The 15th annual Eddy Haneman Sailfish Tournament focused mainly on community, as most winners donated their prizes to a family in need.
Tournament co-director Tripp Brice said the tournament keeps Haneman’s legacy as a kind and humble man alive.
“I love seeing everybody getting together and the camaraderie of fishing,” Brice said. “But the primary focus of the tournament has become helping those in need in the community and keeping Eddy’s name alive.”
The tournament remembering Capt’n Eddy ran from July 25-27 from the Bridge Tender Marina. An awards ceremony was held at the Bridge Tender Sunday, July 27, in which tournament directors Brice and Kit Taylor announced the winners and awarded prizes. As in past years, winners donated their winnings to a family in need.
This year’s recipient was 10-year-old Jacob Woody, who was born with a congenital heart defect, his mother said. Woody suffered heart failure shortly after he was born, but recovered and was healthy and energetic through most of his childhood. In the past year or so, however, he experienced many problems while trying to compete in sports, his mother said. After visiting doctors, they discovered that he needed open-heart surgery.
Buz and Parrish Warren of the Decoy took first place overall for catching and releasing the most sailfish and donated the majority of their winnings to the Woody family.
Prizes were also awarded for the first sailfish caught, the last sailfish caught, the 15th sailfish caught and the heaviest dolphin.
Forty boats participated in this year’s event. The water was rough Friday, Brice said, but Saturday, the weather was beautiful. An 18-foot boat, the smallest in the tournament, was able to participate.
The event was in keeping with Capt’n Eddy’s spirit.
“I fished with Capt’n Eddy when I was 12 or 13,” Buz Warren said. “I have fond memories of him and really enjoy this tournament.”
Along with the donations from the winners, proceeds from an auction will also go to the family. The auction included items that Capt’n Eddy used on his charter boat in the 1940s, such as fishing rods and a flag. A raffle was also held using items that were donated by local businesses. Prizes such as fishing rods, home décor and fishing gear were given out.
The tournament also donated $5,000 to Lower Cape Fear Hospice.