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Cruise Is Extra Prize for Bastille Day Kingfish Tourney


July 5, 2004 – This year's Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament, scheduled for July 11 with Hull Bay Hideaway the headquarters as usual, will have an extra added prize. All award winners except junior anglers will be eligible for a drawing to select the winner of a Caribbean cruise for two.
Monica Lester, tournament director, says the organizers are expecting more than 250 men, women, boys and girls to enter this year's event. The entry fees are $35 for adults and $20 for "juniors," defined as ages 8-16.
Prizes will be awarded not just for the largest kingfish but also for the largest jack, barracuda, bonito, tuna, mackerel and dolphin. There also will be awards for best captain, best boat, and best female angler, male angler, junior female angler and junior male angler.
Last year, 73 boats and 266 anglers (including 31 juniors) caught a total of 250 fish — including 27 kingfish — weighing a total of 1,474 pounds. Larry Aubain captured the largest kingfish, a 36.7 pounder, aboard the Lady Marie.
Tournament entry forms can be obtained from Bryan's Electrical Contracting in Sub Base and Neptune Fishing Supplies at American Yacht Harbor.
Registration and the captains' meeting are set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Hull Bay Hideaway. Late registrations will be accepted from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday. All registered anglers will receive a commemorative T-shirt.
First organized by the Northside Sportfishing Club in 1987, the tournament is a traditional highlight of French Heritage Week on St. Thomas. Proceeds from the event benefit Joseph Sibilly School, St. Thomas Rescue, the local chapter of the American Red Cross and Family Resource Center and help fund two college scholarships. In addition, the club contributed $12,500 in 2002 for the reconstruction of the Estate Dorothea Tot Lot.
Even many of the fish that are caught during the tournament become donations. Those not kept by the anglers for food are given to Coral World Marine Park for use as food for its fish and other marine life.
This year's major tournament sponsors are:
Gold – Coors Light and Snapple, distributed by Bellows International, which have donated more than $100,000 in cash and product over the last 13 years.
Silver — Offshore Marine Services, which is donating a prize for the largest kingfish — a 12-foot Open Caribe inflatable with 15 HP Yamaha engine.
Bronze — N.E.M. (West Indies) lnsurance, managed locally by Red Hook Agencies, which is donating a $2,000 cash prize, also for the largest kingfish; and FedEx, which is donating a $750 cash prize and trophy for the second-largest kingfish and also the commemorative tournament hats.
Royal Caribbean International is contributing the cruise award. Other prizes include overnight getaways at more than a dozen hotels on St. Thomas and St. John and dinners at a number of restaurants.
The fishing starts at 5:30 a.m. and ends at noon. For the next two hours, there will be complimentary drinks for the anglers at Hull Bay Hideaway while the weigh-master and judges do their work. The public is invited to enjoy live music throughout the afternoon, when food and drink also will be available. The awards ceremony starts at 8 p.m.
For more information, call 774-5206.

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