Release Wins Alice Kelly Ladies-Only Tournament

Competition raises money for cancer research

Release fishing team wins Alice Kelly Memorial Tournament
The team from Release won the popular ladies-only tournament with four billfish releases.Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear

Capt. Rom Whitaker and his team aboard Release, a 52-foot Bobby Sullivan, won the 28th annual Alice Kelly Memorial Ladies-Only Billfish Tournament at Pirate's Cove Marina in Manteo, North Carolina.

The 97-boat fleet released 64 billfish in the two-day event. Release led the way with four billfish releases — three sailfish and one blue marlin — to win for the first time in seven years. The next three teams matched one another with 300 points for three billfish releases.

Alice Kelly tournament North Carolina
Teams kept up the tournament's tradition of dressing themselves and their gear in pink.Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear

True Grit, a 54-foot Paul Mann, finished second on time with three sailfish releases. Uno Mas, a 68-foot Bayliss, finished third with three white marlin, while Legacy, a Bobby Sullivan 57, was fourth with three white marlin releases. Gratitude, a 60-foot Paul Spencer, rounded out the top five.

Emily Bracher, competing on Pelican with Capt. Arch Bracher, was named both the top junior angler and the Paula Stanski Award winner for angling excellence for her white marlin release.

The tournament honors Alice Kelly, the late champion for Outer Banks women. The event raises funds for cancer research and also serves as an opportunity for female anglers to showcase their talents.

Renegade fishing team
The team from Renegade decorated its boat with the tournament's signature pink color.Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear
Hammer Time fishing team
Hammer Time shows off its colorful support for the Alice Kelly Memorial Ladies-Only Billfish Tournament.Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear
fishing boats off Oregon Inlet
The sport-fishing fleet returns from the fishing grounds — as far as 70 miles south and 30 miles east from the Oregon Inlet.Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear
Bullwinkle fishing team
The crew aboard Bullwinkle is stocked up with gear and ready for the two-day tournament.Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear
Shenandoah fishing team
The crew aboard Shenandoah has some fun as it makes its way back to the dock.Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear