To the Southern Ontario Fishing Community:
We are proud members of the Canadian angling community. We respect our fellow competitors and have always been committed to participating with the highest level of sportsmanship and integrity.
On August 10th and 11th, 2018 we participated in the Berkley B1 Event in Port Colborne, Ontario, at which we were proud to receive first prize.
Days afterward, that great weekend turned into a distressing cloud over us. We have waited until now to present the facts to the community out of respect for the ongoing efforts to resolve the issue. However, over a month has now gone by and the Ontario Sportfishing season is soon coming to its end. We therefore felt it was important to communicate the details to clear any misunderstandings over what transpired on Saturday August 11th, 2018.
We appreciated the public statements made by the Event's organizer confirming that the situation was not our fault.
Unfortunately, those statements did not contain specific details. Rumour and assumptions have led some to conclude that we cheated.
We would not cheat. We did not cheat.
We hope that the following specific details will remove any misconceptions of what happened:
- On Day 2 we were told that the Check-In Boat would be located in the same spot as the Blast Off, outside of the harbour break walls
- We arrived at the Blast Off/Check In location before 3pm but the Check In boat was not there
- We then saw the Check In boat inside at the back of the harbour
- We then proceeded to make our way to the Check In boat
- We got to the Check-In Boat at approximately 3:02pm
- We spoke to the Check-In Marshall and were told we were not late; he directed us to the Ramp with the rest of the top ten competitors
- The Check-In Marshall checked us in with the first flight
- Both the Check-In Marshall and the Event organizer confirmed to us that we had not been late
- After the awards ceremony, the event organizer had a sit-down conversation with us in which it was confirmed to us that that our check-in time had been reviewed, that the “line of site rule” was in effect and was applied and as the
- Check-In Marshal had seen us prior to 3pm we were on time
- The first prize boat was awarded to us and we left with our prize Saturday evening August 11th
- During the evening of Monday August 13th, the Event organizer phoned us and told us that a mistake had been made
- The "mistake" explanations referred to by the Event organizer in his communications to us and in his public statements are contrary to the rulings he and the Check-In Marshall made on the day of the event
- No official protest was made, as required by Section 28 of the Event's written Rules & Regulations
- These facts have never been disputed or contested by the Event organizer
We are continuing to seek a resolution of the issues that ensures that the results of the competition determined on August 11th are preserved, that the facts are properly presented and our personal integrity is respected.
Matt Pezzetta and Daaron Joyner