19th Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic set for next week
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -The folks at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort are gearing up for a rather big event next week. That event is the 2021 Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic. This the 19th year for that big time sportfishing tournament. Last year, fighting through the pandemic, the ECBC saw 79 boats compete for a prize purse of $1.7 million. This year they expect at the least, a similar number of boats, though that number could go higher in the next 7 days. Jason Draughn is the Tournament Director, but as he told me via Zoom Tuesday, well he has plenty of help as they plan for next week’s event!
“Well it takes an army to pull this off.” Draughn said. “The whole resort comes together. You know everyone here at Sandestin is going to touch this event in one way, shape or form.”
Part of the “army” working to pull it all off is Jonathan Boone, who is now the ECBC’s Weigh-In Coordinator, among other duties.
“We’re looking at having over 80 boats as of now.” Boone says. “Our goal is over a hundred. So obviously you have crews on every single one of these boats that we’re absolutely there to cater to their needs. You know there’s tons that goes into this tournament, and the preparation. So when these boats start getting in here next week we’re going to be getting them groceries, ice. We’ve got our new marina expansion so we have a lot of new things there at the marina. So we’ve got a big crew coming and they’re ready to go, so I’m really excited about getting it. "
“Everything’s shaping up to be awesome.” added Draughn. “It’s going to be a great year. The resort’s busy. Obviously we’ve lifted everything (in terms of COVID based restrictions) everyone’s out and about, vacationing, groups are back. You know our kickoff is going to be June 23rd, Wednesday, that’s the kickoff to this year’s tournament. We’ve got about 80 boats right now, we’re looking to have a hundred. Around that number you’re looking at a two million dollar purse. That’s kind of one of our goals.”
The boats are set to depart Thursday at noon. The weigh-ins at the scale at the Baytowne Marina are set for 4-9 Friday and 4-10 Saturday. For more information related to the event click on fishecbc.com
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