The other noticeable highlight of this idyllic seaside location was the flat-calm sea, always lapping peacefully on the nearby rocks.
Looking at the smooth sea conditions every day and talking to the local fishermen and boat owners weighing their marlin, the idea of staging a fishing tournament soon entered Fithian’s mind. He had experience with running golf tournaments, so he organized a group of fishermen to meet in his office one day to discuss launching such an event. One of those included in that meeting was the legendary Henry Chee, who was inducted into the International Game Fish Association’s Fishing Hall of Fame in 2008.
Fithian drew up some basic rules, and the IGFA regulations would serve as the tournament guidelines. To make the event an international affair, he sent invitations to fishing clubs in New Zealand and Australia; and in 1959, the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament was launched. The event started off nicely when local angler George Wooller captured an IGFA world-record Pacific blue marlin weighing 444 pounds on 80-pound-test line. A larger blue—caught on 130-pound-class tackle and weighing 611 pounds—won the tournament for the Ala Moana Fishing Club, based in Hawaii. Score one for the home team.