The captain of the fishing boat Sensation, which was stripped of potential earnings exceeding $3 million after tournament officials disqualified its 619.4-pound blue marlin due to alleged “mutilation,” expressed his belief in the team’s legitimate triumph. In a recent conversation with CNN, Captain Greg McCoy stated that they had diligently adhered to the rules and had secured a definitive victory in the tournament.
“We invested significant effort, and we were convinced that our achievement with this fish was extraordinary. We were certain that we had clinched the tournament,” Capt. McCoy conveyed this during a phone call. “I was confident that our catch would outmatch all others on the leaderboard in terms of weight, and that is precisely what happened. We conducted ourselves with complete integrity and never engaged in any deceitful or illicit practices.”
He further added, “We feel unjustly deprived of our victory.”
Both the captain and the owner of Sensation spoke to CNN following the controversy at the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament in North Carolina, an event that adds a modern twist to Ernest Hemingway’s classic “The Old Man and the Sea” in the realm of high-stakes competitive fishing.
Photographs of the marlin clearly display a significant section missing from its underside and near its tail. After consulting with the tournament’s regulations and experts, the marlin was disqualified due to “mutilation” caused by a shark or another marine creature, according to an official statement.
“The tournament’s decision aligns with similar determinations made by the event under comparable circumstances over the past 65 years,” the statement clarified.
Sensation stood to win $3.5 million for their catch, which included a prize of over $700,000 for being the first boat to capture a marlin weighing over 500 pounds. Instead, it was the crew of Sushi, which reeled in a 484.5-pound blue marlin, that claimed the top spot in the tournament, along with a total prize amounting to $2,769,438.
McCoy, aged 56, expressed his belief that the tournament had arbitrarily applied its rules differently from one year to another.
“The essence of the tournament lies in catching the largest fish. And we caught the largest fish. I’m not one to complain or be a sore loser. We emerged victorious in the tournament. We caught the biggest fish,” he declared. “As they say, let that sink in.”
In their pursuit of overturning the disqualification, the owner, captain, and crew of Sensation have enlisted the services of the Wheatly Law Group, as informed by attorney Stevenson L. Weeks. He stated that they are resolutely committed to challenging the ruling, considering it a matter of utmost importance. A formal protest against the tournament’s results was submitted on behalf of the vessel before 11 a.m. on Sunday.