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Sponsors participate, party and even rock out at Cabo event


BY PAT McDONELL
Director, Tuna Jackpot

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"Mayor" Dennis Yamamoto

Participation from sponsors came in many forms at the Jackpot. Several competed in the event, such as those from Berkley and Eat Me Lures.

More than $150,000 in prizes from sponsors was doled out not just in drawings at the partries but at check-in. Many attending sponsors, none of whom are expected to work at the event, wanted to help the staff and did a great job. Thanks goodness they came forward because the task of putting on the event was monumental but went more smoothly than in any of the previous eight years.

For example, title sponsor Mercury sent Kevin Linehan who brought his wife Nicole (on their first wedding anniversary!) and they assisted in all phases of the event from check-in, to the weigh-ins, to the parties. Linehan's most crucial job was to officially "call" the event as he was positioned at the municipal pier in a panga with a radio. He determined what boats had made it into the "inner harbor" by the official 6 p.m check-off time.

Turners Outdoorsman's Mark Lamson worked five hours in the heat at the check-in line Wednesday afternoon, handing out his company's official Turner's Outdoorsman/Jackpot embroidered tote bags to each angler. Eat Me Lures had two teams, and the Eat Me Lure Girls helped with the drawings. One of them, statuesque 24-year-old Lauren Boyer, was a captain of her own team before she shipped out on her third special ops tour of the middle East.

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Corona set the stage for fun

A highlight of sponsors participation was Milt Zemenak's rendition of Sweet Home Alabama with the band Wabo at the Friday Mercury Cabo Wabo Mercury Rock and Roll Party. While Milt handled the vocals, Phil Oliva did a great job on the drums while the several ladies joined the band on stage while the house rocks and couples danced.

Sponsors attending the Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot 2007 were: Bob Hoose, Andrew Marks and Matt Barlow of Pure Fishing; Victor Castenada, Alfonso Berger and Ricardo Cardenas of Mexicana Airlines; Featured artist Dave Wirth, Rick Ozaki of Avet; Mark Lampson of Turners; Chuck Baird of Waterfall Resort; Lawrance Quigley and Russ O'Neil of Fishworks; Jim and Janet Lebson, Phil and Del Ray Olivia of G. Loomis; and Kevin and Nicole Linehan of Mercury.

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Evelyn Boyer of Eat Me lures

Also in attendance at the Tuna Jackpot this year were sponsors: John and Evelyn Boyer, Lauren Boyer, Milt and Kimberley Zemanek, and Gary and Teri Bales, Al Norblad, Elaine Quinn, and Tina Womack of Eat Me Lures; Dave and Amy Balthius of Costa Del Mar; Dennis Yamamoto of Owner Hooks, Curt James of Toyota of Whittier, Barbara Martinez of Corona Beer; Ed Tschernosca of Baja Fish Gear, Grace and Dale Cote of Cabo-based Dreammaker Charters and Bob and Minerva Smith of Cabos' Minerva's Tackle, and videographer Luis and his wife Veronica Duhart of Duhart Productions which videotaped the event and shows three video clips at the three parties and for the second year in a row are creating the commemorative video for the event.

Sponsors not in Cabo but who were instrumental in the success of the event were: Booya clothing, Hook Adventure Travel, Cabela's, Samy's Camera, Ragged Edge Resort, Leatherman, General Tire, Battery Systems, Fred Hall & Associates, Rapala, Furuno, X-Tools, Wliiamson Lures, Buena Vista Beach Resort, Picante Sportfishing (the fleet is based in Cabo, of course), Seaguar, Corona and Plano.

There were many, many people on staff and on site at various agencies and Cabo-based companies that made the tournament possible. A tournament of this magnitude over so many days involving some many services and government agencies cannot be run by anything less than a small army of dedicated people.

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Rick Ozaki of Avet reels

In addition to the aforementioned sponsors who helped, the regular WON staff who flew down to run the event were: Chuck Buhagiar and his wife, Rhonda, Scott Nagel, Rod Halperin, Rich Holland, WON Baja columnist Jonathan Roldan and his wife Jill, Judy Passarello, Carolyn Collett and assistant director and weighmaster Mike Packard. Others assisting were Floyd Sparks and his teammates who helpoed set up the stage area, as well Bill Jubb and his buddy Dragon Manolovic, and Oscar, a local who volunteered the first day of weigh-ins and did an incredible job at the dock as a biligual liason bewteen teams and the dockworkers.

The people of Cabo were again the foundation of the event. Marco and Tracy Ehrenberg and staffers Rebecca and Adriana handled many legal aspects of the event and guided WON through the permit/tax process and their office on the malecon served as the official Cabo signup headquarters.

The Pisces office also served as the location of the live Let's Talk Hookup broadcast on Saturday morning just before the awards dinner. Dreammaker Charters' Dale and Grace Cote coordinated the dock crew for the weigh-in and it went flawlessly. Smokehouse Brian Soloman and his staff at Soloman's Landing Restaurant in Cabo were instrumental in the success of the Friday night Mercury Cabo Wabo Rock and Roll with a great catering effort. The attendees raved about the food served buffet-style at the nightclub.

Of course, the Cabo Marina cleared the docks for the weigh-in despite a packed marina; Staff of the Puerto Paraiso mall and Ruth's Chris steakhouse helped create the venue and great food at the awards dinner. The Cabo Wabo staff of Carlos, Marco, the bartenders and especially the band Wabo made it party Friday night even batter than last year's.

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