As just about anyone who are lucky enough to live on the Outer Banks what is the one distinguishing characteristic of life on these sandbars, and there’s a good chance it will be, “Community. How the Outer Banks community reaches out and welcomes everyone.”
Case in point—the 35th Annual VIP Fishing Tournament…the VIP standing for Visually Impaired Persons.
Hosted by the First Flight, Manteo, Nags Head, Wanchese, Lower Currituck and the Columbia Lions Clubs, it is, according to the organizers, the largest of its kind in the world.
It was held Monday through Wednesday this week, and if it’s not the largest in the world, it can certainly stake its claim to be right at the top.
To put the event together takes the efforts of good sized army of volunteers.
We don’t have final numbers yet on attendance, but in the past some 350 VIPs with their families and guests have competed. To help that along there are at least 300 community volunteers as well as more than 100 high school students and students from COA, the local community college.
The weather turned pretty brisk this year with a stiff wind out of the northeast, but competitors—and volunteers—bundled up and just kept fishing.
The tournament was held at Avalon, Nags Head, Jennette’s, and Kitty Hawk Fishing Piers as well as two head boats, the Crystal Dawn and Miss Oregon Inlet.
Bringing ViP from all over the country to the Outer Banks, the tournament has become part of an annual custom for quite a number of families. Watching the VIPs and volunteers when a fish is landed and the VIP who has reeled the it in gets the chance to hold the fish and experience what it feels like…well, it’s hard to say who’s more excited, the VIP holding the fish or the volunteer.