Sportin’ Life Wins South Carolina Governor’s Cup Series

Series championship decided by time tiebreaker after five tournaments

team of Sportin' Life at Governo's Cup awards banquet
The Sportin' Life crew receives its award for the Outstanding Billfish Boat award for the South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series.Cameron J. Rhodes / South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series

Sportin' Life and Electric Bill were each other's equals for the South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series.

The only separation? Time.

Sportin' Life released a sailfish at 12:12 p.m. and Electric Bill released its last blue marlin three hours later. That small window of time was the tiebreaker in the race for the Outstanding Billfish Boat award when both teams finished the series with 3,875 points.

"When we started the last day, we had an 800-point lead," said Bobby Garmany, captain of Sportin' Life. "They caught a blue the first thing in the morning. Then we caught a sail to help give us some room. ... When they hooked the last blue, I did the math in my head and knew we had them on time. But we didn't know for sure until it ended. It was a very stressful afternoon to say the least."

The stress was worth it, as the team celebrated the victory at the post-series awards party at The Island House in Johns Island. Sportin' Life caught two blue marlin and 13 sailfish to win the five-tournament summer series, which started with the Carolina Billfish Classic and concluded with the Edisto Invitational Billfish Tournament. The Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament, Bohicket Marina Invitational Billfish Tournament and Megadock Billfishing Tournament were the middle three competitions. The same five tournaments will comprise the 2017 South Carolina Governor's Cup series.

Sportin' Life crew celebrating Governor's Cup win
The Sportin' Life crew celebrates its win in the series, which the team won by a time tiebreaker.Cameron J. Rhodes / South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series

Sportin' Life and Electric Bill finished second and third, respectively, behind Rascal in the Carolina Billfish Classic. Sportin' Life finished second to Game On in the Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament. The boat didn't finish in the top three of the Bohicket Marina Invitational Billfish Tournament, which Anticipation won, or the Megadock Billfishing Tournament, which Hammer Time won and Electric Bill placed second. Sportin' Life again was outside the top three for the Edisto Invitational Billfish Tournament, which Syked Out won. Rascal finished second and Electric Bill placed third, giving the latter three top-three finishes to Sportin' Life's two. But the series is based on points, not place-finish, and Sportin' Life matched its toughest foe. Teams earned 600 points for a blue marlin, 300 for a white marlin and 200 for a sailfish.

Sportin' Life's crew includes Tommy Furila, Harrison Hughes and Cordes Lucas.

"We were very consistent," Garmany said. "We would have a poor day the first day to get behind and then we'd rally the next day and get some points." Rascal, which also had two top-three finishes, placed third in the series with 3,675 points.

Here's a short video recap of the five-tournament series, courtesy of the South Carolina Governor's Cup.

Sportin' Life won the Outstanding Billfish Conservationist award. Game On won the Outstanding Billfish award with a 477.2-pound blue marlin, caught by Kelli Ann Roof.

Outstanding Female Angler, First Place: Kelli Ann Roof, of Game On; two blue marlin and four sailfish released and one blue marlin landed
Outstanding Female Angler, Second Place: Holly McAlhany, of Syket Out; one blue marlin and three sailfish released
Outstanding Female Angler, Third Place: Kasey Dantzler, of Dough Boy; one blue marlin and one sailfish released
Outstanding Youth Angler, First Place: Rance Jennings, 12, of Micabe; seven sailfish released
Outstanding Youth Angler, Second Place: Chandler Griffin, 14, of Gryphon; five sailfish released
Outstanding Youth Angler, Third Place: Graham Rogers, 13, of Rascal; three sailfish released

sport-fishing boat runs on water
Sportin' Life runs back to the port to conclude the Governor's Cup, a five-tournament series that concluded in July.Cameron J. Rhodes / South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series
Governor's Cup Series awards
All the trophies, hand-carved by artist Chris Costello, are on display at The Island House, where the post-series awards banquet was held.Cameron J. Rhodes / South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series
Rascal crew at Governor's Cup awards banquet
Rascal finished third in the Outstanding Billfish Boat category for the series.Cameron J. Rhodes / South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series
Perpetual Trophy at Governor's Cup Series awards banquet
The Perpetual Trophy, which Sportin' Life won as the top Outstanding BIllfish Boat, is on display.Cameron J. Rhodes / South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series
Outstanding Billfish Award Governor's Cup Series
Game On won the Outstanding Billfish Award, which Capt. Trey "Cricket" McMillan accepted.Cameron J. Rhodes / South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series
Governor's Cup Series Conservation Award
Capt. Dale Lackey and his boat, Caramba, won the Bluewater Conservation Award for the tag and release category.Cameron J. Rhodes / South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series
Electric Bill at Governor's Cup awards banquet
Electric Bill, which tied Sportin' Life in points but caught its last billfish three hours after, placed second in the Outstanding Billfish Boat contest.Cameron J. Rhodes / South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series
Governor's Cup Outstanding Youth Angler award
Rance Jennings, of Micabe, won the Outstanding Youth Angler award.Cameron J. Rhodes / South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series
Governor's Cup Billfish Series award for Outstanding Lady Angler
Capt. Trey "Cricket" McMillan accepted the Outstanding Lady Angler award for Kelli Ann Roof, of the boat Game On.Cameron J. Rhodes / South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series
Governor's Cup awards Youth Angler category
Chandler Griffin, of Gryphon, was second place in the Outstanding Youth Angler category.Cameron J. Rhodes / South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series
Governor's Cup Series awards banquet
Holly McAlhany, of Syked Out, was the second-place finisher in the Outstanding Lady Angler category.Cameron J. Rhodes / South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series