37th Annual Challenge Cup Underway

OCEAN CITY- The Ocean City Marlin Club will seek to stop a run by old rival Cape May when the two clubs compete this weekend in the annual Challenge Cup for the 37th time.

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

If either team wins the tournament three years in a row, that cup is retired and remains in the possession of the victors, while the losing club bucks up for a new cup. After the series was tied at 14-14 three years ago, Cape May has now won three in a row and retired a cup last year. The two teams will now compete for a new Challenge Cup with Ocean City seeking to stop a run by Cape May.

The tournament officially got started yesterday with registration and a captain’s meeting, but the action offshore gets going today with the first of two fishing days. The Challenge Cup concludes on Saturday with an awards ceremony and banquet at the Ocean City Marlin Club.

Last 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).