Team Diana beat the fleet and the ravages of Hurricane Sandy to win the 49th Port Antonio International Marlin Tournament (PAIMT), held October 20th to 28th out of Port Antonio, Jamaica, and hosted by the Sir Henry Morgan Angling Association. This marks the third time in the past dozen years that the Jamaican-based team aboard the 52ft Hatteras has won the PAIMT.
“It was a very interesting tournament,” explains Diana’s owner and one of its anglers, Richard Stewart. “We started out releasing one marlin the first day and another the second day. The third day was the lay day and Hurricane Sandy pushed through with the eye passing only 12-miles away.”
Port Antonio is a well-sheltered hurricane hole and one that celebrity visitor Errol Flynn discovered serendipitously after he was literally blown in on his disabled yacht in 1946. The namesake Errol Flynn Marina provided safe haven for the tournaments 34 yachts and over 130 anglers from Jamaica, the U.S., France and Holland. The tournament resumed after a clean-up day and extended one day so that no time was lost from the competition.
“The third day we caught our third blue marlin,” Stewart tells. “Interestingly, following the passage of the storm the fishing was very good and another boat, Tassy Wassy, got in one day what it took us three to do – three blue marlin releases. The last day, By Pass got its third blue marlin. We were still in the lead based on time, but with 45-minutes to go there were three boats with three blue marlin. We were really biting our nails. Then Tassy Wassy hooked up its fourth fish, but they lost it with 25-minutes to go.”
The PAIMT is a qualifying event for the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) World Championships.
Diana’s win earned the team an invitation to compete in the championships set for April 2013 in Costa Rica.
In other awards, Damien Moe on Kingfisher II caught the heaviest non-billfish, a 28lb wahoo. Colin Bell on Tropical Lagoon brought in the biggest tuna, a 17-pounder, while the heaviest dolphin award went to Elias Brimo from the USA who caught a 17-pounder while fishing aboard the Diana.
Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.