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Marty and Mitchell Firestein Win 2013-2014 IGMR

SEPTEMBER 2014 -- After eight successful tagging events around the world, the third year of the IGFA Great Marlin Race (IGMR) has come to a close. From October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014, data from 60 tags revealed that black, blue, and white marlin swam a combined, linear distance of 26,312 nautical miles (nm) and a total estimated distance of 146,476 nm!

In the IGMR, winners of each event are determined by the longest, linear distance a billfish swims from the point the tag is deployed to the point the tag pops up, and the overall winner is the sponsor of the marlin whose tag travels the farthest of all events in an entire race year.

We’d like to officially congratulate Balboa Angling Club’s Marty and Mitchell Firestein, the winning sponsors of the 2013-2014 race year! The father and son team sponsored a tag as part of the 54th Annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament (HIBT) in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, USA, where the Great Marlin Race was launched in celebration of the HIBT’s 50th Anniversary.

On August 9, 2013, Marty placed the winning tag on a 113 kg (250 lb) Pacific blue marlin caught by Mitchell aboard Hooked Up. After reaching the full deployment duration of 180 days, the tag surfaced on February 5, 2014. On their data sheet, they noted that the fish “swam away nicely” and it sure did- their winning fish swam a linear distance of 2,883 nm and an estimated total distance of 12,594 nm, almost reaching the Pitcairn Islands! This distance is the second longest distance recorded by any billfish in the history of the IGMR!

Marty and Mitchell have independently sponsored a tag each year since the IGMR was launched in 2011, and the IGFA is thrilled to invite them to the 31st Annual IGFA International Auction & Banquet on January 30, 2015 in Fort Lauderdale, FL where they will both be recognized for their great accomplishment and for their steadfast devotion to the conservation of billfish and our sport.

Mitchell and Martin Firestein
2013-2014 IGFA Great Marlin Race Winners Mitchell Firestein (left) and Martin Firestein (right)