Timed to coincide with the peak of the Gulf Coast’s blue marlin season, and located at the South’s number-one ranked resort destination, the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic at Sandestin® sets the new precedent for world-class sportfishing tournaments.
This annual event offers something for everyone. Most importantly, for the angling teams, there’s the deep blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, red-hot billfish action, and cool green cash.
While on-shore, both the teams and their families can enjoy the wide variety of recreational activities offered at the Sandestin® Golf and Beach Resort and The Village of Baytowne Wharf. The spectacular night time weigh-ins are held at the Baytowne Marina at Sandestin® and are open to the public.
The competition takes place in one of the most productive fisheries in the United States. In the past several years two blue marlin “Granders” (blue marlin weighing over 1,000 lbs.) have been weighed in the Gulf, and state records for blue marlin and both bluefin and yellowfin tuna have been broken.
The ECBC is a “modified-release” tournament and led the Gulf Coast tournament circuit in setting high minimum lengths for blue marlin. Blue marlin are the only billfish that may be weighed. Release points are awarded for blue marlin also, in addition to white marlin, sailfish and spearfish.
The three heaviest weighed blue marlin, dolphin, tuna and wahoo are eligible for cash awards, as are the top three teams entered in the Release Division, and the top three Crews entered in the Crew Division. Awards are presented to the top overall, release, lady and junior anglers, and the top overall release team has its name engraved on the Magnificent Blue Perpetual Trophy.
|Current & Future Dates|
Current & Future Dates
The Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic starts on a Wednesday, and ends the following Sunday.
2014 — June 18-22
|Location & Directions|
Location & Directions
The Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic takes place every June at the Sandestin® Golf and Beach Resort. All tournament activities take place at the resort.
The closest airport to Sandestin® is the Northwest Florida Regional Airport (Ft. Walton/Valparaiso VPS).
Airport to Sandestin®
It’s about 25 miles from the airport to Sandestin®. Expect to pay approximately $60 for a taxi from the airport to the resort. Rental cars are available at the airport.
Directions to Sandestin®
Sandestin® is eight miles east of Destin and 12 miles west of Seaside on Emerald Coast Parkway West (Highway 98 West). The Village of Baytowne Wharf and Baytowne Marina are through Sandestin®’s North (Bayside) Gate.
There is a park and ride lot as you enter the resort. Limited parking will be reserved at Baytowne Marina for sponsors, participants and staff.
Google Map to Sandestin®
|Schedule of Events|
2014 Schedule of Events
Last updated November 5, 2013
|Entry Levels, Fees, Awards & Prize Disbursement|
Entry Levels, Fees, Awards & Prize Disbursement
Last updated November 5, 2013
7.5% Florida State sales tax is added to all fees.
The Tournament Entry Fee is $5,000 per team. Tournament awards are based on Entry Fees. Of the amount allocated to awards, 60% goes to the Top Billfish and 40% goes to the Top Gamefish (split evenly between the three gamefish species).
Award: Top Billfish
Cash prizes are awarded to the top three teams based on the single heaviest qualifying blue marlin as follows: three winners—50/30/20; two winners—60/40; one winner takes all. If there are no qualifying marlin weighed, the prize money rolls evenly into the Top Gamefish categories.
Award: Top Gamefish (Dolphin, Tuna, Wahoo)
Cash prizes are awarded to the top three teams in each species category (dolphin, tuna & wahoo) based on the single heaviest qualifying fish as follows: three winners—50/30/20; two winners—60/40; one winner takes all. If there are no winners in an entire gamefish species category, the cash allocated for that species rolls evenly into the remaining species categories. If there are no qualifying gamefish caught in any category, the prize money rolls to the Top Billfish.
RELEASE DIVISION (optional)
The Release Division is $2,000 per team for teams entered in the Tournament Base Entry with an 85% return. You may enter the Release Division only for $2,500. If entered in the Release Division only, you may enter any of the Optional Jackpots EXCEPT the Blue Marlin Jackpots. Billfish releases must be video verified.
Award: Top Release Teams
The amount allocated to release awards is split 50/30/20 between the three teams accumulating the most release points. If only two teams qualify in this division, the split is 60/40 and if only one team qualifies, the winner takes all. You must be entered to win.
CREW DIVISION (optional)
The Crew Division is $300 with a 100% return.
