Formal protest holds up declaration of pro and co-angler champions in EverStart tournament on Mississippi River
RED WING, Minn. – In a strange twist to an otherwise uneventful afternoon, tournament officials acknowledged that a formal protest filed against apparent champions – pro angler Dave Lefebre of Erie, Penn., and co-angler Paul Strege of Woodbury, Minn. – would temporarily prevent an official acknowledgement of the winners as well as the second-place finishers in the opening Northern Division tournament of the 2002 season.
“We’re working to get this resolved as quickly as possible,” said EverStart tournament director Jerry Stakely.
According to tournament officials, the issue centers around a possible violation of safety regulations per tournament rules. Specifically in question is whether or not Lefebre had properly attached his ignition shut off device to his person as tournament rules mandate. The rationale behind the regulation is that anglers who do not have their ignition shut off device properly attached can jeopardize their own safety as well as the safety of their co-angler should an accident occur, such as an angler falling out of a boat. Once the ignition shutdown device is pulled, manually or as a result of an angler falling overboard, the boat motor automatically turns off.
Although it was unclear when the protest would be resolved, an announcement could come as early as this evening or potentially as late as Tuesday or Wednesday. FLWOutdoors.com will provide complete coverage when the official results are announced.
If the tournament were not under protest, the current standing in the Pro Division would be as follows: Dave Lefebre in first place with a catch of 11 pounds, 5 ounces; Koby Kreiger (second) of Osceola, Ind., with a catch of 8 pounds, 14 ounces; Mike Feldermann (third) of Galena, Ill., with a catch of 7 pounds, 4 ounces; Richie Eaves (fourth) of Nauvoo, Ill., with a catch of 6 pounds, 13 ounces; Charlie Evans (fifth) of Gilbertsville, Ky., with a catch of 5 pounds, 13 ounces; Howie Lee (sixth) of Brooklyn Park, Minn., with a catch of 5 pounds, 7 ounces; Aaron Larocque (seventh) of Wabasha, Minn., with a catch of 5 pounds, 3 ounces; Tom Monsoor (eighth) of Lacrosse, Wisc., with a catch of 3 pounds, 10 ounces; William Frisk (ninth) of West Salem, Wisc., with a catch of 3 pounds; and John Johnson (tenth) of Winnebago, Ill., with a catch of 1 pound, 3 ounces.
Unofficial co-angler standings are as follows: Paul Strege (first) of Woodbury, Minn., with a catch of 10 pounds, 3 ounces; Randy Ramsey (second) of Riverside, Ill., with a catch of 6 pounds, 7 ounces; Mitch Pierson (third) of Newton, N.J., with a catch of 5 pounds, 5 ounces, Ron Gerstenmaier (fourth) of Uniontown, Ohio, with a catch of 4 pounds; Robert Oines (fifth) of Beaver Dam, Wisc., with a catch of 3 pounds, 10 ounces; Tom Howland (sixth) of Riceville, Iowa, with a catch of 1 pound, 12 ounces; Dick Bowman (seventh) of Thornville, Ohio, with a catch of 0 pounds; Terry White (eighth) of Wellsboro, Penn., with a catch of 0 pounds; Mike Mattis (ninth) of Hudson, Wisc., with a catch of 0 pounds; and Jeff Krisher (tenth) of Madison, Wisc., with a catch of 0 pounds.
The eventual winner of the Pro Division title on the Mississippi River will receive $15,000 and a brand new Ranger boat valued at $35,000. The winner of the Co-angler Division will receive $6,000.
EverStart Northern Division action resumes July 24-27 in Ticonderoga, N.Y., at Lake Champlain.
Editor’s note: Official results will not be posted on FLWOutdoors.com until the outcome of the protest has been decided.