Giacomo De Mola, is an amazing international spearfishing Champion, third place at the Euro African Championship 2017 in Lussino, winner of Dive In Cup 2017 and third in 2018, second and third in 2016 and 2017 at the Cup of Rovigno (Croatia), third at the Semana Master 2017 in Palma de Mallorca, where he also wins the Open Pedro Carbonell. Finally, a fantastic 5th final position at the 2016 World Championship in Syros (Greece). Giacomo is extremely loved in Italy, but has also been criticized by a few spearos who have questioned the fact that the Italian Champion had been selected for the World Championship, but had actually not followed the traditional steps from “selective” competitions, to 2° category Championship, to 1° category Championship in Italy.
A rule in the Italian regulation indicates that if you have won a medal either in the World or Euro-African Champ, you are allowed to participate directly to second category, and this is what Giacomo De Mola did. We have wanted to interview him on this topic and on his extremely good result, with a third position in the second category, that brings him to first Italian category in 2019, closing all the comments of those few that, in the end, have now got all the replies to their questions.
Apneapassion: What does it mean Giacomo to find the humbleness to move from international competitions, like World and Euro-African Championship, to second category in Italy, where you could loose a lot with a bad result (possible for anyone in such sport), or simply confirm what you have time and time again demostrated, your top level qualities and your strength in spearfishing in an international perspective. Riscky, also, conditions far from the ones you are used to recently, living in Greece, where high depths and clear waters are the tipical sea conditions.
Giacomo De Mola: A technical regulamentation gives me the possibility to participate to this second category championship, and so I did. Surely I had a lot to lose, but I had also a big motivation in competing in the Italian circuit that has in some cases strongly criticized my participation with the Italian National Team. This test has been extremely exciting to me.
Referring to the misty and shallow water, I do not understand why many think this could be a huge problem for me. I have grown and learned to spearfish in Ancora, Adriatic coast of Italy, so for me clean water was 2 meters of vosobility and avarage depth between 5 and 13 meters. The I have spent many Winters when I was in the 20s in the sea of the Andamane, in Thailand, with tide currents with 4 meters of water level change that almost cancelled visibility of the muddy sea floor. Civitavecchia, in Lazio region (center of West Italian coast), took me back to those periods, and surely I have appreciated even more the choice of living in the Egeo in the last ten years. But spearfishing is like cycling, you do not forget it.
AP: Anyway changing from conditions in Greece to the ones in Civitavecchia, with shallow and misty water must have requested changes in strategy and equipment.
GDM: Surely sea conditions, especially in the week of preparation, were terrible, low visibility from 50 cm to 1.5 meters, with cold cut. I have prepared the area using the fishfinder the spots that inspired me, and gliding down searching with the hands the cuts and holes. After though, during competition conditions have improved a lot (I had the worry things changed too much cancelling work done during preparation).
Even though conditions are much different from my home ones in Egeo, still species of fish are the same I am used to in International championships like the ones I have participated to in Croatia and Spain, so equipment I have used is the one I normally utilize in such competitions: from 60 to 75 Pathos Laser spearguns with 5 spears, and one 85 Pathos Sniper with 6.25 mm shaft and single circular rubber band with 17 mm diameter. I have also used the new Pathos Ultima blades, soft version, indicated for a fast action and not tyring for a 10 days preparation. The Pathos Team 5 mm wetsuit has been perfect for the competition, using few kg as weight for fast dives.
AP: How did you live each moment of the competition and when did you understand you had reached the goal, more than the goal?
GDM: First of all I would like to talk about the preparation phase, that has been really tough, and me and my “second” have found really few fish, and with water never improving days where long and not good, so I thought local athletes had a big advantage. During preparation, there was a moment when I thought things woould have not ended well.
During competition then water conditions have improved a lot, and especially the first day I have made some strategical changes, that have finally shown to be right. In fact, in the first three signals I have found nothing. Then, changing strategy, I have started to scroll the area and have improved the number of catches, until I started to fish deeper where I had some forkbeards, that have given me the right motivation and enthusiasm to close at best the competition.
In day 2 in the first part I have spearfished following my signals, and sharing fish with other competitors. Funny part has been the start on a signal in common with Stefano Claut, where we have arrived together, both have caught one fish, we have motivated each other and it was a great moment of sportivity and friendship.
On the following signals on the congers it was crazy, with 20 dinghies and a bandle of buoys, but with some luck and clever action I have managed two catch two “serpents”. After that competition has been growing in toughness for at least one hour, as all signals where already taken, so I have decided to sroll along a line at around 20 meters of depth where I had seen once some seabreams and a cut that during preparation was empty, but seemed to be perfect to remain so. So I maned to catch one moray, one seabream and one bigger one of around 1 kg, the latter being exactly in the cut I had found empty earlier. In that right moment I understood I would have obtained a good result. The last redfish I have cought at the very end of the competition, in front of another competitor. This has been the cherry on the cake.
AP: Which sensations does this podium give you and what would you like to say to those who have so strongly questioned your capacities due to not having titles in Italian championships?
GDM: This podium is a great satisfaction. Many expected that in the Italian circuit, with grouper not being valid, with misty water and 50 aggressive competitors I would not have been good enough. It has been mainly a personal confirmation, that now makes me stronger psychologically. So this is really good. But the strange thing is that in the high level competitions that I have participated to, such as the World and European Champs, or the Master in Palma, my competitors are carefull and challenged by me for what I can do in the water, and respect me outside. To have the friendship, respect and esteem as athlete and person from part of the top spearos in the world, such as the Spanish, Portuguese, Croatian and Greece, in addition to my teammates in the national team, is for me already an answer.
The rest is commented by itself finally I do not consider it anymore. In Italy a lot of talking is done from the keyboard, but these are the facts and many will have to live with it.
AP: And now which will be the next challenge? How will you approach the absolute 1° category Italian champ next year?
GDM: For the moment I will enjoy my going back to Egeo, and before the Italian champ there will be other competitions, such as Master in Palma de Mallorca or the Dive in Cup in Zara, and maybe a competition in Tenerife where I have been invited. I will think about the italian champ closer to the date as for all other competitions, trying to do my best, a good preparation and with energy and the illusion to be able to be in the first positions.