Award: Top Crews
The amount allocated to crew awards is split 50/30/20 between the top three crews accumulating the most total weight and release points. If only two crews qualify in this division, the split is 60/40 and if only one crew qualifies, the winner takes all. You must be entered to win.
There are twenty-seven optional Jackpots with a 90% return, five each ($250, $500, $1,000, $2,000 and $5,000) for weighed Dolphin, Tuna and Wahoo, and six each ($250, $500, $1,000, $2,000, $5,000 and $10,000) for weighed Blue Marlin and Billfish Release Points. Billfish Releases must be video verified. You must be entered in the Release Division to enter the Release Jackpots.
Jackpot Cash Payout
The amount allocated to jackpot awards is split 60/25/15 between the three heaviest fish, or three teams with the most release points, in that jackpot category. You must be entered in the jackpot category to win. If there are only two qualifying winners the split is 65/35 and if there is only one qualifying winner, the winner takes all.
OTHER TOURNAMENT AWARDS
Trophies, plaques, and/or merchandise are awarded in the following categories.
Top Overall Release Team (Perpetual Trophy)
Awarded to the team that accumulates the most release points and is also entered in the Release Division. The winning team’s name is inscribed on the Magnificent Blue Perpetual Trophy sculpted by Chris Barela and sponsored by Galati Yacht Sales & Viking Yachts, which is on permanent display in the lobby of the Grand Sandestin®.
Top Overall Angler
Awarded to the angler who accumulates the most total weight (all species*) and release points.
Top Release Angler
Awarded to the angler who accumulates the most release points.
Top Lady Angler
Awarded to the lady angler who accumulates the most total weight (all species*) and release points.
Top Junior Angler
Awarded to the junior angler (15 years old or younger) who accumulates the most total weight (all species*) and release points.* In order to count for weight points all fish must meet the tournament’s requirements for qualification.
TOURNAMENT SERIES AWARDS
Any prizes or awards in this category are the responsibility of the Tournament Series (WBS/IGFA) and not the ECBC.
Top World Billfish Series Angler
Awarded to the angler who weighs in the heaviest blue marlin. If no blue marlin are boated, awarded to the angler with the most release points.
Top IGFA Team
Awarded to the team who accumulates the most release points.
If you are unable to attend the Awards Brunch, or would like additional trophies, call Julia Brakhage at 850.267.6168 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trophies are handed out on stage during the Awards Brunch.
Cash award winners receive a Cash Distribution form at the Awards Brunch which must be filled in with the full name, mailing address, amount and FEIN or SSN of everyone who is receiving a check and signed by the Team Contact as recorded on the Entry Form. In addition, all payees must fill out a W-9 before a check can be issued. We will have blank W-9s with us at the Awards Brunch.
Cash awards are paid by check and mailed within two weeks after receiving the W-9 form. A 1099-MISC is issued for all prize money to the person or company to whom the check is made payable. Decisions pertaining to the distribution of a team’s total purse are the sole responsibility of the team members, regardless of whether an award is published as an individual or team award. Tournament Officials will not participate in decisions regarding cash distribution.
All or a portion of cash awards may be rolled to the following year’s tournament but must be used the following year or are forfeited.
|Teams, Entry, Payment & Refunds|
Teams, Registration, Payment & Refunds
Last updated November 21, 2013
1. Entry Application and Early Bird Drawing
Entry forms in PDF format may be downloaded from the ECBC website and may also be requested by calling 850.267.6168 or emailing email@example.com. Teams may also register online. A $1,000 deposit is required at the time your entry reservation is made. Entries received by May 31 are eligible for the Early Bird drawing for a chance to win $1,000 plus five nights of free dockage at Baytowne Marina during the tournament.
2. Payment Methods
Fees may be paid by check, wire transfer, cash in US Dollars or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express). Personal checks and business checks are not accepted after June 1. Email Julia at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 850.267.6168 for wire transfer procedures.
Make checks payable to “Sandestin Investments LLC” and mail with entry form to:
3. Entry and Payment Deadlines
May 31: Deadline for entry into the Early Bird Drawing.
Deposits and entry fees may be refunded or rolled to the following year under the following circumstances. If rolled, the amount rolled must be used the following year or is forfeited. If refunded, a check is made payable to the Team Contact within four weeks following the tournament.
