“Following is the report on Friday’s Manhattan Cup as provided by Garry Caputi of the RFA, who organized the event along with Capt. Frank Crescitelli:
The Manhattan Cup is Back
On Friday, June 8th the return of the legendary Manhattan Cup Charity Striped Bass Tournament—presented by Yamaha—was held and proved to be a huge success. After a hearty buffet breakfast at the Liberty House 28 boats departed Liberty Landing Marina for a special two column blast off, the columns honoring those who lost their lives in the Twin Towers attack on 9/11. This was the 18th time the event was held, and it is back after a two-year hiatus.
“The fishing was tough,” said tournament co-director Capt. Frank Crescitelli, “but some of the teams, including the many donated boats carrying the 22 wounded warriors attending as tournament’s guests, caught a mix of striped bass and bluefish. Bluebird weather can make it hard to put together a good catch, but it did make for a great day on the water for everyone.”
The FCT Manhattan Cup included fishing teams in private boats fishing alongside boats donated for the day by the area’s top charter and light tackle guides. Its goals are to highlight the amazing fishery that exists within sight of downtown New York City, provide a great day on the water for at-risk veterans and generate funds for fisheries conservation. The event is all charity, with donations to the Fisheries Conservation Trust and toward sponsoring warriors who were assembled by our very own Robert Gil, a hero veteran of the Iraq War. He returned with physical and physiological wounds and credits the Manhattan Cup with saving his life. Today Robert is the Cups official warrior liaison and favorite son.
After a full day on the water the boats returned to the docks, the teams turned in their score cards and headed inside for beverages, dinner and festivities inside Liberty House a stone’s throw away from the docks. Crescitelli reprieved his role as master of ceremonies, as raffles and the live auction got underway raising money for the charities. Celebrity angler and astronaut Bruce Melnick—two-time space shuttle veteran and a hero Coast Guard rescue helicopter pilot—address the crowd and then auctioned off autographed replicas of the Shuttles Discovery and Endeavor, which he flew. Among the many exceptional auction items was a fishing trip for six aboard Wicked Tuna multi-season winner Capt. Greg Meyers’ Fishing Frenzy out of Oregon Inlet, NC and a $1500 fly fishing outfit by Redington and Sage.
“Many companies stepped up to help us put on the 18th Manhattan Cup,” said tournament co-director Gary Caputi,” and we can’t begin to express our gratitude and the appreciation of our warrior heroes who fished with us. A special thanks to Yamaha Marine for taking on the top sponsor roll recognizing the importance of this very special event.”
Sponsors included Liberty Landing Marina, Costa del Mar, Gray Taxidermy, Yeti, D&R Boat World, Raymarine, Mojo Sportswear, Maui Jim, AllTackle.com, AFW/Hi-Seas, Pettit, Tony Maja Tackle, Tsunami Tackle, The Fisherman magazine, Princeton Tec, Interlux, the Recreational Fishing Alliance, Guides Secret Fishing Gear, Fin Chasers TV and Mustad. Thank you all for donating.
The winners of the 18th FCT Manhattan Cup are:
Manhattan Cup Champion
Largest Striped Bass Overall– Steve Liesman fishing with Capt. Howard Owens
Largest Bluefish Private Boat – Al Ristori fishing with Guy Talarico
Largest Bluefish on Artificial – Bruce Melnick fishing with Capt. Frank Crescitelli
Largest Bluefish on Bait – Rick Dunn fishing with Capt. Vince Trapani
Largest Bluefish on Fly – Steve Liesman fishing with Capt. Howard Owens
Striped Bass Categories:
Largest Striped Bass on Private Boat – Marc Kennis fishing with Dave Rooney
Largest Striped Bass on Artificial – Karl Anderson fishing with Capt. Howard Owens
Largest Striped Bass on Bait – Steve Liesman fishing with Capt. Howard Owens
Largest Striped Bass on Artificial – Robert Gil fishing with Capt. Frank Crescitelli
Smallest Striped Bass – Alex Folmar fishing with Capt. Pete Santero
Largest Bluefish – Robert Gil fishing with Capt. Frank Crescitelli
Largest Striped Bass – Roger Totten fishing with Capt. Ted White
Largest Bluefish – Bruce Melnick fishing with Capt. Frank Crescitelli
Largest Striped Bass – Kim Melnick fishing with Capt. Frank Crescitelli