July 29, 2004 – The Virgin Islands' biggest spectacle in sportfishing the USVI Open/Atlantic Blue Marlin Tournament will have its 32nd outing Aug. 26-30 on St. Thomas.
More than 35 boats from Florida, Bermuda and elsewhere in the Caribbean are expected to participate in the event, which in addition to having its own claim to fame is also the third and final leg of the 2004 Bermuda Triangle Tournament.
The St. Thomas event, based at American Yacht Harbor on the island's East End, is known locally as "the Boy Scout tournament." It's the biggest annual fund-raising event for the V.I. Council of the Boy Scouts of America, with proceeds supporting a broad range of scouting activities territorywide.
It also has the reputation of having been the first big gamefishing tourney to switch from boating of blue marlin to tagging and releasing of the big fish. Not one of the "big ones" has been brought back to the dock in 17 years, according to a release from Martin Public Relations, the territory's mainland publicity agency.
The USVI Open actually is three simultaneous events an angler tournament, a crew tournament and a boat tournament. Numerous cash prizes will be awarded to the top anglers and crews based on the number of blue marlin they catch.
V.I. Boy Scout troops will be taking part in events at American Yacht Harbor which are open to the public. These include a flag-raising ceremony and blessing of the fleet at 7 a.m. on Aug. 26, Caribbean Night festivities beginning at 7:45 p.m. on Aug. 28, and the annual Vitel Cellular Boy Scout Handline Tournament for youngsters starting at 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 29.
For more information, visit the USVI Open/Atlantic Blue Marlin Tournament Web site.
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