Release the most blue marlin and win a fine Rolex timepiece. That’s the lure for anglers who compete in the inaugural A.H. Riise BVI Billfish Tournament, set for July 31-August 4, and to be held out of the Bitter End Yacht Club (BEYC), North Sound, Virgin Gorda.
That’s not all! A rocket launcher, courtesy of Murray Products, and a specially engraved Waterford Crystal Trophy, courtesy of Waterford and The Crystal Shoppe, awaits the winning boat.
“Everything is progressing smoothly,” says tournament director, Lawrence Wheatley. “We are doing everything we can to make sure our anglers and their guests have a terrific time.”
Sports fishermen are welcome to bring their own boats to fish. The BEYC has newly refurbished shoreside accommodations and full dockage facilities for up to 40 boats. Others can take a mooring or go next door to Biras Creek, which has approximately 15 slips; Saba Rock has eight slips and Leverick Bay 30 slips.
Alternatively, Wheatley says, “If anglers want to fish the tournament, we will make every effort to find them a good charter boat.”
As of mid-April, eight charter boats were already lined up ready to take anglers to the North Drop for some incredible tournament fishing.
From the BVI, there’s Capt. Alvin Horton’s Viking 53, Go With The Flow; Capt. Zef Farrel’s 42-foot Southern Cross, Unbelievable; Capt. Donnell Flax’s 42-foot Bertram, Big Ting; Capt. Willis Wheatley’s 31-foot Bertram, Princess One; and Dr. Hubert O’Neal’s 46-foot Bertram, Lady Evelyn.
From the USVI, there’s Capt. Eddy Morrison’s 45-foot Viking, Marlin Prince; Capt. Red Bailey’s Custom 44, Abigail III; and Capt. Robert Richard’s 40-foot Luhrs Open Express, Mixed Bag.
Contact information for each of these charter boats is available on the tournament website, http://bvibillfishtournament.com.
Tournament organizer, Al Behrendt, says that on this site “registrants can download all necessary customs and immigration forms as well as all fishing license information.” In addition, “Representatives from Customs, Immigration and Fisheries will be on site at the Bitter End so that everything can be handled easily in one location. A one-stop shop,” Behrendt says.
An all-release event exclusively for blue marlin, the tournament has already gained status as a qualifier for the IGFA Offshore Championships in 2008. Proceeds from the tournament will be donated to charities to be selected by the Government of the BVI and A.H. Riise and will be administered by the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands.
The A.H. Riise BVI Billfish Tournament will include three days of fishing and a lay day, so that anglers and their guests can cruise the British Virgin Islands or get in a day of shopping in Road Town.
For more information, visit the tournament website or contact Lawrence Wheatley at [email protected] or Tel: 284-499-4177, or Al Behrendt Enterprises at Tel: 954-920-7877.