Manta Fest – Awards

Texto de: B_rad IMG_0474 We wrapped up two killer dive weeks and this year’s Manta Fest with a custom Bill Acker and Manta Ray Bay celebration in traditional Yap color. The party was held on the Mnuw with cocktail hour, local buffet dinner, slideshow of the contest entries and the awards ceremony.

Evening Kick Off

Cool people, strong drinks and good food started the festivities and we all got a chance to mingle and party with the pro’s until next year.

Official Results

Here’s all of the final entries for dSLR and non-dSLR in all four categories; big animals, reef scenic, macro and people / culture. The presenters said that this year was the most difficult judging to date. Here’s our shooter’s takes



  • Judy Bennett – Best of show
  • Anke Rorbach – 1st & 3rd place
  • Craig Berludsen – 2nd place
  • Noriyuki Otani
  • Brett Thomson
  • Julie Shuttleworth
  • Jason Tzimoulis
  • Anke Rorbach
  • Julie Shuttleworth


  • Julia Wissel – 1st place
  • Sheila Ott – 2nd place
  • Marcus Pfab – 3rd place
  • Mike Martini
  • Colin Gowers
  • Yokiko Otani
  • Loris Berduldsen
  • Chad Shumway

Menções Honrosas

  • Judy Bennett
  • Marcus Pfab
  • Julia Wissel
  • Mike Martini
  • Craig Berludsen
  • Anke Rorbach
  • Julie Shuttleworth
  • Jennifer Hackman
  • Brett Thomson

Luxury dive trips and gear

This is where it all got handed out – from a 10 day super luxury Indonesian liveaboard trip with Dive Damai, to a Mares dive gear package, that included a regulator, computer, mask, snorkel and fins… and an assortment of other sponsor’s prizes. Everybody went home with something, there was even a gear grab bag that everyone got to reach into before they left.


Our Pro Presenters

Frank Schneider
IMG_7364Frank offers classes, workshops as well as one-on-one training in German and English in a conference room with a projector or at the pool over a beer.

He leads boat groups and gets elbow deep in the shark school at Vertigo.

Fank shoots a Nikon and Seacam combination and is reliable for some stimulating media presentations.


Andy Shumacher
IMG_7376Andy is Manta Fest’s video pro, films promotional clips throughout the contest and helps drain kegs in the pool after diving.

He’s available to anyone interested in shooting / working with video for tutorials or 0ne-on-one traning and speaks German and English.

You will see some of Andy’s work on the Manta Ray Youtube channel and social media feed.


Ray Bullion
IMG_7981Ray is the southwestern regional manager for Henderson Sport Group and a regional account manager for American Underwater Products representing brands such as: Henderson wetsuits, Neo Sport wetsuits, Hyperflex wetsuits, Strormr, Oceanic, Ocean Pro, Hollis, Aeris and Lavacore.

Ray’s been diving and shooting Micronesia almost as long as Tim.

Tim Rock
IMG_8565Tim started shooting photos of Yap before there were roads here.

This trip he was testing a brand new D7100 Aquatica Housing that he let Judy demo when she shot the best of show black tip photo.

Tim can be found towing his model around the reef  by a tank strap and keeping the diving fun.

contribuindo para que os mergulhos sejam mais divertidos.

David Fleetham


Marty Snyderman
IMG_9752David and Marty put in a lot of time with education, training and growing your photography game.

They developed a histogram app that is available on iTunes that will help you understand and learn to use luminosity and RGB histograms.

These guys also bring sealife knowledge which make for really interesting photos.

We learned professional post capture processing in Lightroom and Photoshop and how to nail that shot of a fish yawning, or eel getting cleaned.

We’re done with this year’s party and before the guests left, the hotel is already 1/3 booked for next year – if you’re planning on coming to a Manta Fest, give Bill a call and get hooked up for next year.



Availability & Reservations

Jim Reilly
Jim Reilly
11:27 21 Mar 18
We stayed at the hotel and dove with Manta Ray divers in early December 2017. The hotel is very comfortable, well run and staffed with wonderful employees. During our visit my wife came down with an illness and the consideration and support from the hotel and dive staff could not have been more
Sandy Stinson
Sandy Stinson
16:03 03 Mar 18
The staff couldn't be more friendly and accommodating. Food is good, (worth upgrading to include all meals). Diving is good more
Alex Divinsky
Alex Divinsky
17:24 01 Jan 18
The best place to stay in Yap. The resort is really nice and clean, the scuba diving is great, and the docked ship that houses the bar, restaurant, and movie screen is very cool. I really enjoyed my stay more
10:44 01 Jan 18
Offers one of the best accommodation service. It also has a uniquely designed restaurant.
Yi-Hsin Lin
Yi-Hsin Lin
00:53 21 Feb 17
The whole place centers around the scuba diving operation. Probably better to find somewhere else if you're not a diver. The dive operation was generally good, but a little too laid back - schedules weren't always clear, and sometimes would change without any notice. Sometimes it was hard to tell if this was really because of changing tides/weather or because of the island pace of life. Pizza is a surprisingly good option at the more
William Myers
William Myers
21:01 21 Jul 18
Great hotel. Have stayed twice.
Emily Caquelin
Emily Caquelin
04:10 02 Aug 18
Manta Ray Bay Resort is a great dive resort with extremely hospitable staff.
Daniel Granzer
Daniel Granzer
11:40 23 Aug 18
We were from 11.08 to 18.08 at the Manta Ray Bay resort and had unforgettable days there 😍In total we made 12 dives with wonderful encounters. Highlights were, of course, the manta rays in the Goofnuw Channel and many white tip reef sharks in the Shark City 🦈 But also we saw eagle rays, turtles 🐢 and buffalo head parrotfish. The hotel is beautiful and the whole team does a great job there. The food on the ship Mnuw, as well as the home-brewed beer are excellent. Thank you again to the whole team of Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers 👏🏼We also did a one-day land tour to explore the many beautiful places of this unique island. The beach is like in paradise🏝, stone money and relics from the second world war very worth to see! You find there also culturally typical houses with different meaning and use! It would be nice if more visitors would come to this great island and appreciate the great work that is done there! Anyway, we really enjoyed it and would come back anytime 🙏🏻✌🏼read more
Jonathan Gapith
Jonathan Gapith
10:31 19 Sep 18
Best dive resort around, amazingly friendly staff and great food on the mnuw
Rene Sten
Rene Sten
04:06 12 Oct 18
Bill and his family run a great dive resort, rooms are spacious and comfortable. Restaurant and bar provide good range of food and drink. Bill and his dive guides know the reef intimately and the diving is spectacular. Bill and his family make for a very friendly and rewarding experience in more
Ms. Malinda
Ms. Malinda
13:52 14 Oct 18
Great place to stay while visiting the island. Lots of activities to do with places to see & people to more
Jan Toman
Jan Toman
22:14 02 Nov 18
Great! GREAT! GREAT! Lovely place, lovely staff, great location for divers!
Deb Roy-Stothart
Deb Roy-Stothart
13:55 06 Dec 18
The highest level of dive service ever experienced! Fabulous dive operation from crew, boats, snacks, hot tea and water, warm towels etc. etc. and of course the Manta Rays!! Thank you for making my 100th dive so memorable. Accommodations 5 star! Food was fabulous! Can't say enough about this beautiful Island and it's people. Loved Yap! Deb & Glenn, London, Ontarioread more
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