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St. Maarten Hosts The Fishing Event

Fourth sport fishing tournament scheduled for May 27 – June 6

The Fishing Event 2009, billed by organizers as the biggest sport fishing tournament in the West Indies, was held for the first time in 2006 in Antigua. This month, the fourth outing will be fished from the Yacht Club at Isle de Sol, St. Maarten.

Bertrand Lacotte, CEO of The Fishing Event Foundation, said, “We are the first to offer such a large amount of cash prizes ($100,000 US total) and this tournament is opened on invitation to the best teams in the area.” The Fishing Event is now a qualifying event for the IGFA Offshore World Championship, Lacotte reported in March.

“Nothing could be possible if we were not serious and if the hospitality and the ambiance were not exceptional in St. Maarten!” Lacotte said. “We expect boats coming from Trinidad to Santo Domingo.  At the moment, boats from Trinidad, Barbados, St. Lucia, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Antigua, St. Maarten, St. Martin, Saint-Barthélémy, BVI, Puerto Rico and the States are registered.”

Lacotte said he expects between 25 and 30 boats this year. “The location of the tournament is very important because Marlin Boulevard in the east of St. Maarten has the reputation to be a great spot to fight the Big Blue, thus placing it as one of the most attractive fishing spots in the Caribbean. St. Maarten also provides beautiful turn key-ready marinas fully equipped for this calibre of event.”

Besides Lacotte, organizers for The Fishing Event 2009 include Jean-Marc Greaux, from St Barthelemy, President (and winner of the Fishing Event 2007); Anthony Brash, Vice President; Yves Pelisson; and James Roidis, Marketing Manager.

Rules have not changed since last year, Lacotte said.  “It’s always a billfish tournament and we promote releases. Only big blue over 450 pounds will have interest to go the scale. We fish in 50 or 80 pound test and each vessel is obliged to provide an observer.

“The program for our participants is two competitions with the TFE Classic on May 27 to 31, and the TFE Master on June 2 to 6. Each day, vessels will be at the dock in Yacht Club at Isle de Sol after 6:15 p.m., and people from St. Maarten will be invited to meet teams and to see results of the day in a good ambiance. The opening ceremony is in Casino Royale-Maho on May 27 and the Awards for the TFE Classic will be at Yacht Club in Isle de Sol on May 31.”

Lacotte said that partners as of mid-March included WIB, Champagne Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque, Autos Islands and BMW, Cartier, Nagico, Cave de Marigot, Antillean Liquors, Contender, Ocean Xperts, Yamaha, Island Water World, Telem group, Sol, IGY, Carib, Kontiki, Pelican Resort Club, Sailfish Marlin Cie, The Fishing Spirit and Marlin Magazine.

“Autos Islands and BMW are sponsoring a BMW X6 for a special prize for the vessel with more than 15 releases,” Lacotte said. For more information:  www.the-fishing-event.com

Submitted by The Fishing Event 2009

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