Sunday July 12 would have marked the 32nd Kingfish Day tournament, hosted by the Northside Sportfishing Club. While this year’s tournament has been canceled due to territory-wide security mandates due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus has not stopped the club from continuing its rich tradition and founding mission. to give back to the community.
A dozen club members, including tournament organizers and volunteers, undertook a social distance cleanup of Hull Bay beach, which included planting several sea grapes and maho. At the end of the cleanup, the club handed over cash donations to community organizations and scholarship recipients.
âWe have experienced a new form of bad luck this year. COVID 19 resulted in a non-fishless event. Regardless, the club always wanted to give back to the community. We had the pleasure of offering scholarships to three students of French origin and making donations to local beneficiaries as usual. Now more than ever, Joseph Sibilly School, St. Thomas Rescue, Civil Air Patrol and Nana Baby Children’s Home need our help and we are delighted to help, âsaid Catherine Bryan, one of the co-directors. of the tournament.
From its inception in 1987 until today, the Northside Sportfishing Club, through the Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament, has donated nearly $ 150,000 to community organizations and nearly $ 60,000 in college scholarships.
âOn behalf of Principal (Merlene) Jones, staff and students, we thank the tournament for its donation each year to Joseph Sibilly School. It goes a long way and it means a lot to the school, âsaid teacher Sherilyn Hodge, who received the donation.
This year’s three fellows are Edwin Bryan III, currently in his final year of cybersecurity studies at the University of Tampa in Florida; Adrianna Bryan, 2020 graduate of Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic School, who will study Business and Hospitality Management at the University of the Virgin Islands; and Ryan Querrard, also a 2020 Sts. Peter & Paul graduate, who will study computer engineering at the University of the Virgin Islands.
âI came to volunteer for the tournament every year,â said Adrianna Bryan. “The purse means a lot.”
Querrard has also volunteered for the Kingfish Day Bastille Day tournament for many years and is grateful for the scholarship. âI have sold soft drinks, worked in the children’s sector and helped in many ways over the years.
To commemorate 30+ years of the tournament, the club posted a slideshow on their Facebook page @ Northside Sportfishing Club.
The Northside Sportfishing Club’s annual Bastille Day Kingfish tournament is known to attract more participants than any other event of its kind in the US Virgin Islands, with an average of 60 boats and nearly 200 anglers per year.
Also recognized internationally, the tournament was named one of the top 10 destinations in the world to celebrate July 14 by online travel consultant Hotwire.com. Thanks to the strong and long-standing support of the sponsors, the entry fee is low and the prices are excellent, including a prize of $ 3,000 for the angler who catches the biggest kingfish.
The recurring sponsors of the Kingfish Day Bastille Day tournament are Coors Light and Captain Morgan, distributed by Bellows International; Offshore Marine, the YAMAHA, Yanmar and Volvo distributor in the Virgin Islands; NEMWIL and Red Hook Agencies, Inc .; TOPA Insurance Services Inc .; Budget Marine, the leader in Caribbean fittings; Hawaiian tropic; Scoops & Brew Gelato and Coffee Bar; and Hull Bay Hideaway.
For more information call 998-0854 or go to Facebook @ Northside Sportfishing Club.