Evan Williams Bourbon brand, Heaven Hill Distilleries, a premier-level sponsor of Bassmaster events, announced today that it has taken on the title sponsorship of the seventh Bassmaster Elite Series competition of the 2013 season.
The Evan Williams Bourbon Showdown at St. Lawrence River is set for Aug. 8-11 out of Waddington, N.Y.
Having this large an event come to the small town of Waddington is a terrific opportunity for the area, but does pose some challenges.
The St. Lawrence County of Emergency Services will be providing coordination and oversight to the event’s security, water rescue, emergency response and other important measures.
The professional anglers can fish in any public water. From Waddington, that means the tournament can stretch from Lake Ontario to Massena.
“The event does pose some challenges” the department director said. “Law enforcement, security, first responders, water rescue and communications are what we do everyday. This is just in a larger scale.”
An added element from having the event in St. Lawrence County is the large number of Canadian spectators and visitors that can be expected.
This will be the first time that the Elite Series has been to Waddington, the most visible circuit of pro bass fishing.
“We are excited about extending our involvement in professional bass fishing by being part of this new venue for the Elite Series,” said Susan Wahl, brand manager for Evan Williams Bourbon at Heaven Hill Distilleries.
“We have continuously increased our stake in the sport since first becoming involved years ago,” Wahl added, “and we feel that we are supporting an important and growing sport that reaches our consumers in a relevant way. Research shows that 25 percent of all fishing enthusiasts drink Bourbon, and this event is the perfect sampling opportunity and brand awareness builder for us.”
A local team from Waddington, St. Lawrence County and the Chamber of Commerce has been working very hard to bring this event to the community. They have been soliciting donations, conducting fund raisers and planning the event for months.
“Partnering with Evan Williams Bourbon for our Elite Series debut in Waddington will give the event an even higher profile than what we’ve been seeing since the site was announced,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin in the official BASS announcement. “Waddington is going all-out for the Elite Series and its sponsors.”
he Evan Williams Bourbon Showdown at St. Lawrence River will pit 100 of the world’s best anglers against each other for a first prize of $100,000 and an instant entry in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic out of B.A.S.S.’ home city, Birmingham, Ala.
Although the Elite Series has never competed on the St. Lawrence, and no Bassmaster event has been hosted by Waddington, the river is no stranger to professional fishing. One example is the 1980 Bassmaster Classic, which was on the St. Lawrence.
Many pros in the 2013 Elite field have competed on the river that forms the Canada-U.S. border in upstate New York in St. Lawrence County. Fishing great Rick Clunn won a 1992 Bassmaster Invitational on the river. Other big names in the 2013 Elite field were there in 1992, too: Shaw Grigsby (second place to Clunn) and Tommy Biffle (fourth place) are two examples.
Seven-time Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Kevin VanDam landed two of his 20 career wins on the St. Lawrence. In the first of those two river victories, a 1995 Bassmaster Invitational, Elite pro Davy Hite was the runner-up.
The smallmouth bass action in August is expected to be fast. And as the seventh of eight regular-season events that determine the 2013 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year winner, the Evan Williams Bourbon Showdown will be pivotal.