Cape May Routs Ocean City In Challenge Cup

OCEAN CITY- In a tournament shortened to a single-day shootout because of rough offshore conditions last weekend, Cape May topped the Ocean City Marlin Club in the 36th Annual Charles Kratz and Scott Smith Challenge Cup for its third straight victory.

The Challenge Cup, which pits teams of boats from the Ocean City Marlin Club against the Cape May Marlin and Tuna Club, officially began in 1979 as a formal competition between the two friendly rivals that share the same canyons off the mid-Atlantic coast. The two clubs meet each September to compete for the Challenge Cup and bragging rights for the next year.

Last year, Cape May edged Ocean City in one of the closest tournaments ever to take a 16-14 lead in the series. Despite being in its 36th year, there were years when the Challenge Cup was not held for a variety of reasons including storms and hurricanes and rough offshore conditions. This year, the tournament was reduced to a single-day shootout after offshore conditions kept the competing boats at the docks on Friday.

On Saturday, participating boats from Cape May and Ocean City went out and produced solid results with Cape May coming out on top in the points standings. The six Cape May boats tallied 1,950 total points in the release tournament, while Ocean City’s boats turned in 1,275 points. The “Inure” out of Cape May had the single best day, collecting 450 total points to take the Most Overall Points award and the Most Points-Day One for Cape May.

The “Reel Joy” had the single best day of any of the six Ocean City boats competing with 300. The six Cape May boats averaged 325 release points on Saturday, while Ocean City turned in an average of 212.5. The points totals for the Ocean City boats came in at “Reel Joy” (300), “Poore Sport” (300), “Blood Money” (225), “Billfisher” (150), “D.A. Sea” (150), and “Grande Pez” (150).

With the win last week, Cape May has now won three straight and retired the current Challenge Cup. Any time one teams wins three years in a row, the current cup is retired and the losing team bucks up for a new Challenge Cup. Cape May now leads the series, 17-14, winning three straight after Ocean City evened the contest three years ago.