There is never a dull moment in Grenada! This was certainly the case as the annual Budget Marine Spice Island Billfish Tournament (BMSIBT) kicked off with a roaring start on the morning of January 28th 2014.
At the close of registration on January 27th, the tournament committee was set to host another record number of 51 boats and 261 anglers at the Grenada Yacht Club, home to the tournament since its inception in 1964.
Celebrating the 45th anniversary of this exciting tournament, the organizing Committee had many things in store for participating anglers including a number of new prize categories. An innovative and exciting new prize was the last day shoot-out, with the chance for participating boats scoring the most billfish release points to win the entry fee pot, minus 15% which was donated to the international Billfish Foundation. Also, a raffle was run for all captains who had pre-registered online, that allowed the winner to get a highly esteemed and beautiful Carey Chen print.
In addition to the excellent fishing and great lime that is synonymous with this event, Grenada’s tournament remains the largest of its kind in the southern Caribbean. It attracted international participation with anglers from many countries including the U.S. United Kingdom, Aruba, Martinique, Barbados, St. Lucia, Shetland Islands, neighboring islands of Trinidad and Tobago, as well as homeland Grenada.
Competition was again fierce this year, as teams vied to catch and release the coveted grand slam prize comprised of the trio – blue and white marlins and sailfish – that are often found in Grenada’s waters. On the very last day of competition, team Gud Tyme from Trinidad and Tobago, captured the Grand Slam title, in the process winning a Dinghy and Engine funded by Title Sponsor, Budget Marine Grenada, which prize was insured by Caribbean Alliance.
In an interesting twist, demonstrating the typical display of sportsmanship and camaraderie that is a hallmark of this tournament, teams from Abracadabra, Reel Extreme and Vesper came to the assistance of fellow anglers on Gud Tyme, when their vessel encountered difficulty. “It is heartening to see this level of camaraderie when competing boats rally together. This is sportsmanship at its best and is easily found at the core of sport fishing. We would like to recognize their team spirit.” commented Richard McIntyre, Chairman of the BMSIBT Committee.
When all the “fish fighting” was over, the teams on Abracadadra, Gud Tyme and Reel Extremesecured the top places. Placing 3rd with 2400 points and 5 releases was Reel Extreme from St. Lucia. Despite encountering difficulties on the last fishing day(the second fishing day), team Gud Tyme out of Trinidad and Tobago in a neck and neck finish, placed second with 3100 points and 8 releases, after hooking up the coveted Grand Slam on day three.
Abracadabra, from Trinidad and Tobago was awarded first place overall also with 3100 points and 8 releases after reaching their target first. In addition to the many great prizes, this team was rewarded with an invitation to fish the 2015 Offshore World Championship in Costa Rica.
Michael DeFreitason boat Gud Tyme was Top Release Angler with 6 releases (2200 points), whilst Rianna Thompson who fished on Remember Me Now from Barbados, was Top Female Angler. These gifted anglers were awarded with a BMSIBT personalized Shimano Tiagra 30WLRSA Rod and Reel, Blazers from The Billfish Foundation, along with many other prizes. Winfield Aleong Jr. on Ega Beaver is off to a promising start capturing the Junior Angler title.
Through the support of corporate citizens, Government of Grenada, Title Sponsor Budget Marine, major sponsors Grenada Tourism Authority, Republic Bank Grenada and other major sponsors Beacon Insurance, Carib, Camper and Nicholson’s Port Louis Marina, Duty Free Caribbean, LL Ramdhanny, Westerhall Estates Ltd and Renwick Thompson & Co. Ltd., the tournament has been sustained year on year, which support has been pivotal in the competition’s growth each year.
“It is a true partnership between Budget Marine and the Committee, for which we are pleased to extend our involvement to 2016. The support of the sponsors is crucial to the tournament’s success and as a member of the committee, I would like to express our gratitude for the continued support” noted Nicholas George, Manager Budget Marine Grenada.
Richard McIntyre also commented “To attract the attention of captain and crew of legendary boat El Zorro is a testament to the success of the tournament. We are only able to have a great tournament through the continued support of the anglers who return to our shores each year to enjoy the great fishing that’s to be found in Grenada’s waters.”
As the longest running and arguably the best fishing tournament in the southern Caribbean, the Committee is proud of their achievement. They eagerly look forward to seeing how their plans for growing the tournament even further in the years ahead turn out. (the committee is humbled by their achievement and eagerly look forward to the opportunity to improve their product so that the years ahead will be bigger and better.)
Media Contact: Richard McIntyre
For more information, please contact Kira Francis
Tel: 1 435-3842 or 1 533-8454