Why change start site for fishing tourney?
Today is the 19th annual Wahine Fishing Tournament, a charity tournament that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the community. The excitement is in the start in Kailua Bay. All the teams are in costumes and engage in water fights awaiting the start of the tournament. Family members rent rooms at the Royal Kona Resort and stand on the wall and pier to witness and photograph the start. However, late Tuesday afternoon the teams were notified that this year because of a keiki paddling event, the tournament start has been moved to the green can at the harbor entrance.
What a let down to the long-held tradition of the biggest women’s marlin tournament in the world starting in picturesque Kailua Bay. How much money will the keiki event contribute to charity?
We have been told the starting point has been moved from the bay to the green can to guarantee the safety of the keiki. Keiki safety should, of course, be formost, but why was the keiki event scheduled in conflict with the wahine tournament? The wahine date has been set for over a year. This is stupid. Start the keiki event at 9 a.m. and continue the successful run of the wahine tournament, or schedule the keiki event on Sunday.
This is the largest women’s fishing tournament in the world and the tradition is being disrupted by a last minute event. Next, the Ironman could be delayed by a political convention or maybe the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament will have to change its start to accomodate an aqua-jogging class.
I am a boat captain with women who have invested in costumes, practiced fishing and genuinely want to help the community. Their families have hotel rooms and want to watch the start. They feel they have been lied to by a sorry planning committee.
Perhaps this is the last wahine tournament in Kona?
Capt. Chuck Owens