May 2007

Shell Key West Challenge - 2007

The 19th Annual Shell Key West Challenge fishing tournament, a fundraiser for the Diabetes Research Institute, took place in May of 2007 in the waters off Key West. More than 140 anglers competed for bragging rights and the knowledge that their involvement will help fund the search for a cure for diabetes.

The fishing and weather were both outstanding and with its unique “scavenger hunt” format and top charterboat captains, it is easy to see why the Shell Key West Challenge has become such a popular tournament. Anglers pursue 15 species of fish including dolphin, tuna, wahoo, sailfish, cobia, grouper, snapper, tarpon, and permit. Points are awarded for three fish of each species, so captains are kept busy changing baits and moving from inshore fishing spots to the gulfstream.

Top honors in the competition went to the Shell Pacific Northwest team, fishing on the South Paw with Captain Brad Simonds and Mate Zack Bentley. Team anglers Don Hill, Art McCallum, and Ron Myhro were kept busy during the two days of fishing as they caught virtually all of the target species and scored 815 points.  Second place was captured by the Motiva North Atlantic team, which scored 730 points while fishing with Capt. Jimmy Bailey on the Hooked Up.  The third place team, which fished aboard the Wild Bill and scored 680 points, was also from the Pacific Northwest division of Shell Oil.Certainly, one of the top individual efforts of the tournament was the catch and release of five sailfish by Dr. Luca Inverardi of the Diabetes Research Institute. Several members of the staff and support team of the Diabetes Research Institute, which is based out of the University of Miami, helped with coordination of the event.

During the awards ceremony on Saturday evening, Hayden Blaylock explained why the tournament had recently chosen the Diabetes Research Institute as its beneficiary. Just over two years ago, Blaylock’s six-year-old grandson, Matthew Sanchez, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Since that time Matthew’s parents John and Crystal have worked closely with the Diabetes Research Institute to learn more about the disease and support their efforts to find a cure.  During a brief speech Saturday, Matthew thanked the anglers for coming and told them he hoped that through their efforts one day he would no longer have diabetes. With the support of the Shell Key West Challenge, its sponsors, Blaylock Oil Company employees, anglers, and captains, and the incredible work being done by the Diabetes Research Institute, Matthew’s wish seems like a very realistic one.

 

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