Well, we have reached the end of another extremely successful fishing tournament. The wahoo have been weighed in and the charities end up the big winners!
There were a total of 45 boats competing for a purse of over $78,000. With the leaderboard changing up until the last moments on Saturday it was Captain Jerry Jackson and crew on the "Ava D" who took first place overall with a 54.8 pound wahoo and were presented with a check for $25,312.50. A change up on the leaderboard came on Saturday when the Lady Sarah weighed in a wahoo at 54.0 lbs. Captain Curtis Strange and crew came in second place overall and took home a $14,782.50 cash prize. Our third place overall winner was also the winner of the Individual Aggregate level and Captain Cameron Guthrie along with the crew on board the Impulse happily accepted a check totaling $17,617.50. All of the winners along with a list of all the wahoo weighed in is on our website on the "leaderboard" page.
The big winners were, however, our charities: The Take A Kid Fishing Foundation and Crystal Coast Hospice House. The tournament's raffle and auction totaled over $22,000 this year. Thank you to all those who donated prizes for these wonderful causes and those who participated in the raffle, silent auction and live auction. Not only did you all have fun but you raised a significant amount of money for the charities.
Speaking of fun, it seems that was a common theme among all the participants and sponsors as well as the volunteers. Several sponsors made it a point to come and tell me that this was "the most fun they have had" at an event. Every night was just as much fun as the others and they are already looking forward to next year. There are numerous ways to measure the success of an event but one of my favorites is looking around a crowded tent each night knowing that everyone there is having a great time and has come together to celebrate with friends, enjoy a little competition, and give to two deserving charities.
The executive board members and I would like to especially thank our sponsors for all they do for the tournament as well as the restaurants that are involved in making sure there is plenty of good food. Of course I need to thank our beer and liquor sponsors as well as all of the volunteers involved that helped to make the tournament run smoothly. And this brings me to mention something that amazed me last year and continues to warm my heart again this year... thank you to all those in the community that were more than happy to jump in and go above and beyond to help out when we needed it most. As with any event there are things that have to change at the last minute or things that you may not have planned for and this is where our community shines because we are lucky enough to have people who offer their help to "just make it happen". I am proud to be part of an event that the community embraces and that is what encourages me, along with the Board of Directors, to continue to improve and grow The Wahoo Challenge.
Thank you for an extremely successful fishing tournament! We look forward to another fun and festive time in 2010!