57th Montego Bay marlin tourney will be bigger and better
Tournament director of the 57th Stock and Securities Limited/Dolla Financial Services Montego Bay International Marlin Tournament, Londie Murray, said that the event has grown immensely since it was revamped four years ago and that they want it to not only continue growing, but make Jamaica a popular location for sport fishing.
Speaking at the tournament launch at CRU Bar and Kitchen on Monday, Murray noted that improvements in the tournament have been drastic over the last few years and that this year, with the assistance of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), they have record participants.
"The tournament has grown ... into a humongous thing. We have international partners such as Bertram Yachts, Viking Yacht, Garmin, [and] Marlin magazine, the biggest magazine in sport fishing. They will feature our tournament. We brought the editor-in-chief two years ago, and we are going to bring the new editor-in-chief this year. We have also been featured on NBC Sports and local outlets, including The Gleaner and TVJ," he revealed.
"This year, we beat the previous record of boats for the tournament, 42. We are now at 45 with 11 waiting, and we are hoping to get to that level. We have ten boats from the Cayman Islands, the most we've ever had, and we have over 250 handlers," he continued
This is also the first year the JTB will play an integral role in the tournament. "The tourism factor of sport fishing is something we love to promote. Bobby Stewart revamped the tournament four years ago, and now, it's the event in Montego Bay. It's a big deal and we want to grow it further," he said.
Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett said his ministry is pleased with how the tournament has developed recently and that they are fully behind the organisers of the sport. "When you bring 250 (handlers), an increase from last year, you get an increase in my contribution. The more you bring, the more I can contribute," he said.
The tournament, which will take place October 2-6, promises to be a competitive one. Two of the local favourites include Peter Cowan and the Integrity Fishing team and Chris Berry and the Mayberry Fishing team.
However, Murray believes that it will be a challenge to take the title from the tough Caymanians.
"The guys from Cayman, with the winner from last year, Island Boy, will carry a new boat, Wild Card. They are coming for it. They really come to fish, and they are superb fishermen," he said.