Behind the Scenes

August 13, 2015; Manteo, North Carolina:

By Capt. Dave Lear

Amid the laughter, fish tales and reunions of long-time friends, it was easy to notice the excitement of a world-class event unfolding along the Pirate’s Cove Marina docks Wednesday night. A banner fishing day certainly sets a positive mood and the crowd was enjoying all the festivities. Yet that entire scene would not have been possible without the generous support of the tournament’s sponsors. Many have been underwriting the PCBT for years while others are new to the ranks. All, however, are vital to its overall success.

“We’ve been doing this tournament for 10 years now and Bacardi has been involved for 18,” explains Mike Yates, the state manager for Republic National Distributing Company. Bacardi is the Host Sponsor for the week, with nightly drink specials and a hard-working team of bartenders.

“We’re involved with other tournaments, but this one is the most unique of all,” he adds. “Everyone is housed under one roof at one location, so we have a captive audience for 10 days to build our brands. And it’s working. Bacardi Añejo is the captains and mates choice of rum and Dare County is the largest Añejo market in the country.”

Simrad Marine Electronics is the Diamond Sponsor for the 2015 PCBT, marking the second year in a row for the company involvement. Daren Cole is Simrad’s Global Brand Director.

“Everyone on the water knows about our proven autopilots, but our goal is to make Simrad the top overall brand in marine electronics,” Cole says.”To accomplish that we’re doing extra promotions at tournaments and boat shows around the world to raise awareness of our brand. Pirate’s Cove doesn’t have as many boats as some other events. But it does draw a very loyal group of serious anglers, crews and the local boat-building industry so this is a great venue to be a part of. The tournament does a fantastic job and our efforts are paying off. It’s very noticeable the number of boaters transitioning to Simrad products.”

The Pirate’s Cove Resort and Pirate’s Cove Realty are a logical tie-in, with lots of participants owning homes here or keeping their boats at the marina. The Los Sueños Resort & Marina in Costa Rica is another Sapphire Sponsor for 2015. The luxurious operation is a favorite winter destination for PCBT anglers because of the beautiful weather, state-of-the-art facility and epic fishery.

Ten long-time supporters comprise the Platinum level of sponsorship for 2015. They include Bluewater Yacht Sales, gplink, Gregory Poole CAT, Hatteras Print, Huk Performance Fishing, Island X-PERTEES, Regulator Marine, Release Marine, Viking Yachts and Western Branch Diesel/MTU. All have new boats, engines, products and services on display in the tournament pavilion or adjacent grounds.

“We never left,” says Viking Yachts President Pat Healey from the helm of the Viking 70 factory sportfish. “It’s great to see all the boats back after the lull the past few years. We’ve been sponsoring this tournament for 20 years and we’ll keep sponsoring it for the next 20. It’s the perfect showcase for our boats. It draws great captains and crews, guys that you want to measure yourself against when you come here to fish.”

There are dozens of Gold, Silver and Bronze levels of sponsors, plus many more that chip in with tournament art like Steve Goione, trophies, meals, captain’s buckets, auction donations and all the big—and little—things that make the PCBT so special.

So take a moment tonight to thank a sponsor or two after line’s out. We wouldn’t be having all this fun without them.