Alice Kelly Memorial Ladies Only Billfish Tournament

Beautiful Day

The fishing wasn’t exactly on fire for the 28th annual Alice Kelly Memorial Ladies Only Billfish Tournament. The record 97 boats competing had to search hard in their efforts to find fish. Some ventured as far as 70 miles south while others ran due east from Oregon Inlet about 30 miles. In the end though, all five places were filled and a couple nice game fish were hoisted aloft at the scales. As one team declared when checking out the leaderboard, “We caught a beautiful day.”

Capt. Rom Whitaker led his team aboard Release, a 52 Bobby Sullivan, to the first-place trophy on the basis of four billfish released. The all-friends team has been competing in the Alice Kelly for seven years.

“This is awesome,” says Allyson Hoggard. “We’ve had the same team for seven years, all friends, so we’ve earned this, for sure. Capt. Rom is the best ever. This tournament is really a fun setting and a chance for all of us to get together. We have a good time and raise money for a cause we all believe in.”

The other four top teams all scored 300 points for three billfish and the final outcome was determined by time of release. True Grit, a 54 Paul Mann run by Capt. Hank Beasley was second, followed by Uno Mas, a 68 Bayliss with Capt. Tommy Lynskey at the helm. Capt. Jordan Croswait on Legacy (57 Bobby Sullivan) skippered the fourth-place team. Gratitude, a 60 Paul Spencer run by Capt. Carson Forrester, came in fifth place.

Susan Wolf took the top dolphin honors as well as the jackpot of $19,550 for her 20.5-pound gaffer. Wolf was fishing aboard Sniper (58 Paul Mann) with Capt. Jimmy Bayne.

The largest yellowfin, a 61.8-pounder, was wound in by Suzan Quesenberry, fishing on Trophy Hunter. Kenneth Brown is the skipper of the 55 Buddy Cannady.

Michelle Desrosiers was on the winning end of a 45.1-pound wahoo. She was fishing on Sea Rounds, a 52 Viking run by Capt. Doc Hoefer. The boat was about 31 miles out on the 700 line in 45 fathoms when the striped speedster hit a purple/black lure. That catch turned out to be her biggest fish ever. Derosiers and her team mates all work at the same medical facility with Dr. Hoefer.

“It wasn’t bad,” Hoefer said after the weight of the wahoo was announced. “We thought we were going to get rained on this morning, but we never felt a drop. It turned out to be nice.”

Emily Bracher, fishing on Pelican with Capt. Arch Bracher, was named the top junior angler and the Paula Stanski Award winner for Angling Excellence for her billfish catch. A total of 64 billfish were released by this year’s tournament fleet.

“Thank you Alice, for bringing us all together once again,” said Director Heather Maxwell. “We couldn’t do this without our wonderful sponsors and all our dedicated volunteers. We raised some serious money for a very worthy cause and we all had fun. So it really was a beautiful day.”

Alice Kelly Memorial Ladies Only Billfish Tournament

Cause and Effect

Most big game tournaments would be absolutely thrilled to have nearly 100 boats competing in their event. So when 97 sign up to fish a one-day, ladies contest, it’s big news indeed. But the Alice Kelly Memorial Ladies Only Billfish Tournament is not just any tournament. It’s to honor the late champion for Outer Banks women as well as to raise money for a very important cause—fighting cancer.

Nearly three decades in the making, the Alice Kelly has become a major event on the competitive East Coast sport-fishing circuit. In addition to raising funds to combat a debilitating disease, it’s also the opportunity for women to showcase their Gulf Stream talents while having a fun time amid a defiant splash of pink in the form of bows, ribbons, t-shirts and lures.

“We have a team of four anglers and we’re all co-workers,” says Susan Cox, a first-time Alice Kelly participant and a member of Team Classea. “We work for the doctor who owns the boat and we’ve been fishing the past two days doing prep and our homework. It’s been a little slow, so we’re going to come up with an official game plan tonight and go from there.” Capt. Mark Beamer of Wanchese is the skipper of the 34 Blackwell.

“We’re targeting billfish and dolphin, but we’ll take whatever we can get,” Cox adds.

Melanie Lee of Mann’s Harbor, is another first-timer who is joining a veteran AK crew aboard Top Hooker, a 61 Blackwell run by Capt. Will Atkinson.

“I like the competition and I like what this tournament is all about,” Lee says. “It’s going to be fun.”

“We’re expecting to catch all the fish and have a blast doing it,” adds team-mate Sarah Davis of Manteo. “We’ll put the lines out and see what bites.”

In keeping with its charitable intent, the base entry money of all 97 boats will be donated to non-profit organizations. The Outer Banks Cancer Support Group is the biggest benefactor. The top five teams will win trophies instead. Nearly half of the fleet entered the optional winner-take-all jackpot division, though. An unofficial $19,500 is at stake for the team bringing the largest dolphin to the scales at the Pirate’s Cove Marina.

