US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association
Members of the Northside Sportfishing Club, organizers of the Annual Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament, regret to announce the cancellation of the 2020 event, originally scheduled for July 12. This is due to health and safety recommendations taken by the Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Northside Sportfishing Club has been monitoring the news and local government updates closely regarding COVID-19 and how it is impacting the world and our territory. While we have been planning for the 32nd Tournament since January, we have held off on cancelling the event as we had still hoped to host a scaled back version. At this point, due to event permits and mass gatherings not permitted until mid to late July and due to concerns for everyone’s health and well-being, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Annual Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament,” says Catherine Bryan, one of the organizers.
The Club is cognizant of the hardships this pandemic has, is and will continue to cause to our global and local communities. Therefore, we plan to continue both our long-standing scholarship program and community donations this year. High school seniors have been especially impacted by the pandemic and we hope scholarship awards can both celebrate the deserving students and provide them with financial aid. Scholarship application information will be published on the Club’s Facebook page in early June. The Annual Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament benefits the Joseph Sibilly Elementary School, St. Thomas Rescue, Civil Air Patrol and Nana Baby Children’s Home.
“If things should drastically improve by July (and we hope they do), we still hope to host something to benefit and celebrate our community. We will share updates via press releases and our Facebook page, so please stay tuned. Until then, we would like to thank our participants and sponsors for their longtime support. We hope that everyone stays safe during this uncertain time,” says Bryan.
First organized by the Club in 1987, the tournament last year attracted 168 anglers, including 30 junior anglers, aboard 55 boats. St. Thomas’ Matthew Bryan reeled in the largest kingfish, a 43.45-pounder, aboard the 36-foot Feel Good I. In 2012, online travel advisor, Hotwire.com, named St. Thomas, particularly the Annual Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament, as one of the Top 10 destinations in the world to celebrate Bastille Day. As well as a day of fishing and fun for the whole family, the Northside Sport Fishing Club via the Tournament has donated over $200,000 to community organizations since the event’s inception.
The Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament’s major sponsors are Coors Light and Captain Morgan, distributed by Bellows International; Offshore Marine, the YAMAHA, Yanmar and Volvo distributor in the Virgin Islands; NEMWIL and Red Hook Agencies, Inc.; TOPA Insurance Services Inc.; Budget Marine, the Caribbean’s Leading Chandlery; Hawaiian Tropic; Scoops & Brew Gelato and Coffee Bar; Frank’s Electric; and Hull Bay Hideaway.
For more information, call (340) 998-0854. Or, check us out on Facebook @ Northside Sportfishing Club