|2008 ABMT Tournament Season Report|
2008 ABMT Tournament Season Report
For Immediate Release
We made money for the Boy Scouts! That’s the good news. Even in the economic downturn, we were supported by our tournament participants and sponsors to whom we owe a big thanks! Here’s what we’ve accomplished, where we’re heading and how you can join in.
The Bermuda Triangle Series (BTS): The BTS celebrated its 5th year with the valued support of three registered teams. Allan Bir’s Team Perfect Parts, Brooks Smith’s Team Uno Mas and Luis Bacardi’s Team Rum Bum were the players. Team Rum Bum w on the BTS 2008 ‘Best of Series’ title and everyone enjoyed a great time traveling to the exotic destinations. The l egs are 800 miles apart. But remember, your boat doesn’t have to go the distance because there are excellent charter boats n each location – Abaco, in the Bahamas; Hamilton, Bermuda; and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.
New for the 2009 season – we’ll introduce our “Heavy Weight Division” (HWD) in both the Bahamas and Bermuda tournaments. We’ll continue to operate under our normal format of scoring for the teams fishing the BTS as a “series” of events. The participants in the HWD will be competing for their own pot and prizes. This development will attract those who in the past have expressed a desire to support the Boy Scouts, but were hampered by their career goal to catch a “Grander” using 130 lb. test. What happens in the HWD if a fish is boated? Nothing. It can be boated, but because the fish is permanently removed from inventory, the angler agrees to forfeit his/her “points” from that one particular catch. Anglers reach their goal but pay for it in points… that’s fair right? But get this… if the fish turns out to be a potential IGFA World Record (Jr., Women’s, All tackle, Line Class Record, etc.) then “points” will be awarded as if the fish were released! We’ve already heard from anglers who like this new development and will be joining the Heavy Weight Division in Bermuda next summer.
The Spanish Main Series (SMS): Five hot teams entered the second year of this series. Gray Ingram’s Team Big OH, Carlos Garcia’s Team Peje (inaugural year winners), Rod Windley’s Team Gulf Rascal, Nicola Pierini’s Team Somoya and Brooks Smith’s Team Uno Mas were the entrants. Team Big OH took ‘Best of Series’ and the valuable Bernard Passman-crafted black coral/gold coin pendants were won by the various team members.
Changes in the program for 2009 include a Wild Card leg held in St. Maarten. There has also been a decision made to make it a $25,000 per boat “Winner Take All” Jackpot (less the percentage to the Boy Scouts). Teams will put their money into the game and go at it! The goal is to get 10 good teams into this Caribbean series or a quarter of a million dollars! New too is a progressive scoring method. As the later in the season legs are fished, the point system escalates. This will keep everyone in suspense up until the last leg is fished! Each leg will still be dubbed an “Open” for boats in the area, but it takes the entrance into at least three legs to win the Jackpot and Gold pendants!
The ABMT’s USVI Open ‘Boy Scout Tournament’: The fish were snapping so what more signals success! Twenty-nine boats released a total of 125 blue marlin or 4.3 fish per boat. Luis Bacardi’s Rum Bum with Capt. Dave Withers at the helm won the event with the release of 10 blue marlin. Top angler honors (6 blues) went to Richard Rice fishing with Capt. Carlos Contreras aboard April Michelle. Capt. Ray Walters was inducted into the ABMT’s prestigious ‘Board Of Captains’ and Ray also did a great job on blessing the fleet. The 37th Annual ABMT will be held Aug. 3-7, 2009.
Marine Vocational Program (MVP): As if we didn’t have enough to do, we, the ABMT (all volunteer tournament committee) started up a training program that will eventually position the youth of these islands for employment opportunities in the marine industry. We consider our organization to be the hub of the wheel and over the past year we have launched one of the main spokes - we have provided PADI dive certification for 17 teens, boys and girls! Two of the older boys are going to receive advance dive training as they have expressed a desire to become dive instructors. Next the teens will take up rescue training and will receive a course in first aid, including CPR. In December we begin classes in Boating 101 that we hope will ultimately set students on a course for their USCG captain’s license.
Our long-term goal is to see this program headed by a Director whose job will be to develop advanced curriculums and seek grants and donations for sustained funding. We want this program to grow and eventually stand on its own legs under the umbrella of the Boy Scouts and our tournament committee. By the way, thanks for asking… your donation checks can be made out to the VI Council, Boy Scouts of America!!
