2022 Ray Odor Spearfishing Classic

On January 14th, 2019, the world lost a pioneer and legend in spearfishing, scuba and skin diving, Raymond “Ray” Odor. After his service in World War II, Ray returned to Tampa Bay and with help from his brother, developed a makeshift underwater oxygen-breathing device long before scuba gear was created for the masses. They called it the “Odorlung”. Shortly afterwards, Ray and a friend opened The Tampa Skindiver on Gandy Boulevard, which for a long time was Tampa’s first and only dive shop. For many years, Ray forged spearguns, shafts, stringers, kill spikes, PPDs, and legendary pole spears from the backyard of his home that he shared with his wife of 54 years, Shirley. Long into his 80’s, Ray dove the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay on his boat the “Shirley O”, creating many lifelong friendships and memories. He set an example on how to live life and how to treat other people; his loving and caring way touched all of our hearts.

Over the years, the very popular FSDA Interbay Spearfishing Tournament has drawn many local Tampa Bay spearfishermen and women together on Gandy Beach. The one-day tournament has always been in February, and heavily focused on building the camaraderie of the spearfishing community.

To honor Ray, in 2019 the Florida Skin Divers Association renamed the InterBay Spearfishing Tournament to the “Ray Odor Spearfishing Classic”. We can’t think of a better way to acknowledge Ray’s impact on the Tampa Bay spearfishing community. Ray truly was a pioneer for skin diving and spearfishing, and through his life we are reminded of the history and growth of our beloved sport. 

For 2022, the event will be held on Saturday, February 5th .

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