Exploring Entertainment in Florida's 850 & Beyond
It’s nearly show time! Recognized as one of the elite big-game fishing tournaments in the world, the 2015 Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic is set to get underway June 17-21, 2015, at the beautiful Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in the Florida Panhandle. The fishermen aboard a fleet of more than 80 gleaming sport-fishing yachts will be trolling for giant blue marlin, tuna, dolphin and wahoo while vying for a total purse worth an expected $2 million in prize money.
“The tournament committee has been working hard getting everything ready for this year’s event and we look forward to welcoming all our past teams, plus plenty of new ones to our slice of paradise,” says tournament director Adam Alfonso. “Our fantastic sponsors are stepping up once again, the resort is rolling out the red carpet and the marina is standing by. All we need now are some cooperative fish.”
As the top family friendly destination in the Southeast, tournament host Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort is the perfect venue for this world-class event. Besides a full-service marina and conference facility, the resort has plenty to offer non-anglers too, including the beach, shopping, dining and other fun activities for the whole family. On Friday and Saturday nights the Baytowne Marina is filled with spectators as the prize-winning fish are weighed in. The nightly weigh-ins are open to the public.
ORCA Coolers is the Presenting Sponsor for 2015, and the company’s line of premium durable and efficient roto-molded coolers, proudly made in the USA, will be on display throughout the week. The talented Amber Moran is back for a second year as the Tournament Artist and will also have her unique artwork on display.
The Wind Creek Casino & Hotel-Atmore returns as the lodging partner and host of the Sunday awards brunch. Merrill Lynch’s Kreuger, Fosdyck & Associates is hosting the kick-off party, while Gosling’s Rum is the official beverage sponsor of the opening event. Yellowfin Gallery is hosting the official after-party at Fat Tuesday in The Village of Baytowne Wharf. Sandestin Real Estate is serving drinks on the docks Thursday morning during the final preparations and the skies above The Village of Baytowne Wharf will light up with a spectacular fireworks display Friday night. Inaugural sponsors Galati Yacht Sales, Viking Yachts, Florida Detroit Diesel-Allison and MTU are lending their support once again, along with Costa and Mojo Sportswear. A tournament of this magnitude could never happen without the help of the ECBC’s many fine sponsors.
The proven format for fishing will remain mostly unchanged from previous years, with a couple of exceptions. There are two Top Junior Angler awards, one for billfish and the other for game fish. That allows for more recognition to those deserving juniors who land exceptional fish. The procedures for verification and judging in the always competitive release division have been tweaked as well. Those changes should help eliminate confusion and level the playing field.
“We worked really hard to come up with a way to make every fish count and make it as fair as possible to break ties,” Alfonso explains. “We’re also switching to a single tournament indicator for all three days of fishing this year. All the details will be discussed thoroughly at the mandatory captains meeting Wednesday night during registration.”
With warm water and ideal conditions in the Gulf and some of the best crews in the sport, the 2015 ECBC promises to be another exciting contest. The festivities get underway Wednesday, June 17. The boats start fishing Thursday afternoon at 3pm and continue until lines out late Saturday. The weigh scales are open Friday from 4-9pm and Saturday from 4-10pm at the Baytowne Marina at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.
For more information, please visit www.fishecbc.com.
About Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort is a major destination for all seasons and all ages, and was named the #1 resort on Florida’s Emerald Coast. The resort invites guests to a world of 2,400 acres and 30 charming neighborhoods featuring more than 1,250 South Walton vacation rentals, condominiums, villas, town homes and the best in Destin hotel accommodations. As a member of Visit South Walton and Visit Florida, the resort features more than seven miles of beaches and pristine bay front, four championship golf courses, 15 world-class tennis courts, 19 swimming pools, a 113-slip marina, a fitness center and spa, meeting space and The Village of Baytowne Wharf, a charming pedestrian village with events, shopping, dining and nightlife. People are invited to download Sandestin’s APP for iPhone and Android devices, or become a Facebook Fan or Twitter follower for the latest events and news.