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The 2012 Caicos Classic

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The 17th Annual Caicos Classic IGFA Billfish Release Tournament

The 17th Annual Caicos Classic IGFA Billfish Release Tournament took place June 22nd to June 25th. The competition sees visiting and local boats compete to record the most billfish releases in three days of fishing. The winning boat receives a cash prize as well as a much coveted invitation to represent the TCI in the 2013 IGFA World Offshore Championships in Costa Rica.

With only 5 boats entered, the Classic got off to real hot start with 6 Blue Marlin releases and 10 pulled hooks the first day of fishing. Several more hits were recorded throughout the day making for an exciting kick off!
Spell bound owner Toby Weiner, no stranger to Turks and Caicos waters, released 2 Blues before 10:30. After 5 a 26’ Stapelton released their first Blue before 11am. Panoply a 46’ Bertram (local charter boat) sporting an all girls team released their first at 3:06 after a few pulled hooks. Right behind them was Two Cats a 60’ Spencer skippered by Stetson Tumey calling in a double with 4 fish in the spread, they released one at 3:45. Just before closing time After 5 got their second blue of the day to move into 2nd place behind Spell Bound.

Day two proved very slow for most of the boats with the exception of Spell Bound which added 3 more Blue Marlin releases to the board, giving them a substantial lead with 5 releases.

Day three saw a morning bite for local boat After 5 to give them their 3rd Blue Marlin Release and top angler honors. Panoply released the only other fish for the day giving them 3rd Place Overall.

The winning team from Spell Bound will be representing the Turks & Caicos in May, 2013 in the IGFA Offshore World Championship in Costa Rica, where over 65 countries will be competing for the title.

The Caicos Classic was happy to host Peter Chaibongsai, Science and Policy Director for The Billfish Foundation, during the tournament. He was able to speak with anglers and captains as well as members of the DECR about the importance of conserving billfish and the development of our sportfishing industry here in the TCI. Funds raised from the tournament will benefit the worldwide organization as well as local charity The Edward C. Gartland Youth Centre.

Committee member and angler on Panoply, Delphine Hartshorn, said “The Classic is a staple event of the Turks and Caicos moving into it’s 18th year next year. It is a great event, year after year, not only bringing together local and visiting anglers, but also, raising awareness about the great fishing we have here in Turks and Caicos. It is also a very special event in that it is all release – meaning no billfish will be brought back to the docks. This is a great step towards the conservation of the species and a testament to the dedication of Turks and Caicos anglers to conserving our stocks for years to come. We hope that the community sees the benefits of such a tournament for yacht and sportfishing tourism and get involved to help us make this a ‘must do’ event for anglers from all over the world!”

The tournament would like to thank the many sponsors who made this year’s tournament possible with a special thanks going out to major sponsors The Wine Cellar, Tradewinds Radio, CIBC First Caribbean International Bank, Scooter Bob’s and committee members Art Pickering, Belinda Martin, Annie Pinder and Delphine Hartshorn. Thanks also go to the restaurants who provided fantastic food for the anglers and spectators – Baci Ristorante, Sharkbite Bar and Grill, Scooter Bob’s and The F-Spot Bar and Lounge.

The Caicos Classic team is already seeking sponsors for next year’s tournament with the goal of attracting many more boats and substantial international press coverage of the event. If you are interested in getting involved contact the team at info@caicosclassic.com.

Media Contact | Delphine Hartshorn | Shout Media LTD | delphine@shoutmedialtd.com

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