Categorized | Featured, Fishing, Sports

HIBT 2014: Day 3

Miss Billfish Nicolette Noelani Palacol congratulates Angler Andrew Neill. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

Miss Billfish Nicolette Noelani Palacol congratulates Angler Andrew Neill. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

MEDIA RELEASE

As Day Three of the 55th Annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament came to a close, scoreboard points have been posted by every country – but not by every team. And every point counts as HIBT passes the midway point in this five-day marathon.

The new moon is on the horizon and HIBT officials predict the next two days of tournament fishing will be busy. In fact, this year’s HIBT outcome may very well come down to the wire at close of fishing at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1.

Just after Wednesday’s noon roundup, the 2011 HIBT returning champions Port Vila Sport Fishing Club of Vanuatu made its move on the scoreboard.

Fishing aboard the 47-foot Northern Lights, team captain and angler Andrew Neill tagged and released an estimated 275-pound Pacific blue marlin in 47 minutes.

A little more than an hour later, Neill hooked up again and this time boated a 470.5-pound Pacific blue marlin in an impressive 42 minutes.

When asked about his day at the Kailua Pier weigh scale, an excited Neill said “The year we won, we scored all our points on tag and release. We have been competing at HIBT for four years now and this is our first boated marlin. It was a tough fight, but I enjoyed every minute of it. That’s what we came here for.”

With the one-two punch, Port Vila Sport Fishing Club shot up the leaderboard and captured the No. 2 spot in a tight race separated by just two points from leader Olympian Dream Fishing Club of Japan.

Other notable HIBT action included Old South Marlin Club – Pacific Rim angler Amy Gunther who tagged and released an estimated 140-pound Pacific blue marlin in just under 25 minutes. She is the first on her team to put points on the scoreboard.

The Ahi Division has been active this week and another two teams, China Sea Wolf Club angler Liu Ming and Perth Game Fishing Club –Team 1 angler Peter Maier, boated ahi Wednesday.

HIBT teams rotate among Kona’s world-class fishing fleet all week long by boarding a new boat each morning. Cumulative billfish points are tallied separately for captains and crewmembers and the prestigious Henry Chee Award is given to the HIBT captain and crew that score the highest number of billfish points.

This trophy honors Henry Chee, Kona’s pioneer charter boat captain who set an unprecedented number of game fish records, helping make his favorite fishing grounds – the Kona Coast – world famous. His legend lives on in the memories of the Kona charter fleet.

The Richard Boone Award is also awarded each year to the HIBT captain and crew receiving the highest rating by the teams.

Recent Henry Chee Award winners include:

* 2013: Silky Captain John Bagwell and crew Tobin Hudgins and Dave Benso

* 2012: Marlin Magic Captain Jason Holtz and crew Brian Toney

* 2011: Marlin Magic II Captain Marlin Parker

* 2010: Foxy Lady Captain Boyd DeCoito

It promises to be an exciting HIBT finish, as anglers, boat captains and crew continue to map out their fishing strategies over the next two days.

The 56th Annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament is set for Aug. 8-15, 2015

2014 HIBT Day Three Standings

LEADERBOARD POINTS
Olympian Dream Fishing Club, Japan 1029
Port Vila Sport Fishing Club 1027
China Sea Wolf Club 600
Hui Hai Hong Jin Club 550
Whangaroa Sport Fishing Club Team 1 500

TOP CAPTAIN STANDINGS POINTS
Mat Bowman, Northern Lights 1327
Tim Hicks, Illusions 1229
David Bertuleit, Kona Seafari 600
Kerwin Masunaga, Rod Bender 600
Captain Brian Wargo, Bite Me 2 550

For more tournament information, including daily fishing video recaps, IGFA world-records, rules, and entry information, visit: www.hibtfishing.com

China Sea Wolf Club angler Liu Ming celebrates his catch with teammates and Miss Billfish Nicolette Noelani Palacol. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

China Sea Wolf Club angler Liu Ming celebrates his catch with teammates and Miss Billfish Nicolette Noelani Palacol. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

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