Day One of the Viking-Ocean Showdown was just drawing to a close last night at the Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May, New Jersey, when we caught up with Bob Glover, director of the tournament for South Jersey Marina.
“Today was the first day of the fishing,” Glover told me. “There are 20 Ocean yachts against 20 Viking yachts—it rarely comes out that way, but the [teams are usually matched] close enough that it doesn’t really matter.”
The release-only billfish tournament pits two venerable New Jersey boatbuilders against each other—Viking Yachts, based in New Gretna, and Ocean Yachts, in Egg Harbor City—through the owners who live closest to their boatyards. “This is a fun event,” Glover continued. “It’s about fishing and friends and family. The Healeys are here and the Leek family is here and they’re vendors that supply their boats and it’s 40 of their good customers.”
“It’s purely a fun bragging rights type of deal, there’s no money involved, it’s just some nice prizes and stuff,” Glover said. “A lot of the sponsors are all vendors that supply both of the manufacturers with stuff for their boats. It’s a good customer relationship.”
“South Jersey Marina is a dealer for both manufacturers,” Glover said. “Both manufacturers are 45 or 50 minutes from here in Cape May and we’re all friends pretty much, the Healey family and the Leek family, and we’ve all been doing this a long time and everybody knows each other.”
After the first day, the Ocean Yachts team had a slight edge in points over Viking, but time will tell. “It’s a fun, friendly get-together between the two manufacturers because they’re located 20 minutes apart. Everybody’s friends, so it’s kind of a neat thing, a one-of-a-kind thing, a unique situation.
Top: Wish You Were Here had one dolphin on the scales yesterday to help Ocean Yachts efforts against Viking. Jim Rambo Photo