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Sandestin- It was a tough decision for event organizers, but one that had to make. The Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic is canceled this year due to the looming oil leak in the Gulf.

The 8th annual E.C.B.C. at Sandestin was still on tap as late as two days ago, but organizers of the event just had to make the tough decision they have been trying to avoid for weeks.

The annual summer fishing tournament has been a big success for the area, last year 1.2 million dollars in prizes were given out as 67 boats competed.

Despite interest from captains and sponsors alike this year's tournament won't happen.

"We had been monitoring this situation daily, and we got to a point here we weren't able to move forward with the event." Tournament Director Shawna Meisner said. "We had alot of fishing teams that were interested and still participating in the event, as well as alot of sponsors that have been loyal to us for years. But unfortunately we weren't able to have the event this year."

Meisner said they are planning to bring the event back in 2011 during the week of June 21st through the 26th.

Here's the official press release from the Tournament:

Sandestin- After careful evaluation and review of the most current NOAA Federal Fisheries Closure Area, Tournament Officials have determined that the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic cannot be held this year.

We want to express our appreciation to the sponsors, boat captains, owners and angling teams who have supported us through this time, and we look forward to seeing everyone back next year.

The 2011 event is scheduled for June 21-26 and will be carried out in the same tradition participants and spectators have come to enjoy. In the meantime we will continue to strongly support the region’s fishing community.

Please visit for the latest tournament updates.

In other news, Sandestin reports that resort activities and the beach are in full operation. People are encouraged to visit to view recent pictures and a real time beach cam.

Guests and members of the community are invited to attend the YOLO Standup Paddle Boarding Race, part of the 2010 YOLO Race Series, which will take place at Baytowne Marina Friday, June 25 at 5:00pm.

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