Fishing begins at 8:30 Sunday morning and concludes at 3 p.m., with the scales open until 7. But even before a single bait ever goes into the water, this much is certain—there are already 97 winners and all will be having fun for a great cause.

2017 Alice Kelly Sponsorship Opportunities

92 Boats, 600 Lady Anglers, 2 Nights Together – You, Us and Them.

28 years chasing the dream. Alice’s dream – transportation, outreach, fellowship. Alice Kelly made certain that she wasn’t alone when she battled cancer, and in doing so she ensured that threes decades of cancer fighters never did it alone either.

Today, Interfaith Community Outreach Cancer Support (formerly Alice’s original Outer Banks Cancer Group) has revitalized her dream. their professional operation has proven that local cancer patients will always get the love, financial support and unlimited transportation they need.

Imagine the possibilities. It is truly a unique opportunity – the ladies, the heads of the household, the bosses – all in one location and all of them… happy!

Become an AKL Sponsor – be a Friend, Family or Patron! The 2017 goal for donations is $50K.

Contact Heather Maxwell • 252-305-3610 –

Outer Banks Easter Service

Easter Sunrise Service

April 16th, 2017
6:00 AM
The Hilton Garden Pier

We invite you and your family to worship with us as we celebrate another “SON” rise service

Scripture by
Pastor Jody Moore with Outer Banks Presbyterian Church

Special thanks goes to the beautiful Hilton Garden Inn, for the use of the Kitty Hawk Pier and a special thanks to Pastor Jody Moore, Pastor of Outer Banks Presbyterian Church, ICO volunteers and all those who had the faith and desire to bring us together to worship and to witness another “SON” rise at the historical and beautiful Kitty Hawk Pier.

charity donation

Alice Kelly Tournament Donations

The Alice Kelly Memorial Ladies Only Billfish Tournament presented the second of two donations today on behalf of the 26th annual event held the second weekend in August.

Although the fishing tournament was scheduled to have terrible weather, 54 teams with 325 lady anglers signed up and made the charity event a success. Anglers and crew enjoyed two nights of dinner and dancing at Pirate’s Cove Marina. “Our participants and sponsors really showed their support this year,” says Tournament Director Heather Maxwell. “In the end we were able to donate almost $36,000 to our charities and that is amazing!” Congratulations go out to all the teams who braved the weather and especially to team “True Grit”; the ladies released 4 white marlin to earn Top Boat honors.

The Alice Kelly event was created by some of Kelly’s friends after she succumbed to Hotchkin’s disease in the late 1980’s. Kelly started the Outer Banks Cancer Support Group when she was diagnosed and the tournament has been the primary fund raiser for the group since its inception. Management of the group was recently taken over by Interfaith Community Outreach and the current members and volunteers are truly happy with the organization that Interfaith has provided. “Helping cancer patients is different than some of the other assistance we offer in the community,” explains Jennifer Albanese the Director of Interfaith. “Each case is so different but we are able to provide transportation, which was the original mission of the Cancer Support Group, and financial support as well.” The Group received a donation of $27,606.00 from the tournament which was raised through entry fees, sponsor dollars and raffle tickets.

New in 2015 the Alice Kelly supported the Get Pinked and More Program at the OBX Hospital through a bra decorating contest. Bras were purchased from the tournament, decorated, returned and put on display during the event. Anglers and guests “bid” on their favorite by donating cash and the bras raised a whopping $8,357.00!! The Get Pinked program originally provided mammograms free of cost to men and women that live or work in Dare, lower Currituck or Hyde Counties. Qualifying is simple and the first free mammogram was performed on October 17, 2011. “We have performed over 1200 mammograms; peace of mind is the usual outcome but we have found several cancers early,” says Amy Montgomery, the Senior Administrator of Operations at the hospital. “This year we were able to expand the program to lung cancer testing and next year we hope to add another cancer screening.”

Expansion of the program will be formally announced at the Hospital’s donor thank you dinner which will take place on November 13. The Alice Kelly bras will be auctioned off at the dinner and will be on display in the OBX Hospital lobby until that time in celebration of breast cancer awareness month. Contact the hospital for at 252-449-9183 to purchase tickets and stop by to check out the decorated bras.

The Pirate’s Cove Tournaments began in 1983 with the inaugural Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament. 33 years later the tournaments are owned and operated by a non-profit corporation and a board of directors dedicated to supporting fishermen and marine related business in Dare County and beyond. For more information on the events or to inquire about charitable giving contact Heather Maxwell, Tournament Director 252-305-3610,,


charity donation

2015 8th Annual Golf Tournament

Pictured left to right: Chris Payne, Jim Braithwaite, David Joyner, Russell Edmondson

Congratulations to Chris Payne & his Saltwater Realty Team on their big win with a score of 56. It was a beautiful day and we would like to thank Duck Woods Country Club for being a part of our tournament again this year!