5. Team Contact (Also relates to refunds and prize money distribution.)
Please carefully read the following and choose your Team Contact accordingly.
The Team Contact is the designated team leader; there can be only one Team Contact per Team. The Team Contact must know how to reach each member of the team, and the contact information for the Team Contact must be complete and include a mailing address, cell or local phone number and email address. Any instructions, confirmations or requests for information are sent to this person. In addition, the Team Contact signs the Disbursement Order designating how cash awards are distributed and is the person to whom any refunds are made payable. We suggest you discuss how any prize money won is to be distributed before the tournament.
6. Tournament Team Members
There is no limit to the number of people who can be on your Tournament Team, however all members of your Team must be registered on the Entry Form or Change/Addition Form. At a minimum, you must provide a First Name, Last Name, City and State for all team members. A typical team consists of:
One of your Team must also be designated as the Team Contact (see #5 above). Guests are allowed.
7. Event Tickets and Team Merchandise
Teams receive six (6) event tickets (wristbands), four (4) Angler bags and one (1) Captain’s bag. Additional tickets and merchandise may be purchased at the event.
8. Team Check-In
All Teams must check in on the day of Registration to verify team information, pay entry fees and collect team bags.
Last updated December 8, 2013
Rules, including published rules in print or on the ECBC website (www.FishECBC.com), are subject to change without notice. Current instructions are given at the Captain’s Meeting where attendance by at least one team member is mandatory. By entering the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic at Sandestin® and paying the entry fee, participating anglers, captains, crews and guests (“Participants”) agree to abide by the Tournament Rules. The Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic at Sandestin® expects the highest level of integrity and sportsmanship from its Participants. Refer to Schedule of Events for time and location of Captain’s Meeting.
1. Rules Acceptance
It is the sole responsibility of the participating anglers, captains, crews and guests (“Participants”) to know and abide by the Tournament Rules as published and as amended during the Captain’s Meeting. Participants agree to accept all Tournament Rules and accept that decisions made by the Rules Committee are final.
2. Nature of Tournament
The Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic at Sandestin® is a fishing competition. Participants enter at their own risk, and understand the possibility exists that there may be no winners if no qualifying fish are caught.
3. Permits and Licenses
Registered boats and anglers are expected to comply with all Federal and Florida state laws regarding fishing licenses, size limits, bag limits and any other regulations that may apply. For information regarding Florida Saltwater Fishing Licenses refer to www.myfwc.com/license/recreational/saltwater-fishing/ or call 850.488.4676. For information regarding Federal HMS Permits refer to www.nmfspermits.com or call 888.872.8862 for automated renewal.
4. Dockage at Baytowne Marina
Slips at Baytowne Marina are reserved on a first come, first served basis only for those boats that have sent their entry form and $1,000 deposit. Dockage fees are not included in entry fees, but special tournament rates are offered. To reserve a slip call Julia at 850.267.6168 or email email@example.com.
5. Tournament Start—Departure Location, Time and Check-Out
Tournament boats may leave from any marina, but must depart through the East Pass in Destin no earlier than Thursday at 3:00pm. The departure demarcation is the end of the East Pass Jetties. Tournament Officials are stationed at the East Pass between 2:00–4:00pm in a boat flying an ECBC flag and will count down to 3:00pm on VHF 72 then announce the start of the tournament. You must check out with the ECBC Boat on VHF 72. Boats wishing to depart after 4:00pm should call Tournament Headquarters at 850.267.6168 to check out. Other details are given at the Captain’s Meeting.
6. Fishing Days and Times
Tournament fishing starts at 3:00pm on Thursday and continues through Saturday at 8:00pm. No lines or teasers may be in the water before start of fishing.
7. Weather and “Complete Tournament”
The Rules Committee may cancel any tournament fishing day if, in their best judgment, unsafe conditions exist at sea. Resumption of fishing is announced by 6:00am the following morning on VHF 72. A resumption of fishing announcement by the Rules Committee does not ensure the safety of any Participant. Whether or not to fish must be based solely on the team’s own judgment taking into consideration the prevailing conditions, the seaworthiness of their vessel, and the crew’s seamanship skills. One day of offshore fishing or any part thereof, by at least one-third of registered boats constitutes a complete tournament.
There are no boundaries.
