Big Changes in 2012

The end of 2011 is just around the corner and before we know it, Tuna Season 2012 will be back around!

Those of us involved with putting on the Oregon Tuna Classic would first like to once again thank all of the participants and sponsors that have made the OTC such a great event! THANK YOU! As with each previous year, the 2011 events were a great success, and the ultimate result was helping many people in need.

As some already know, some significant changes are taking place for 2012. Each change has been discussed in great depth by the board, and was taken very seriously. The changes made are all done to provide for a long term, sustainable event that participants, sponsors, and the community can rally around. We truly believe we have accomplished that with the enhancements for the upcoming year. To give some perspective on why the OTC has made some significant changes in 2012 it is important to step back and see how the event has evolved.

In 2005 the a FIRST EVER tuna tournament in Oregon or Washington was held with a group of 17 boats. A couple weeks of prep, a flat ocean, and a makeshift BBQ afterwards and the first event was a huge success! The excitement of the day was undeniable, and providing tuna for the needy made everyone feel great! A core group got together that fall and put in place the framework for what would eventually be the OTC and a multi event tuna tournament.

Fast forward to 2011. The Oregon Tuna Classic holds 4 events, the Washington Tuna Classic holds an event, and Defiance Boats holds the first ever Tuna Smackdown event. In just a few short years, the options for fishing a tuna tournament go from none to six over the course of a relatively short season. While the OTC is understandably proud to be the first tuna tourney in the Northwest, we have always supported, and continue to support those that wish to hold a tourney. Both the WTC and Defiance Boats coordinated with us in 2011 to try and provide the best options available to everyone, and we all get along great.

The end result for the OTC is that six tourneys over the course of a short season is a lot. We listened to participants say over and over that their entire summer seemed to revolve around tourneys. In addition, the board of the OTC ended up having the summers blow past in a whirlwind of tourney activities. As much as we love the tourneys….we all feel that something was being lost and that 4 OTC events felt like a grind for many. In reviewing what percentage of teams participated in all four, and how we could best provide for ALL participants and our charity, it became obvious that a change was needed.

The big change is that the OTC will condense down from four tournaments to two. Newport and Charleston will no longer hold events, and Ilwaco and Garibaldi will continue moving forward. Certainly this was no easy decision, and it does not reflect any negativity on the locations that will no longer host the events. Both Newport and Charleston have been some of the most wonderful and fun events that we have ever held, but logistically speaking, they simply do not align with what we feel we can accomplish for participants in 2012.

So, on to the 2012 event info and some of the OTHER big changes! Two events instead of four….but two BIGGER, BETTER, more KICK TAIL events than have been held yet! One of the biggest things to the success of the OTC is that both events will share a fairly common theme, though each event will be run INDEPENDENTLY. What that means to participants is that you will continue to see the same rules, guidelines, procedures and such at each event, though there may be slight differences. What that means to the OTC is that each event will be managed from the home port in its entirety. The Ilwaco event organizers maintain total control over running their actual event themselves, as does Garibaldi. This gives each port the ability to really take community ownership while the OTC provides a solid structure with the rules of the tournament itself.

So, what changes from 2011 to 2012 for BOTH events? The tourneys will be a Three Day Event.

FridayFull fishing day with boats able to leave any port and fish to the event port. There will be a “Lines in the water” fishing start time. The return check in time is still TBD, but is currently expected to be later than the previous 4:00pm. There will be a short on-site check in and captains meeting Friday night.

Saturday- Full fishing day with Shotgun Start. Return check in time will be 6:00pm. Fish offload and TBD if some or all fish will be weighed that night or left to weigh live at the banquet. Depends on what the port wishes to do. There will be NO dinner on Saturday night.

Sunday- Awards, Raffle, Sponsor Displays, and Lunch Banquet. Port discretion regarding live weigh in, etc. There will be free time to spend with sponsors in working booths such as Garmin and other boat and product vendors prior to lunch, then the lunch, awards, and raffles. We feel that having the lunch and awards on Sunday will allow teams a full day of fishing on Saturday, the ability to spend more time “telling lies” Saturday night, and a relaxed, non-tiring event on Sunday where people can actually spend time and not feel rushed- or tired.

CHANGE IN THE PRIZE FORMAT- The prize format will be amended to be more like other tournaments. EVERY team that signs up for the event will automatically be entered in a base “JACKPOT”. The total payout of this jackpot will be based on the number of teams entered.

In addition to the AUTOMATIC jackpot, there will be a wider range of “SIDE POTS”. As of now, we anticipate $100, $250, $500, and $1000 levels.

Both the AUTOMATIC and the SIDE POTS will be SPLIT over both days of the event. That is: The $100 side pot will be split with 50% being paid out on Friday and 50% being paid out on Saturday. Each day the payouts will be split with percentages going to the TOP THREE places, and a small percentage to the OTC. 60% First, 20% Second, 10% Third, 10% OTC. (These % could change, and will be formally announced when finalized)

So- To give an example- For the $500 Side Pot. The side pot is entered by 20 teams for a total amount of $10,000. That amount is split between Friday and Saturday, so each day the payout the amount is $5000. The team that gets First -EACH DAY- will get 60% which is $3000. Second will get 20% which is $1000, Third- 10% which is $500, and the OTC retains 10% which is $500. This is for EACH DAY, so most likely different winners each day, which means more opportunity to win.

There will also be Pelagic and Big Fish side pots with the same type of payouts.

There will be an OVERALL WINNER for the weekend. We will announce the particulars of that at a later date.

All winning teams will be required to consent to a POLYGRAPH test to validate that they followed the rules of the tournament. This will account for the Friday “Lines in the Water” time, as well as the no fish caught previously, or kept on the boat.

The 2012 OTC Ilwaco Tuna Classic will be held July 27th, 28th, and 29th in Ilwaco, WA.

The 2012 Garibaldi Oregon Tuna Classic will be held August 24th, 25th and 26th in Garibaldi, OR.

So….Some significant changes, but ones that are intended to really enhance the OTC. In discussion with numerous teams and sponsors, the change to two dedicated weekends a month apart has been widely accepted as a much better format. The extended fishing hours, and the increased ability to place in the money on multiple days has also been met with great enthusiasm. The Sunday lunch and chance to visit vendors should cap the weekend off nicely.

On behalf of everyone involved with the OTC I would again like to thank those that has been involved and grown with us over the years. We feel that with the changes that will be implemented, 2012 is going to be the most exciting year yet. These changes really create events that are stepping up a notch and providing the excitement and enthusiastic we want to generate for our participants.

If anyone has questions, please feel free to ask away and I’ll do my best to provide answers.

Tight lines everyone!

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