2009 Peace King Cup Fishing Tournament
by Terry McMahon
On Saturday May 9th, the 2009 Annual Peace King Cup Fishing Tournament was held at Croton-on-Hudson, New York. The spring striped bass Hudson River tournament is a yearly tradition which was founded in April of 2000 by the Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and his wife Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon as True Parents’ Holy Wedding Anniversary Fishing Tournament.
Each year the tournament is preceded by a registration and orientation seminar. On May 2nd Dr. Keisuke Noda of Unification Theological Seminary gave a presentation expressing that the essence of the ocean is change, fluidity, and interdependence. The ocean is a spiritual as well as a material resource that beckons a new type of 21st century person whose character matches that of the ocean. Mr. Kensaku Takahashi of Ocean Church gave great information on tackle, fishing tips and where the big linesiders are. He expressed that this tournament should continue on as our heart-felt tradition.
The tournament was officiated by Rev. In Jin Moon with Rev. Ki Hoon Kim’s assistance. We were greatly blessed by having Rev. Moon’s husband and children attend the tournament, spend time fishing on the True World 34’ boat, and present the trophies at the closing ceremony. Thank you Rev. In Jin Moon!
Over eighty (80) persons, including boat captains, attended the tournament from Ohio, Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. This event always attracts the real diehards as well as the unsuspecting novices and everyone in between. We were very happy to see Rev. Michael Jenkins and Rev. Jesse Edwards attend. Ten (10) fishing women were also among the participants, some husband and wife teams such as Rev. and Mrs. Edwards.
First prize was captured by 14 year old Kent Fliginger from Chicago (33.5”), second prize by Rev. Michael Lamson with the Ohio team (32”) and third prize went to a young man named Michald Cupp from New York (30.5”). Michald was fishing with his father Donald Cupp on their own 18’ True World boat. They were the first to leave the dock, well prepared, and had a good strategy for the day. The success of the younger generation in this historical tournament is a first and is surely a good indicator for the future.
For most it is the early morning purposeful walk down the dock, the sound of a fleet of diesel engines kicking over and curling wisps of exhaust smoke, and the sunrise venture into the unknown that calls us back each time. Everyone has an irrepressible smile as they pass each other on the docks, a shared and inexplicable hope and joy, each secretly speculating how they will spend the prize money. As the morning fades and the day wears on the joyful hope turns to uncertainty, concern, fear and then the unavoidable abject desperation in the closing 30 minutes! Fishermen never become so prayerful and repenting as in the final 30 minutes of a tournament. Finally, after all day without a fish to show one wonders ‘How could this have happened to me?’ The run back to the dock is completed mechanically and without a word.
Back at the dock, as the giant stripers and towering trophies appear, everyone joins in the victory of the winners with a big smile pasted on their faces once again. Everyone feels that the victory is shared by all, as brothers and sisters. And behind your smile is the thought that after all, there is always next year.
Special thanks to Rev. Moon Shik Kim of HSA-UWC and Mr. Motoo Furuta of True World Group, and District Directors Rev. Bruce Grodner, Rev. Barry Geller, Rev. Michael Lamson and Rev. David Rendel, and Rev. Ki Yeal Lee of KEA, for supporting this tournament. We thank all the participants for making this a great sporting event and hope to continue this tradition far into the future.