Tournament Officials monitor VHF Channel 72. You can reach Tournament Headquarters at 850.267.6168. If you require fuel, ice, or have any other Marina needs upon returning from fishing, please use VHF Channel 10.
10. Equipment and Angling Rules
IGFA Saltwater Equipment and Angling rules apply with the exception of any special instructions given in these rules, and any changes stated at the Captain's Meeting. Use of non-offset circle hooks when using natural baits (live or dead) or natural baits in combination with lures or skirts is required. Any member of the team may set the hook and fight the fish, or may set the hook and immediately pass the rod to another team member, but the rod may only be passed one time. The angler must then fight the fish unassisted.
11. Eligible Species & Points
If the billfish species cannot be clearly identified during video verification, it is awarded 175 points.
12. Billfish Release
A billfish is considered released when the leader connection is wound to the tip of the rod, or the mate or other crew member touches the leader. If your intent is to release the billfish, do not remove it from the water—if you do (as recorded on the video) the billfish is disqualified. Tagging is not required for tournament points.
13. Recording Billfish on Scorecards
Scorecards must be filled in legibly and completely, and signed by the Boat Captain indicating they agree to the information as recorded (instructions are also printed on the scorecard). Scorecards are handed out during Registration. All billfish released or boated must be recorded on the Billfish Scorecard. Do not record gamefish on the scorecard. Please use a separate scorecard for each day and record the time as AM or PM, or use 24 hour time. Any team intentionally recording wrongful information on the scorecards for the purpose of altering tournament standings or results is disqualified from the event, and forfeits any and all entry money, prizes or prize money.
If you did not catch a billfish you do not need to turn in a Scorecard. If you did catch a billfish, you must turn in the Scorecard regardless of whether you are entered in the Release Division or Release Jackpots. See Rule #17.
14. Billfish Release Video Verification & Recording
In addition to returning a signed Scorecard, teams competing in the Release Division or optional Release Jackpots must turn in a video recording of each billfish released. The video must show the billfish next to the boat, identify the billfish species, and include the tournament’s verification object. In addition, as soon as the billfish is released the team must record a shot of the boat’s GPS showing date and time. Teams are expected to provide their own video cameras and the cables necessary to view the video on a big screen TV. The video judges must also be able to make a copy of all release videos for tournament records and may need to keep the original video overnight in order to make the copy. Also see Rule #24.
15. Check-In Deadline and
|Sandestin® Golf and Beach Resort|
Sandestin® Golf and Beach Resort
Located on the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast in Destin, Florida, Sandestin® Golf and Beach Resort is a 2,400-acre premier destination resort located between Pensacola and Panama City. Sandestin® invites guests to enter its world of 30 charming village neighborhoods featuring rental condominiums, villas, town homes and a wide variety of luxury beach hotel accommodations.
The Sandestin® Beach Resort boasts more than seven miles of sugar-white sand beach and bayfront property, four championship golf courses, 15 world-class tennis courts, 19 swimming pools, a 98-slip marina, marina dockage facilities, water sports, children’s programs, a fitness center and spa, 65,000 square feet of meeting space for weddings, family reunions, corporate meetings, retreats and more, and a pedestrian village complete with shopping, restaurants, ice skating, zip lining, and vibrant nightlife.
For your convenience, Sandestin®’s 1,500 accommodations and luxury vacation rentals are grouped into four resort areas: Beachside, Village, Lakeside and Bayside. Each of the four Florida resorts offer a unique locale, secure environment, and a lodging rate range designed to suit your style and accommodate your budget.
Learn More About Sandestin’s Florida Vacation Rentals.
The Baytowne Marina docking facilities can greet vessels ranging from 30 to 140 feet. Marina staff can provide personal concierge services such as arranging tee times, restaurant reservations, tram service, food and ice delivery and much more upon request. Golf Cart rentals are available exclusively for marina guests.
Arranging Dockage During the Tournament
Slips at Baytowne Marina are reserved on a first come, first served basis for boats that have sent their entry form and $1,000 deposit. Special tournament rates are offered. To reserve a slip call Julia at 850.267.6168 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Final slip assignments are made about a week before the tournament.
Arranging Dockage at Other Times of the Year
For rates and additional information or to reserve a slip for all times except during the tournament, call 850.267.7773 or email email@example.com.
|Download PDF Documents|
Download PDF Documents