‘On The Edge’ (OTE) Tournament Magazine: We grew and before we knew it, we found ourselves in the publishing business! Issue number 3 of this popular annual publication comes out in January - in time for the Big Game Room at the Miami International Boat Show. We are presently selling ads and our writers Jan Fogt, Carol Bareuther and others are working hard on the feature stories. Not only does this 88 plus page full color magazine cover our tournaments, it also incorporates interesting articles on the sport of Big Game Fishing . We print 15,000 + copies and we get them into the hands of fishermen through tackle stores, boat yards, marine stores, boat builders and the boat shows throughout the year. Pleasing our advertisers most is the fact that we take them on the tournament trail with us to our nine tournaments in seven different countries. Advertising dollars are tight… but if your clients are into big game fishing, you can bet they are reading On The Edge. See our reasonable rates and ad specs at: http://www.abmt.vi/pages/ote08.pdf. We’ll put your advertisement into the hands of big game anglers!
Merchandise Page: Need a little Cash? Help us get this one going! On our website we have a button called “Merchandise”. This is where we traditionally sell tournament hats, t-shirts and other boutique items. We are trying to turn the page into an active space where fishermen can buy and sell items. We think we have the monthly readership on our website to bring buyers and sellers together. We can advertise your item for a small monthly fee (a $20 tax deductible listing donation) with the buyer contacting you directly - or you can list the item for free (if you agree on the honor system to share an agreed upon percentage with the Boy Scouts) or you can straight out donate an item to the Boy Scouts and we’ll advertise and sell it - issuing you a letter of donation that is based on our profit. Go to www.abmt.vi/pages/merchandise to see the page and let us know what you think of the idea. Look around for an item that is just hanging around in your storage - lets try it!
Future Developments and Goals: We know where we’re going… we’re just hoping to get there in this lifetime! Our self-appointed mission is to develop a tournament structure that will allow fishermen around the globe to compete with each other on an equal basis. We are building high-end billfish tournaments, all operating under similar rules, each requiring more skill than luck to win. We’ll know when we’ve completed our mission because it will be when we’re sharing our excitement and passion for the sport with millions of television viewers.
We’re not just talking about the filming of flooded cockpits or the high-fives seen after fish are released… we’re going to take the novices watching us from their couches along to the exotic places we visit. We’ll film the building of the vessels and the technology that gets us there and the extent to which anglers will go (and spend) to reach their goals. We’ll fish the hot spots of the world, bringing the anglers of the Atlantic, Caribbean and Pacific into each other’s backyards. Teams will fish the areas they can best access and at the end of the fishing season, there will be a “Fish Off” between these teams
We’re working hard at it…. Over the past five years we’ve establish the promotional platform needed to pull this off – starting by the building of this mailing list (for news releases and progress updates), then developing an active portal, our popular website at www.abmt.vi then… by creating an international gathering place named the Big Game Room and lastly… by publishing On The Edge, our 88 page tournament magazine to report on the developments and the action. Tournament wise… we’ve established the Bermuda Triangle Series (3 legs) and the Spanish Main Series (5 legs) and of course everyone knows we operate the famous “Boy Scout” Tournament (often referred to as the “Superbowl” of the sport). We are now operating in seven different countries… and thanks to the support of our anglers, crews and sponsors … we’ve so far kept all the balls in the air! In 2010 we push through the Canal to get the Pacific Rim Series going (Panama, Costa Rica and Guatemala) and the following year (2011) we establish the final and last of our series, named the Southern Cross (Panama, Hawaii and Australia) completing the reach around the world. 2011 will be the big year… envision this, the teams fishing the Southern Cross Series will be finishing up the last leg of their series just as we are jetting the winners of Spanish Main Series, Bermuda Triangle Series and Pacific Rim Series over to join them on the Great Barrier Reef. After a practice day the four teams will go at it… the monster blacks will be burning the line off the reels and the cameras will be rolling! The “Fish Off” of the sport will have television viewers on the edge of their seats!!
Thanks for your time. There are still a lot of pieces to pull together and everyone is welcome to join in – let’s take our sport to higher levels.