Unification News for May 2004

Hudson Striper Peace Cup held in NY

by Chris Rood

The Hudson Striper Peace Cup was held on April 24 - 25, 2004 at the Haverstraw Marina, West Haverstraw, NY. The preparations were many.

Arriving in New Jersey at the True World Marine home-office on March 3rd and learning of the challenge of having a first class fishing tournament on the Hudson River in New York had me asking "What was I thinking?" when I agreed to Mr. Sato's request to come? There was no momentum, no money, no staff, no venue and a brand new entity to promote called the WSFF-USA, or World Sport Fishing Federation (after the Fishing World Cup tournament in Yeosu, Korea and Nagasaki, Japan) It was to be the inaugural - obviously the first of others yet to be announced - fishing tournaments to attract fishermen who were not necessarily Unificationists. So, a hefty cash prize awards were set up and I quickly learned from a couple of professionals in the region that ours would make history as the largest prize-money tournament in the history of the Hudson River. I imagined either we would have quite a spectacle somehow or we would end up making a spectacle out of ourselves!

Mr. Sato confirmed the arrival of True Parents with the preceding arrival of Kageyama, Father's boat captain from Kodiak just a couple of days after I arrived. Things began to escalate rapidly by the middle of the month which marked the opening of striped bass season on the Hudson. By then, we at least had enough together to print posters and flyers and distribute them to 60 tackle shops and sporting goods stores throughout the Hudson River Valley and the south Jersey shore. The fragile nucleus of a committee made up of Mr. Sato, Kageyama, Patrick Kirkbride and myself all but vanished when True Parents arrived at East Garden. For that matter, all available manpower was commissioned to prepare all of the available True World Marine boats and GoodGo boats for early spring stirper fishing. In essence, when I arrived, everyone was still in a winter mode. Father changed all of that, fast.

Amidst all of his other work, Patrick and I collaborated on specific details of the preparation of the Hudson Striper Peace Cup and it was conveyed to Mr. Sato who spent most of his time at or near East Garden every day. Once the seeds were planted to attract participants, I was able to learn about the striped bass and the Hudson River firsthand by fishing with the group that went out with Father out of Half Moon Bay on a few occasions. Then, the intensity was kicked up around Father by the announcement of the special fishing tournament centered around the True Parents Day celebration which happened to be the week prior to the Peace Cup tournament. Of course, there was some confusion amongst our Family Federation members thinking there was one big tournament, etc. The sight of all of those boats on the Hudson River in the middle of April caught peoples attention, too. Keep in mind that there was not really a feeling of it being fishing season do to unseasonably cold temperatures and few boats in all of the marinas around New York and New Jersey.

Some of the strongest characters I've ever known are native to New York and New Jersey. I used to say that if that energy could be channeled for Gods purpose we could speed up the Providence of Restoration. Some of the participating fishermen had been fishing for as long as most of us have been following True Parents. It seems possible that these two cultures Father wants to bring together might very well be complimentary in achieving some of Father's original and current vision for the ocean and loftier goals like feeding the world. The success and lasting impression of the Hudson Striper Peace Cup had to be the best that we could possibly achieve.

I have had experience with how things come together in speech events and similar activities with the spirit world actively present. This fishing tournament was no exception. In the short amount of time and under such circumstances, there were 120 participants with 40 signing up the night before. The cooperation of the Haverstraw Marina and adjoining Bay View Restaurant was crucial to a smooth event. Mayor Phillips of Haverstraw welcomed us enthusiastically, writers of various news papers and magazines took the lead in getting the word out. What was lacking due to the timing was sponsors. Although this year we depended on the generosity and trust of the True World Group, True World Marine and True World Tackle, next year the sponsors list will look dramatically different since companies recognizing the content and quality of this classic tournament have already made a plea to be involved but with ample notification.

It is only fitting to mention that the young man, Fujitani, who won the tournament with largest striper probably set the condition along time ago. He took to heart Father's statement that every family should buy a True World Marine boat. He did. He also makes it available for any public need. It was his boat that I went out on the few times I fished with Father and the leaders. He is a joyful and loyal brother.

The original goal of 120 participants was achieved although I felt it should be 400. When we start earlier and properly use the resources we have accumulated next year, we can do that. It will be profitable and I see Ocean Education Institute being funded as a vehicle to teach these veterans of the water, boats and fishing. I can say that with conviction because I saw the vision Father has instilled in Mr. Sato. His guidance to the members who toil daily building the boats, researching fundamentals of sport fishing and boating and who have essentially invested their blood, sweat and tears for many years, has built the foundation of admiration and respect by the sport fishing community of the Hudson River Valley. I was privileged to represent these brothers and sisters and to help open the doors wider for others to come and take a closer look and learn about Father's formula for restoring mankind through the Ocean Providence.

Please check out the photos on the websight wsff-usa.com and the details about the Hudson Striper Peace Cup.

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