Sunday, August 1, 2010

Kona Comes Out...

The Kona sport fishing community really comes together to support the HIBT event. Flags, banners, and signs about the coming tournament were visible all over town. We donned our Great Marlin Race t-shirts, designed by Bob and Sally Kurz and assembled at the HIBT headquarters to promote the race and take questions. At 10:00 a.m., we joined the teams for the much-anticipated for the much the boat draw --- as they awaited their random assignment to participating sport fishing boats.

Sally Kurz flashes the "Aloha" sign on behalf of the Laguna Niguel Billfish Club #1.

Following the boat draw, we headed to the waterfront to witness the annual HIBT Parade – a signature tournament kickoff featuring all of the HIBT teams, supporters, and local businesses.

Marlin Chasing Bait - One of the many floats in the HIBT 2010 Parade

We devoted the remainder of the afternoon to logistics and tag-sponsorship efforts and by day’s end had secured commitments for four new racers! The HIBT Opening Ceremonies concluded with an introduction to all of the teams (8 countries and four US States) accompanied by an orchestral presentation of national anthems for each country represented in the tournament, followed by a delicious spread of food prepared by local Kona vendors and supporters of the HIBT.

Dr. Randy Kochevar (left) and Dr. George Shillinger (right) hard at work in preparation for the HIBT kickoff!

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