From: Sea Horse and Triple Crown Final Results

First, let me congratulate Straws and Lois Haycock on the birth of their son, Dillon Arthur Haycock, at 8:45 pm Saturday night. As a two-time winner of the Sea Horse Tournament, Straws has often been very happy on the last day of the event.......but this is an entirely new high for him. Both mother and son are doing well. Pretty work Straws !! Saturday July 18

Day Three of the Sea Horse Anglers Club Billfish Tournament is one of those GREAT days in the global sports calendar - so much is on the line with the outcome of the tournament and the whole Triple Crown hanging in the balance...........and 2009 did not disappoint in terms of drama. Visiting boat "Anita Jean" started the final day in 2nd place in both the Sea Horse and the overall Triple Crown, and they did their part to make both leaders very nervous when they released a blue marlin at 9:45 am to pull within 200 points of "Tease Em" in the Sea Horse and to within a mere 58 points of "Bree" in the Triple Crown. A little white release could now spring them into the prestigious Triple Crown lead. However, "Anita Jean" was unable to register any more points and they ultimately finished 2nd in the Sea Horse, which added $6,900 of cash winnings to their haul. At 11:26 am, "Never Enough" hooked into a solid blue marlin and after a 42 minute tussle they boated the big fish at 12:08 pm. They headed to Barr's Bay Park early and the blue marlin tipped the scales at 674 lbs and earned them a sweep of the Daily and Largest Blue Marlin Jackpots which aggregated to $78,000 of cash winnings - big congratulations to them. In addition, angler Walter Shikany aboard "Never Enough" won the High Point Angler award with all of the boat's 1,374 points (which included a blue marlin and a white release in addition to the 674 pounder) - that added $2,300 to their winnings. In the early afternoon, "Reel Lax" released a big blue marlin after a battle of over an hour - this blue was estimated to be over the 500 lb mark and probably closer to 600 lb. Then at 3:29 pm, "Reel Lax" hooked into another big blue marlin of similar size and scored the release at 4:03 pm. What a great week they have had after letting go that 1,000 lb+ marlin before the tournament. The two blue marlin releases pushed team "Reel Lax" up to 1,500 points which gave them 3rd Place overall worth $4,600. So, in the end "Tease Em" finished as worthy winners of the Sea Horse. Their 1st Place finish was worth $13,800. This is a top notch team as they finished 3rd in the 2008 Sea Horse and they caught more blue marlin in last year's Triple Crown (8) than any other team. I'm quite sure that they thoroughly deserve their win in the 2009 Sea Horse - BIG CONGRATULATIONS TO CAPT TRAVIS INMON AND TEAM TEASE EM !!!!

The final day was made even more interesting by virtue of the unusual circumstance that the aforementioned top three boats were not entered in many of the jackpots. "Que Mas" scored a blue marlin release and a white release in the afternoon that won them the Day Three Release Jackpot worth $12,667 - this team has won a cash award in six of the past nine Triple Crown tournaments (as well being the 2008 Triple Crown champion and 2007 Triple Crown runner up) = a quite astonishing level of consistency! The team aboard "Queen of Hearts" (another boat with an incredible track record) were undoubtedly surprised and delighted to find that they won the Overall Release Points Jackpot with 1,000 points, and this was worth a cool $32,000. The 55 lb wahoo taken by "Over Budget" on Day Two held up for the Game Fish award worth $2,300.

The race for the Triple Crown came right down to the wire. At 3:17 pm, Capt. James Robinson's "Wound Up" hooked into a big blue marlin which they stayed close to and had the leader extremely quickly. At the first opportunity a gaff was sunk, and at 3:45 pm Capt. James reported that the blue was in the boat. It had a 120 inch short-length but it was not fat. The team knew they had fish near the 600 lb mark. At lines out, "Wound Up" was headed to the scales and trailing "Bree" by 593 points. At Barr's Bay Park the anticipation was very high as the big blue was hoisted - it tipped the scales at 590 lbs.................and the celebrations began across the bay aboard "Bree". For the fifth consecutive year the trend continues that the Classic winner also takes the big cake. The three point margin of victory is by far the closest that we have ever had, and no prior team ever won the Triple Crown with less than 3,500 points. It was tough on "Wound Up", but they won the World Cup and Blast and we all expect Capt. Robinson to get his Triple Crown ring one day. In any event, if Brian Lines and the "Off Piste" team had fished the Sea Horse I'd have backed them to get 700+ points, but family time in Canada came first for Brian and I certainly respect that. The top ten boats in the 2009 TC standings were as follows:

