A four-angler team aboard a 33-foot Southport center console captured first place in the inaugural Nantucket Classic tournament held last week at the Nantucket Boat Basin.
“We could not be happier with the tournament — it was a great way to get some brand awareness with boaters who are diehard anglers, especially in the New England area,” Jonathan Kirby, marketing manager of Southport Boats, which was the boat sponsor of the two-day event, told Trade Only Today.
“We want people to know our boats can be used for some serious fishing. They are sometimes seen more as a day-cruising boat. They can do both. Fishing one day, and family boating the next.”
Southport owner Rob Miller, 52, who keeps his 33 FE (Family Edition) at Crosby Yacht Yard in Osterville, Mass., took home first prize. The crew aboard the Southport Summer Place, which is powered by twin Yamaha F300s, caught and released 72 stripers on the first day of fishing.
“I’d say our average fish was about 36 inches,” Miller told Trade Only. “We caught all of the fish in the space of about five or six hours. The action was non-stop. We had to measure and photograph every fish.”
Second place went to Craig DaPonte and his Team NorthCoast, a 26-foot NorthCoast. The team released 40 bluefish in the two days of the tournament. Team TinMan, with owner Nicholas Gault aboard his 27-foot Mako, released four false albacore and 18 bluefish to win third place.
Presented by Soundings magazine and produced and managed by its parent company, the Active Interest Media (AIM) Marine Group, the event was sponsored by Southport Boats, Nantucket Boat Basin, Cisco Brewers, OCEARCH, Sudbury and Anglers Journal magazine.
Soundings, Anglers Journal and Trade Only are all owned by AIM.
“Being part of the AIM Marine Group, it was important for us to create an event where our audience could get together in a beautiful location for a fabulous weekend of fishing,” Soundings publisher Paul Smith said.
“We are so fortunate to have the Nantucket Boat Basin work with us and have Southport Boats sign on as our exclusive boat sponsor. Catering sponsors Slip 14 and Cisco Brewers made the weekend complete. Friday night’s welcome party on the OCEARCH shark research vessel added a positive cause to the weekend. It was time spent making new friends, sharing a few crazy stories and enjoying some fabulous fishing. We all agreed we should do it again next year.”
The top teams each received custom-designed trophies, along with gift certificates and boat-cleaning products from Sudbury. The first-place team took home $3,000, second place $2,500 and third place $1,500.