Black Gold Wins BVI Billfish Tournament
Virgin Gorda, BVI – “That last one about wore me out!” Those were Harry Sargeant’s words when he returned to the Bitter End Yacht Club at the conclusion of the 2012 BVI Billfish Tournament.
After releasing two blue marlin earlier on the final day, Black Gold reported to the committee boat that they were ‘hooked-up’ at 2:01. Unlike the earlier blues, this one, estimated at over 600 pounds, required a great deal more time and effort to subdue. Sargeant fought the big blue for one hour forty minutes before releasing the fish with only nineteen minutes remaining in the tournament.
That last blue marlin for Sargeant and Black Gold was the team’s eighth blue of the three-day tournament. The Boca Raton, Florida based Black Gold, an American Custom Yachts 65, released two blues on day one; three on day two and three again on the final day to give the team 4,000 points and the tournament win. Harry Sargeant is no stranger to the winner’s circle at the BVI Billfish Tournament having won the inaugural event in 2007.
“This has always been a fun tournament for us,” said Sargeant after the win. “You cannot ask for a better facility and the Bitter End staff really cares.
Of course having the ‘bite’ at nearby Anegada certainly makes this tournament special for us.” George Lorton and teammate Mike Callahan released six blues for 3,000 points and a Second Place finish for team Therapy. Lorton, whose Tampa, Florida team won the BVI Tournament in 2011, had their best fishing on day three when they went three for four. “The fish are here,” said veteran Virgin Island captain Ray Walters. “When the top three boats release eighteen blues in three days, that’s some good fishing.”
Gary Domel and sons Chris and Mason released four blue marlin to earn team Deguello Third Place. Mason’s blue, one of two released by team Deguello on day two, was the young angler’s first blue marlin. Gary Domel said, “Our whole crew had a ball. The fishing was great; the food is superb and the view from our North Sound Suite is spectacular.” The Cabo 48 from Spicewood, Texas first participated in the BVI Billfish Tournament in 2008.
Bitter End Yacht Club’s general manager Mo Sallah said, “There is an atmosphere of excitement around the Bitter End when the BVI Billfish Tournament is underway. This is particularly evident each afternoon as the fleet returns. How many release flags are flying? Did they top yesterday’s numbers?
The enthusiasm permeates the resort guests and the staff as well.” At the awards banquet, Vernon Wheatley, representing Premiere Dr. D. Orlando Smith’s office, expressed the thanks of the people of the British Virgin Islands to the tournament participants. He also conveyed the desires of the Ministry of Tourism to heighten awareness of the excellent recreational sport fishing throughout the BVI.
The tournament host, Bitter End Yacht Club, presented team Black Gold with a one-week Admiral’s Vacation Package, a handmade, custom cutting board from Soundview Millworks and a Shimano Tiagra TI-50 Reel.
Team Therapy also received Soundview Millworks cutting board and a Shimano Tiagra TI-30 Reel for finishing in Second Place. In addition to a custom Soundview cutting board, Third Place finisher Deguello was the recipient of a gift certificate to Neptune Fishing Supplies.
The tournament’s social sponsor, TICO BVI, made sure that all the winners were well supplied with Bacardi 8, Greg Norman Sparkling Wine and Red Stripe Beer. Each evening during the tournament, prior to a sumptuous meal, TICO BVI hosted a cocktail reception featuring one of the brands the company represents.
Traditionally the BVI Billfish Tournament is held immediately after the St. Thomas July Open. This year’s dates were selected because of the two full moons in August. Next year, the BVI Billfish Tournament will return to being immediately after the July Open. Mark your calendars now for the 2013 BVI Billfish Tournament. Team check-in and anglers meeting will be July 22nd and the fishing days will be July 23rd through 25th.
Visit the tournament website www.bvibillfishtournament.com to see pictures from the 2012 tournament and come back frequently for updates on the 2013 BVI Billfish Tournament at Bitter End Yacht Club.awards, caribbean, fishing, sports