The 2017 White Marlin Open is in the books, and some crews won big—including the boat that brought home a 95.5-pound white marlin worth $1.65 million, and the boat that set a White Marlin Open record with a $866,000 tuna.
But one team is going down in the WMO history books for another reason: they were the first to compete as an all-female fishing team.
The Women’s Offshore Alliance boat assembled its crew of five women, with ten children between them, and demanding jobs. One is working on her MBA while working full-time, and one is a neuorology nurse.
Nikki George, Jaime Buffington, Shannon Ehinger, Chris Tina Olivieri-Dupuis and Lisa Foxwell put together a very seaworthy 2018 Everglades 435CC, captained by Walter George, Nikki’s husband.
Quite a few sponsors got behind the new team: Everglades, Annapolis Boat Sales, Maryland Boat Gear, Shore Tackle Custom Rods, and Atlastrax USA.
With brutal weather on both of the first two days of fishing, the crew had to make a tough call in deciding which three of the five tournament days they would compete. The ladies opted to go out Monday, amid what Jaime calls “horrible storms,” Wednesday, and Thursday. Jaime tells me while there were no big catches, the team had a white marlin hook up, and had several bites.
The Women’s Offshore Alliance say they were very well received at the male-dominated tournament, and appreciate all the support.
The ladies of the WOA are already planning for future tournaments, and working to get more sponsors. They can’t wait to get out and fish together again.
The Women’s Offshore Alliance says they aim to promote and grow the presence of women in sportfishing and boating.
If you are a female angler who would like to join the Alliance, click here.
-Meg Walburn Viviano