(BIVN) – The 2018 Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament recently concluded in Kailua-Kona, with this year’s Governor’s Trophy going to Malibu Marlin Club – Topanga Beach.
The threat of a hurricane half way through the fishing competition wasn’t enough to dissuade anglers from pursuing their prize. The 59th running of the event is now in the book. In addition to the video provided above, tournament organizers provided this summary of the event.
Kona, Hawaii (Friday, August 10, 2018) – Gaining 100 bonus points for the largest fish of the tournament gave Malibu Marlin Club – Topanga Beach the margin needed for a 2018 Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament victory and the coveted Governor’s Trophy.
Malibu Marlin Club – Topanga Beach moved up the leaderboard yesterday in dramatic style by catching the largest fish in the tournament— a 652.1-pound Pacific blue marlin. Those bonus points knocked Australia’s Moreton Bay Game Fish Club to second place after leading the tournament for four days.
The Malibu Marlin Club – Topanga Beach team was led by Captain Buzz Colton and anglers Fred Duerr, Howard Dietrich and Doug Hays.
“I didn’t think we could hang on because of all the hook-ups. There were five in the last hour of the tournament,” said Team Captain Buzz Colton. “We won by less than 100 points. Every fish mattered this year and right up until the last minute any boat could have hooked up and boated a fish that would have leap frogged them to the top of the leaderboard.”
He added, “When you win a world championship, it’s a pretty special deal and that’s what it means to me. It means we won a world championship!”
Malibu Marlin Club – Topanga Beach topped the 2018 leaderboard with 1,052.1 points followed by Moreton Bay Game Fish Club with 1,000 points and Kona Game Fishing Club-Osaka and J.J. Game Fishing Club of South Australia each with 900 points. Kona Game Fishing Club – Kusatsu finished with 850 points.
A total of 22 teams put points on the leaderboard during the 59th running of the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament.
In addition to the whopping 652.1-pound Pacific blue marlin caught on Thursday, another 30 Pacific blue marlin each weighing less than 300 pounds and 15 Short nose spearfish were tagged and released during the five-day tournament. Thirteen ahi were also weighed in at the Kailua Pier during the tournament.
Captain Trevor Child wins 2018 Henry Chee Award
The Henry Chee Memorial Award was established by the Board of Governors in 1965 to recognize the charter boat captain accumulating the greatest number of billfish points during the tournament.
Captain Trevor Child will be added to the coveted list of Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament Henry Chee Award recipients. Captain Child and crew James Bach and Ryan O’Halloran amassed 1,352.1 points fishing aboard the Maverick, a 38-foot Bertram. The Maverick tagged and released a Pacific blue marlin, a Short nose spearfish and an ahi today.
The Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament was founded 59 years ago, the same year Hawaii gained statehood, when a small group of local anglers including legendary Kona fisherman Henry Chee assembled in Kona Inn General Manager Peter Fithian’s office. Since its humble beginnings, the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament’s iconic status has evolved throughout the fishing world.
See You Next Year
“For nearly 60 years the Kona community has welcomed the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament with love and aloha. We are appreciative of the community’s support throughout the tournament’s history and we look forward to bringing the best fisherman in the world to experience the thrill of catching big marlin in Kona’s famous waters,” said Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament Founder Peter Fithian.
Next year’s 60th annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament is slated for July 27 through August 4, 2019. Anglers and teams are invited to apply for early entry as a full tournament field is expected. Learn more at www.hibtfishing.com
The Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament is supported by the generosity of the Hawaii Tourism Authority and numerous community donors who contribute time and resources.