Release Classic back after stormy start

Notebook

July 18, 1993|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,Staff Writer

Last season, bad weather washed out what would have been the first White Marlin Open Release Classic in Ocean City. Next ** month, tournament organizers will try again.

"We tried to get this started last summer," said Jim Motsko, who also is a director of the popular White Marlin Open. "But Hurricane Andrew showed up on registration day and told us to wait another year."

The White Marlin Open is a kill tournament -- anglers must bring their catches to the scales to qualify for prize money. The Release Classic will award points only for billfish that are released.

"Over the years we have had many anglers suggest such a tournament," Motsko said. "The Release Classic will allow some of the top billfish anglers in the area to compete for big money in a tournament format based on the ultimate skill."

Each boat fishing the Release Classic will be required to carry a qualified observer to record angling success.

Based at Harbour Island, the WMO will be held Aug. 2-6. The Release Classic will be based at the Ocean City Fishing Center Aug. 27-29. For information, call (410) 289-9229.

Rescue at tournament

Good seamanship too often goes unnoticed, but a letter to the editor in the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association newsletter, Tidelines, tells of an incident in the MSSA's May bluefish tournament that is worth repeating.

George R. Cotter, a tournament participant aboard Capt. Tracy Gardiner's 45-foot Hatteras out of Drayden, Md., wrote that on the way south to Point No Point Light, a 22-foot boat well ahead of them was seen to veer left and suddenly capsize, throwing all six aboard into the Chesapeake Bay.

Cotter relates that Gardiner immediately notified the U.S. Coast Guard station at St. Indigo and provided his exact location. Within five minutes, Gardiner had his boat on the scene and those aboard were throwing life preservers to the people in the water.

At Gardiner's direction, all six people were retrieved from the water, cared for and returned safely to Solomons.

The capsized boat was marked with a float and later recovered.

The Coast Guard, which had dispatched a rescue boat, recalled it after Gardiner had determined that all aboard the 22-foot boat had been rescued.

"[Gardiner's] handling of this rescue was superb," Cotter wrote. ". . . I

must say that without his superb skill in assessing the immediate dangers and priorities of the rescue at least one and possibly more loss of life might have occurred."

Hunting permits

Applications for deer hunting permits for the 1993 hunts at Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge in Kent County are now available. The bag limit this year is two deer, one of which must be antlerless.

Hunting dates on the refuge are: archery, Sept. 20, 24 or 27; hunters with disabilities, Oct. 4; youth hunt, Oct. 2; muzzleloading, Oct. 8, 15 or 18; shotgun, Oct. 22, 29 or Nov. 5.

Write (include self-addressed, stamped envelope) to Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge, 1730 Eastern Neck Road, Rock Hall, Md. 21661.

Yachting action

The U.S. team finished 10th at the recent International Yacht Racing Union Nautica world youth sailing championships.

Best U.S., individual finish was by Bill Hardesty of San Diego, who came in fourth in the boys Laser class. . . . The deadline for registration for Yachting Race Week at Solomons Island (Aug. 8-11) is July 30.

For more information, contact International Yachting Events, 563 Steamboat Road, Greenwich, Conn. 06830 or call (203) 661-6945.

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