Photo: L to R: Shiniko Sebastien, 3-year-old Sy Sebastien, 9-year-old Jayce
Michael and Nathan Clark, Virgin Islands' Council of the Boy Scouts of America
senior district executive, at the Innovative Handline Tournament.
Credit: Dean Barnes
August 2, 2009
37th ANNUAL USVI OPEN/ATLANTIC BLUE MARLIN TOURNAMENT GETS UNDERWAY
WITH 35 BOATS
Some of the best anglers, captains and crews in the world are in St. Thomas
this week to compete in the 37th annual USVI Open/Atlantic Blue Marlin
Tournament (ABMT), nicknamed 'the Boy Scout Tournament' and known globally as
the 'Superbowl of Sportsfishing'.
"We have 35 boats this year, up from 29 last year, and the excitement has
been building," says tournament director, Jimmy Loveland. "The fishing's been
beautiful the last few days, with a lot of big fish out there."
Last year, anglers aboard the 29 boats released 124 blue marlin over the
four days of fishing.
This year, it was the kids who kicked off the angling action. Seventy-one
3- to 11-year-old boys and girls tried their luck along the docks of American
Yacht Harbor at the Innovative Handline Tournament. Even those that got skunked
received free pizza, drinks and T-shirts.
Winners in the 3- to 6-year old category were: Largest Fish - Matthew
Kuszewski, Most Fish - Cody Bryan, Unique Fish - Marissa Ricks. In the 7- to
11-year-old age category, winners were: Largest Fish - Joseph Sibilly, Most Fish
- Gavin Remeselnik, Unique Fish - Devonte James.
Nathan Clark, Virgin Islands' Council of the Boy Scouts of America senior
district executive, says, "Its great to get the kids out and expose them to the
sport of fishing."
The big boys get their chance tomorrow. The fleet will head out and
fishing will get started after right after the Blessing of the Fleet and the Boy
Scout's Color Guard's Flag Raising Ceremony.
The angling action continues Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday - three days
before and a day after the month's full moon.
The public can catch the spirit of sport fishing by 'doing the docks' or
watching the big rigs come in around 6:30 p.m. and counting the number of marlin
release flags flying from the outriggers. The more flags, the more marlin the
boat released. Blue signals the catch was a blue marlin, while white flags
denote a white marlin.
On Wednesday, enjoy Cheese Burgers in
Paradise. The Boy Scouts invites visitors and locals alike to their cookout at
Camp Wahoo, located by the tournament tent at the American Yacht Harbor Marina.
The Caribbean Night Show starts at 8:15 p.m.
The ABMT's final
fishing action on Friday ends with the sport fishing fleet's swift Jim Smith
'Race From The Edge'. The best place to watch this often photo finish is from
the spit of land past the pool at the Sapphire Beach Resort. The Awards Ceremony
takes place later in the evening along with the naming of the 2009 USVI
Open/Atlantic Blue Marlin Top Angler, who pockets a $10,000 cash prize.
Started by Chuck Senf back in 1972 - and nicknamed The Boy Scout Tournament
since a portion of the proceeds have always benefited the VI Council of the Boy
Scouts of America, one of Senf's favorite charities - the ABMT has evolved into
the competitive saltwater sports fishing events in the world. It's one of
tournaments making up Bisbee's World Billfish Series and is the last leg of the
prestigious Bermuda Triangle Series and Spanish Main Series.
For more information, contact: Jimmy Loveland, tournament director at: Tel:
1-888-2-FISHVI (1-888-234-7484) or 340-775-9500; Fax: 340-779-8605; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
; Web: www.abmt.vi