Adrenaline was running high among the crews of Bermudian boats along the docks of Hamilton for the World Cup day on July 4th. When the "lines in" call was made at 8:30 AM, there were still no qualifying blue marlin checked in from around the world at such hot spots as Australia, Ghana, and the Azores. That was about to change.
Almost immediately the Bermudian boats began radioing in "hooked up" calls all morning long as the crews of the Waste Knot, Bree, El Cazador and Triple Play all released blues. At 12:36 PM Captain Allan Bean and the crew of the Paradise One electrified the fleet with a solid hook up. After an 83-minute fight they boated a contender – a blue estimated at 550 pounds that put them in the lead across the globe and scored the first boated blue for the Bermuda Billfish Blast tournament. That impressive marlin weighed in at 556-pounds but would enjoy a short lived glory.
Captain Peter Olander of the Queen of Hearts called in with a hook up at 1:38 PM that had everybody on the edge of their seat. Queen of Hearts has a history of catching the big ones - including a previous World Cup winner in 2007. After a 93- minute battle, angler Glen Astwood finally brought the gladiator to boat side, securing their 768-pound blue to take the daily jackpot in the Billfish Blast and lead in the World Cup. Word had it that the bite was going on in Hawaii, but as the clock struck midnight, there was no chatter on the radio, only the shouts of joy from the Bermudian docks. The local boys on Queen of Hearts with owner Walter Cross, Captain Peter Olander, anglers Lovintz Cann, Glenn Astood and Kevin Walsh claimed their stake as World Cup champions for the second time in five years. Queen of Hearts boasts the highest winning record for the Bermuda tournament series, earning over a million dollars in the last ten years.
This is the seventh time for Bermuda to win the World Cup honors, and the tiny little island in the Atlantic once again proved its heavyweight status as a blue marlin mecca.