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Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament Decided

August 4, 2019, 2:10 PM HST (Updated August 4, 2019, 2:10 PM)
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Laguna Niguel Billfish Club-Fierstein, led by father-son team Martin and Mitchell Firestein, learn that they captured the 2019 HIBT Governor’s Trophy. PC: Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament.

Laguna Niguel Billfish Club-Firesten has claimed victory in the 2019 Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament victory and the accompanying Governor’s Trophy.

The father-son team chalked up 100 points for a short nose spearfish tag and release, providing just enough margin to eke out first position.

The winning team was led by father and captain Martin Firestein, alongside his son, Mitchell Firestein, who has been fishing this tournament with his dad since he was 7 years old. They won the 60th annual tournament with a total of 1,600 points.

“From the get go today, it was nerve wracking,” Mitchell Firestein said. “At the last hour, we both knew we had no control over this. It is what it is. Today worked out. We are so happy to win here in Kona.”

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Captain Kevin Hibbard wins 2019 Henry Chee Award

The Henry Chee Memorial Award was established by the Board of Governors in 1965 to recognize the charter boat captain accumulating the greatest number of billfish points during the tournament.

Captain Kevin Hibbard will be added to the list of Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament Henry Chee Award recipients.

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The Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament was founded 60 years ago, the same year Hawai‘i gained statehood, when a small group of local anglers including legendary Kona fisherman Henry Chee assembled in Kona Inn General Manager Peter Fithian’s office. Since its humble beginnings, the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament’s status has evolved throughout the fishing world.

“For 60 years, the Kona community has welcomed the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament with love and aloha,” said Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament Founder Peter Fithian. “We are appreciative of the community’s support throughout the tournament’s history, Mahalo to Kona for all you have given. It took a long time to build a tournament like this one. The first 30 years are really the testing grounds. After that, you find the commitment but catching a fish is still the largest wild card.”

TEAM STANDINGS                                                                 POINTS (including bonus) 

Laguna Niguel Billfish Club-Firestein, USA                             1600
Olympian Dream Fishing Club, Japan                                     1450
Denarau Game & Sportsfishing Club-Team Flying Fijians       1450
Kona Gamefish Club-Blue Fin, Japan                                     1400
Ohana Marlin Club, Japan                                                       1250
Houston Big Game Fishing Club-Team Filo Pamela Basco    1250
Pajaro Valley Gamefish Club-Team 1, USA                             1250
Hawke’s Bay Game Fishing Club-The Odd Fellows, NZ         1200
Lizard Island Game Fish Club                                                  1200

BOAT STANDINGS             CAPTAIN                                 POINTS (including bonus)  

2nd Offense                         Kevin Hibbard                         1800
Northern Lights II                 Kevin Nakamaru                     1774.5
Foxy Lady                            Boyd DeCoito                         1600
EZ Pickens                           Chuck Wigzell                        1550
Benchmark                           Chris Donato                         1550
JR’s Hooker                         Jean Nogues                          1496.2
Humdinger                           Jeff Fay                                   1350
Waiopai                                Kai Hoover                              1200
Night Runner                       Jim Wigzell                              1100
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