Caribbean’s Kick-Off

Caribbean’s Kick-Off

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Mount Gay Regatta 3rd Day, Ralph Johnson’s Beneteau 53 Rapajam, the overall winner of Racing Class 2014.. Photo: Peter Marshall/MGRBR

Expect fun and rum at the 46th Budget Marine Spice Island Billfish Tournament hosted out of the Grenada Yacht Club in St. George’s. Fifty or more boats carrying over 200 anglers from throughout the Caribbean, U.S. mainland and Europe will vie for trophy billfish January 20-24. Last year, 77 blue marlin and sailfish were caught and released. “Teams are drawn to Grenada by the camaraderie and the party atmosphere at the marina and the well-organized event, but mostly they come for the great fishing our island has to offer,” says former organizer and longtime participant, Captain Gary Clifford, who owns and operates True Blue Sportfishing charters. Prizes and trophies are awarded to the anglers and boats with the most points, scored by their number of billfish releases.

For supportive family and friends, there are a couple of great spectator opportunities. Watch the boats on parade at 6:45AM January 21st from the Carenage, then head up to Fort George for the best view of the 7:30AM start when the cannon fires signaling the start of the competition. The second best spectating is watching the fleet come back to the marina at the end of a successful fishing day. Nightly parties, as well as the lay day festivities on January 23rd, feature plenty of Grenadian rum from its Clarke’s Court, Westerhall Estate and River Antoine distilleries. All three of these rum-producing plants offer guided tours with liberal samples—a must-do when the fishing is done. sibtgrenada.com