Mister Pete's performance during the 2018 South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series was one for the record books. And that performance was recognized Friday at the annual Governor's Cup awards ceremony held at the Island House on John's Island.
Mister Pete, owned by brothers Bob and Rusty McClam of Little Mountain and captained by Alan Neiford, won three of the five Governor's Cup tournaments and in the process set a new record for points with 7,875, topping 2017 winner Gryphon's previous record of 7,475.
Mister Pete started the season by releasing four blue marlin to win the Bohicket Marina Invitational Billfish Tournament. Two weeks later, Mister Pete captured the Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament with three blue marlin releases and built a hefty lead in the series.
Sportin' Life managed to whittle Mister Pete's lead to 200 points, or one sailfish release, going into the season-ending tournament at Edisto. But Mister Pete caught one blue marlin and eight sailfish (2,200 points) to clinch the title. Mister Pete finished the year with nine blue marlin releases and 12 sailfish releases.
Sportin' Life, owned by Graham Eubank and captained by Mike Glaesner, was second, 1,200 points behind Mister Pete with six blue marlin and 13 sailfish releases. Syked Out, owned by David Sykes and captained by Dan Woody, finished third with 5,175 points.
No other boat in series history has won three tournaments in a year. Seven boats have won two events in a year, including Reel Passion in 2011 and 2015 on the way to winning the overall title those two years.
"When you are fortunate enough to find and catch and release nine blue marlin in the South Carolina Governor's Cup, you're going to have a good year. That was special. We were fortunate to be in the right place at the right time. I don't know what we did different or why. Things just seemed to be going our way," Bob McClam said.
Mister Pete had been close before, finishing second to Gryphon in the 2017 rankings and placing third, behind Rascal and Trick 'Em, in 2014.
Governor's Cup boats released 309 billfish (71 blue marlin, eight white marlin, one longbill spearfish and 229 sailfish) in 2018 and brought in only one, a 484.4-pound blue marlin landed by Anticipation on the final day of the Edisto tournament, a 99.7-percent release rate.
In the non-billfish categories, Legacy had the top dolphin at 54.4 pounds; Bench Mark topped the wahoo division with a 46.3-pound catch; and Legal Holiday won the tuna division with a 26.8-pound blackfin.
Ansley Wyatt, aboard Sola Fide, was the top youth angler with five sailfish releases (1,000 points); Riley Overstreet, aboard Tighten Up, was second with four sailfish releases (800 points); and Chandler Griffin was third with one blue marlin release (600 points).
Holly McAlhany, aboard Syked Out, was the top female angler after releasing three blue marlin, one spearfish and 13 sailfish (4,700 points). Sara Gressette, aboard Man Cave, was second with one blue marlin and eight sailfish releases (2,200 points). Eugenie Barrow, aboard Legal Holiday, was third with two blue marlin and four sailfish releases (2,000 points).
The 2019 series will shrink by one event with the MegaDock tournament taking a year off because of construction at the City Marina. Tournament dates for 2019 are: May 8-11, Bohicket; May 22-25, Georgetown; June 19-22, Carolina Billfish Classic; and July 17-20, Edisto.