The Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce is calling all pirates and lasses for their 2012 “X Marks the Spot” Ladies Day Tarpon Tournament. The artwork for the tournament has been released, and the featured artist is Brendan Coudal. This is Brendan’s fourth time to be selected as the official Ladies Day Tournament artist, and he may need some help from the public this year with his as yet unnamed “Pirate Girl” painting. But more about that later …
The collectible tournament posters have become an island prize and this year a portion of the proceeds are going to benefit The Bonefish & Tarpon Trust.
It was 22 years ago when a group of Boca Grande women got together and decided to have a tarpon tournament. There were three requirements: It had to be all women, all release and all fun. Those three requirements are what made the tournament unique. Tarpon tournaments were usually for men, and normally involved dragging a prize tarpon several miles to the dock and displaying it for all to see. This was unacceptable for the women who founded the Boca Grande Ladies Day Tournament.
Even the ritual of weighing and releasing a tarpon on site (still a common practice in some tournaments) was considered too stressful on such a beautiful creature.
This practice is becoming less prevalent as many tournaments have changed to a more positive fishing style of “do no harm” a movement promoted and supported among the local tarpon fishermen here on Boca Grande.
Multigenerational teams and an average of 50 boats are now competing in what has become an island tradition. This is the “unofficial” kickoff of the world famous tarpon season in Boca Grande.
“We know our ladies will love what we are doing this year,” said Larissa Wells, the tournament director. “This year’s tournament includes the traditions of years past and adds a new flair that the committee members are thrilled about that will for sure become traditions of the future.”
The entry fee for Ladies Day is $500 per team. A non-refundable $100 will hold an entry until March 31, at which time the balance comes due.
If you or your business is interested in being a sponsor for the tournament, platinum sponsorship is $1,000. Gold sponsors pay $500 and silver sponsors pay $350.
For more information on the tournament and how to purchase items featuring Brendan’s artwork, contact Lew Hastings, Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce, 964-0568, email@example.com or go to bocagrandechamber.com.
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