad range of shots from Bunaken’s walls and Manado’s muck sites through to the contrasting colorful reefs at Bangka. With boat diving transfers between the resorts you won’t lose out on shooting on one of the competition days – you’ll dive more remote sites which present even more opportunities. Places are limited so book in advance for this epic event.
Celebrate the Sea is more than just a photo shootout as in 2018 it aims to call for a ban on the sale and trade of shark fin in North Sulawesi and to eliminate single use plastic from the region – a first for Indonesia.
If you’re not a photographer the event also features world-class speakers who will be presenting over the weekend including (among others) Marine Biologist Dr. Sylvia Earle, film producer and director Craig Leeson, musician Kristin Hoffman, National Geographic Photographer David Doubilet and wildlife photographer and conservationist Michael Aw who is the founder of the event and publisher of Ocean Geographic Magazine.
Celebrate the Sea is now in it’s 13th year and previous hosting destinations have included the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. In 2011 Manado hosted it’s first Celebrate the Sea Festival and we are delighted to see it return in 2018. When asked about why he chose to bring the festival back to Manado for a second time, Michael Aw (event founder), commented that, “This is a very special place to me. I first came to Manado in 1992 on assignment for GAHAWISRI Indonesia and I was so impressed that I returned in 1993 for a period of 8 months to finish my photography book “Beneath Bunaken”. Dr Hanny Batuna at Murex Dive Resorts was kind enough to host me and as a conservationist himself, he supported my vision to bring greater attention to the marine park. It was because of the graciousness of Dr Hanny Batuna and his wife Ineke Batuna at Murex that I was able to launch my underwater photographic career and I still return to Murex to dive now. I hope that in 2018 we can use the power of pictures to inspire conservation and the protection of ocean environments”.
In addition to presentations and the shootout, children from North Sulawesi will also be taking part in an effort to spread the word about marine environments and conservation to the younger generation. A drawing competition will be the focus for the children, which in 2011 was an immense success with over 3,000 entries and over 80 children from Indonesia, India, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Singapore taking part in the finals.
We are all delighted to see this prestigious event return to Manado and to have the natural beauty and marine environments of Manado, Bunaken, Bangka and Lembeh recognized as world-class dive destinations. We are looking forward to an inspiring week of presentations, film screenings, awesome underwater imagery, diving some of Indonesia’s best dive sites and seeing our guests succeed!
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