DESTIN, Fla, June 9, 2011 /CNW/ - Ranked as one of the Top 10 "big money" tournaments in the world, the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic (ECBC) is the fastest growing billfishing tournament on the Gulf Coast of Florida.  The 9th Annual ECBC kicks off June 21 at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, the #1 resort on Florida's Emerald Coast.

The highlight of the tournament is the official weigh-in on Saturday night starting at 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. where spectators and boaters alike will have the opportunity enjoy the excitement of the largest catch and discover the new 2011 winners. The weekend's full line up of events includes the following:

Thursday, June 23 
7:00 p.m.   
Official Start of Tournament Fishing
Friday, June 24
All Day    

10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.  
4:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.   
Special Events & Sponsor Exhibits at Baytowne Marina and in
The Village of Baytowne Wharf
Tournament Merchandise for Sale at Baytowne Marina
Weigh-In at Baytowne Marina
Saturday, June 25
All Day    

10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.  
4:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.  
Special Events & Sponsor Exhibits at Baytowne Marina and in
The Village of Baytowne Wharf
Tournament Merchandise for Sale at Baytowne Marina
Weigh-In at Baytowne Marina

Excitement is at an all-time high this year with hopes of capturing new records.  The 2009 season marked new records with Angler Chip Temple, fishing aboard Jasper Time, a 60-foot Hatteras, landing a 124-inch, 714.7-pound blue marlin to earn his team more than $325,000 in prize money. It was Temple's first blue marlin. The 2009 season also marked the fourth year in a row that more than $1 million dollars was awarded to contestants, making it the top draw on the challenging Gulf of Mexico billfish circuit.

ECBC showcased 350 anglers aboard 67 production and custom sportfishing yachts. More than 37 billfish were released among the fleet, with 87 yellowfin tuna, wahoo and dolphin brought to the scales.

Now in its ninth year, ECBC has become a key stop for the World Billfish Series and the International Game Fish Association Offshore Championship.

The new presenting sponsor, Mojo Sportswear Company, will debut a new fishing line at this year's tournament. Coke, Galati Yacht Sales, Viking Yachts, MTU, Florida Detroit Diesel, Northwest Florida Regional Airport and Vision Airlines are a few other sponsors.  In addition, charitable contributions from this event are made to the Boys & Girls Club of the Emerald Coast, Harvest House and The Billfish Foundation, a non-profit marine conservation organization dedicated to protecting global billfish populations.

"This is one of the most celebrated events on the Gulf Coast each year," said Meisner.  "Whether you're a fishing expert or a family in town wanting to watch a world-level tournament, ECBC is the perfect event.  There is entertainment and events all day to supplement excitement at the scales in the afternoon." Meisner adds.

The 2011 Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic runs June 21-26 at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. For registration forms, dockage or more information, visit www.fishecbc.com.

Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort offers the most complete resort experience in North America and was voted the #1 resort by readers of Emerald Coast Magazine.  Sandestin is a 2,400-acre destination for all seasons and for all ages, located on Northwest Florida's Emerald Coast. The resort invites guests to enter a world with a 98-slip Marina plus 30 charming neighborhoods featuring 1,500 condominiums, villas, town homes and a wide variety of hotel accommodations.   A member of Beaches of South Walton, Sandestin features more than seven miles of sugar-white sand beaches and pristine bay front, four championship golf courses, 15 world-class tennis courts, 19 swimming pools, a fitness center and spa, 65,000 square feet of meeting space and The Village of Baytowne Wharf, a pedestrian village featuring boutique shops, casual and fine dining restaurants and nightlife.

For more information on the resort and overnight accommodations, call 800-470-7389 or visit www.sandestin.com.


SOURCE Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort

For further information:

Shawna Meisner, 850-267-6168

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