Zues Wins Bahamas Billfish Championship
Not only did team Zues win the 2011 Bahamas Billfish Championship – they scored a record number of points for any team winning the Series. The Fort Pierce, Florida based team amassed 12,000 points by releasing 13 blue marlin, 12 white marlin and 11 sailfish and finishing in first place or second place at four out of the five BBC tournaments. With the exception of one day during the Guana Cay Championship, Team Zues managed to release at least one billfish each tournament day; with fifteen fishing days in the five tournament Series, Zues released a total of 36 billfish fishing in the five tournament series.
When asked to comment on his team’s performance, Sandy Smith of St. Cloud, Florida said, “I fished one leg of the 2010 BBC on a chartered boat and decided I wanted to win the Championship.” Veteran captain, Glenn Cameron, known by Smith for 20 years, directed the team’s fishing efforts. Coupled with Smith’s focus and determination and Cameron’s tournament experience, the team kept the pressure on throughout a tournament season that saw exceptional fishing.
Junior Davis’ Wave Paver, a 61 Garlington from Kissimmee, Florida amassed 9,000 points to capture Second Place Overall. Teamed with Capt. Harry “Snick” Akers, the team started the season with a Third Place finish at both the Central Abaco and Cape Eleuthera Championships. The enthusiasm and positive attitude of the entire Wave Paver team combined with consistent fishing throughout the season kept the points mounting over the five tournaments. Team Wave Paver caught and released 8 blue marlin, 9 white marlin and 4 sailfish during the Series.
The Ft. Pierce, Florida team Chasin Tail took Third Place Overall at this year’s Championship with 8,100 points. Team leader Howard Webb and Capt. Robbie Valco added bonus points to release points early on with their First Place finish at the Cape Eleuthera Championship. Again, consistency proved the key – the team released 9 blue marlin, 7 white marlin, and 2 sailfish during the season.
During the awards presentation at Treasure Cay’s Spinnaker Restaurant, team Zues was awarded the coveted Bahamas Billfish Championship Ring created specifically for the BBC and presented by Monica Higgs of Abaco Gold. BBC President Al Behrendt presented the specially designed Geoffrey Smith bronze trophy for their overall win and a certificate from renowned marine artist Steve T. Goione for a Custom Yacht Portrait of the 58’ Custom Zues.
As the Top Release Team of 2011, team Zues was awarded a custom designed, hand carved teak sculpture produced by Hy Jacobsen. The trophy was sponsored by long-time BBC sponsor Murray Products of West Palm Beach, Florida, who also awarded the top release team trophies with the Al Behrendt Marine Group at all five BBC tournaments.
Top Overall Captain Glenn Cameron was the recipient of the Lindsay Forde Memorial Trophy, a handsome bronze sculpture presented by the Lewis Marine Group. Making the presentation were Steve Lewis, Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Forde and McKenzie Forde. In addition, Capt. Cameron and the crew of Zues received Randy Rich designed Top Captain and Top Crew trophies from the Lewis Marine Group. The trophies are replicas of the perpetual BBC Top Crew Trophy on display at the IGFA Hall of Fame Museum in Dania Beach, Florida.
Both teams Chasin Tail and Wave Paver received Geoffrey Smith designed bronze trophies from the BBC. Wave Paver also received a $1,000 gift certificate from Alexseal Coatings and Chasin Tail a copy of Islands of the Sun, by BBC Scholarship Recipient and University of Miami graduate Nikita Shiel-Rolle and John A. Thompson. All three winners received custom boarding mats from BoatMat Corporation.
The 2011 Bahamas Billfish Championship season was a record setter in many ways. All three winning teams, Zues, Wave Paver and Chasin Tail achieved the highest scores ever in the BBC’s 38 year history. The Series averaged thirty-one teams at each of the five tournaments and managed to catch a record 275 billfish; 135 blue marlin, 85 white marlin and 55 sailfish. A new Bahamas Blue Marlin record was established during the Treasure Cay Championship by Bahamian angler David Albury when team Double Dog weighed a 1,119 pound (507 kg) blue marlin shattering the old record of 1060.5 set in Bimini in 1979.
Now celebrating its 38th season, the BBC is the oldest billfish tournament series in the world. Anglers can fish any or all of the tournaments with cumulative points determining the overall Bahamas Billfish Champions. The Bahamas Billfish Championship has two endowed scholarships that enable Bahamian students the opportunity to pursue a degree in marine biology or advanced education in marine technologies.
For the very latest information, tournament photos or to sign-up to receive the BBC email magazine and newsletters visit www.bahamasbillfish.com or contact the Bahamas Billfish Championship at 866-920-5577.boating, fishing, sports