1. Bree - 2,958
2. Wound Up - 2,955
3. Anita Jean - 2,900
4. Off Piste - 2,300
5. Mama Who - 2,300
6. Reel Lax - 2,200
7. Queen of Hearts - 2,000
8. Tease Em - 1,900
9. Mako - 1,900,
10. Reel Addiction - 1,900
So, MASSIVE CONGRATULATIONS TO CAPT. BRYCE GARVEY AND THE 2009 TRIPLE CROWN CHAMPIONS - BREE TEAM !!!!! As I have said before, the entire fleet was delighted for the "Bree" team because they are a classy group of people and have always been so gracious and welcome here (and the boat itself, a 72' Merritt, is simply breathtaking),

Other catches on Day Three of the Sea Horse included two white releases for "Reel Addiction" and white releases for "Won Buy Land", "Mega Bucks", "Lisa" and "Profit Margin".

The final tally for Day Three was two blue marlin boated (674 lb and 590 lb), 4 blue marlin released and 7 whites released. The final overall count for the 23 boat Sea Horse fleet was two blue marlin boated, 20 blue marlin released and 18 whites released. Of the 20 blue marlin released, at least seven were estimated to somewhere in the range of 400-600 lbs. The final Sea Horse standings are as follows:

1. Tease Em - 3 blue releases; 2 white releases - 1,900 points and cash winnings of $13,800
2. Anita Jean - 3 blue releases; 1 white release - 1,700 points and cash winnings of $19,567
3. Reel Lax - 3 blue releases - 1,500 points and cash winnings of $4,600
4. Never Enough - 1 blue boated 674 lbs; 1 blue release; 1 white release - 1,374 points and cash winnings of $80,300
5. Wound Up - 1 blue boated 590 lbs; 1 blue release - 1,090 points
6. Queen of Hearts - 2 blue releases - 1,000 points and cash winnings of $32,000
7. Reel Addiction - 1 blue release; 2 white releases - 900 points and cash winnings of $12,667
8. Triple Play - 1 blue release; 1 white release - 700
9. Mako - 1 blue release; 1 white release
10. Profit Margin - 1 blue release; 1 white release
11. Que Mas - 1 blue release; 1 white release - 700 points and cash winnings of $12,667
12. Mama Who - 1 blue release - 500
13. Treasure Isle - 1 blue release
14. Fish On - 2 white releases - 400
15. Smooth Operator - 1 white release - 200
16. Bree - 1 white release
17. Over Budget - 1 white release - 200 points and cash winnings of $2,300
18. Won Buy Land - 1 white release
19. Mega Bucks - 1 white release
20. Lisa - 1 white release
20 out of 23 boats (87%) successfully released at least one marlin in the Sea Horse = a great statistic. The three boats that failed to score were "Last Chance", "Last Stall" and "Pink Impression".

As far as the overall 2009 Triple Crown goes, would you believe there were 73 blue marlin and 73 whites caught. 139 (>95%) of these marlin were photographed and released. There were ZERO undersize (i.e., under 500 lb) blue marlin brought to scales in the 2009 Triple Crown - well done everyone! How does the total count compare to prior years? - see below:

2009 - 73 blues and 73 whites = 0.24 blues per boat per day; 0.24 whites per boat per day
2008 - 115 blues and 65 whites = 0.37 blues per boat per day; 0.21 whites per boat per day
2007 - 123 blues and 86 whites = 0.35 blues per boat per day; 0.25 whites per boat per day
2006 - 133 blues and 34 whites = 0.37 blues per boat per day; 0.09 whites per boat per day
2005 - 77 blues and 23 whites = 0.30 blues per boat per day; 0.09 whites per boat per day
The boat per day data is based on entries in each event and is not reduced for time missed as a result of mechanical failure, early return or other time spent inshore. Clearly the real catch rate is a bit higher, but I assume the distortion washes between years and therefore the comparability/trend analysis is reasonable. Conclusion = it was a below par year for the blue marlin bite or perhaps the bite is going to be better later this year and we will perhaps have a great Cup Match and August bite - historically it has been common for the best blue marlin bite to occur in August. I am not sure why in recent years August has not been as comparatively strong - perhaps all the boats fishing here in July prick too many of them! The next conclusion is that it was another good year for whites, relative to historical norm.

55 boats participated in at least one leg of the 2009 Triple Crown (19 fished all three legs) and that is up from 51 last year. Given the economic climate that is a fantastic reflection on Bermuda and the GREAT JOB performed by tournament director Dan Jacobs and his highly professional team. Thank you Dan - we appreciate all that you have done for Bermuda !!