Ice postpones winter king tournament

Continued cold weather with excessive ice in the Homer Harbor has caused the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center to postpone for one weekend the 24th annual Homer Winter King Salmon Tournament, the chamber announced in a press release on Tuesday. The tournament has been postponed to Saturday, March 25.

The tournament safety committee met with Homer Port and Harbor officials on Tuesday, March 14, to assess harbor and weather conditions. The National Weather Service forecast for Kachemak Bay calls for continued low temperatures in the mid teens, north winds 15-30 mph, seas 2-4 feet and freezing spray through Wednesday. Plus 20-foot tides also have lifted ice from the head of the bay, and that combined with northerly winds has pushed more ice into the mouth of the harbor at the base of the Homer Spit. Ice conditions are expected to continue through the weekend. Ice also has formed around the load-launch ramp and the ramp stalls.

“Current conditions in the Homer harbor and launch ramp pose significant challenges to tournament participants. Based on these conditions, the Homer Chamber of Commerce felt necessary to make a call today due to the size of the tournament, the distance of travel involved, and the concern for safety of participants, boats and the harbor infrastructure,” marketing and events coordinator Bridget Maryott said in the press release.

Running the tournament also means catering food for the awards presentation and making other logistical arrangements, Maryott said.

“To be fair to all those people, we felt we needed to make the call earlier rather than later,” she said.

All anglers registered for the tournament will be contacted directly by email regarding their registration. Registrations will be automatically transferred to March 25.

“We appreciate your understanding and apologize for inconveniences this may cause,” Maryott said.

For more information, contact the chamber at 907-235-7740 or visit homeralaska.org.

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