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 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