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2nd Annual Bermuda Triangle Series

What happens when you team together cream-of-the-crop sports
fishermen in some of the best fishing locales in the world? Hopefully a series
that will bring the sport of big game fishing close up and personal to millions
of television viewers. This is the dream of St. Thomas-based pioneering sports
fisherman, Jimmy Loveland.

The Bermuda
Triangle Series (BTS) links a trio of tournaments: the Bahamas in May, the
“Grander-lurking” banks of Bermuda in July, and the famous Virgin Islands’ “Boy
Scout” tournament in August.

Loveland says: “The BTS is designed so that
everyone in the industry has a stake in it. We are testing the skills of the
anglers and crews, along with the performance of the boats, the fishing tackle,
the engines and the various navigation packages. This is a true Blue Water
Challenge! Simultaneously, we have been putting together the players who
will participate in filming the project.”

As for the organization of the series,
Loveland explains: “The BTS is considered a ‘team’ event, yet individual legs
are fished as ‘angler’ tournaments under modified release rules. Rules-wise this
means you can boat a potential IGFA (International Game Fishing Association)
World Record and receive the same number of points as if it were released. If
it weighs in short, the points are lost. Teams
earn points in the overall series, while angler points are the measure
during the individual legs.”

To win the BTS
Jackpot or Calcutta, Loveland continues, “at least two legs of the series must
be fished and one must be the St. Thomas leg. Teams fishing the series put
money into a special pot that can only be won by those teams who are signed on
for the series.”

Referring to the
series in general, he says, “there are no restrictions regarding the
qualifications of an angler and team members may change during the various
legs. IGFA Certified Observers are provided. Blue Marlin, White Marlin,
Sailfish and Spearfish each count for points in the overall series.”

In addition to money, a new tradition
started with the inaugural series in the form of a beautiful and prestigious
angler prize. Loveland says: “The top series angler of each leg is awarded a
gold hook shaped pendant inset with a precious gem. There’s a sapphire for the
Bahamas leg, ruby for the Bermuda leg and diamond for the St. Thomas leg.

Florida-based marine artist Ed Pang
designed the pendant. “The hook design has a long history in sports
fishing,” says Pang. “In primitive times, a fishing hook was a prized
possession. It was used for catching fish and therefore as a food gathering
implement it signified security.”

Rum Bum’s mate and
angler, Shawn Albury, released a marlin the first day of competition in last
year’s Bermuda leg and earned the first pendant. Last year, Jose Valdes’
Team Lady Lou, Luis Bacardi’s Team Rum Bum, and Nicolas Pierini aboard Team
Somoya/Challenger were pioneering series entrants, with Valdes’ winning the
“Overall Best of Series” title. This year, Team Somoya, Team Rum Bum and Scott
Steele’s Team Topless have already signed on for the competition.

The first leg of the 2005 BTS will kick off in Harbour
Island, in the Bahamas, May 26 to 28, out of host Harbor Island Marina and
Yacht Club. The second leg will be held
in Hamilton, Bermuda, July 7 to 9. The third leg is the USVI Open/Atlantic Blue
Marlin Tournament in St. Thomas, August 15 to 20.

Loveland says: “Just as with other projects we’ve initiated
like the IGFA Certified Observer Program and Big Game Room at the Miami
International Boat Show, the BTS is a ‘from the bottom up’ effort.

“Should we fail in
making the bright lights of a documentary/reality fishing series, we guarantee
that we will succeed in producing a world-class series of blue water
tournaments!”

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