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I think the derby has been fading since Rick passed but see no sign that this year is fading any more than previous. The only changes I see so far are:
1.) The boat sponsor went to Boston Whaler (Goodhues) from BPS I think last year with a Tracker. Upgrade in my opinion.
2.) They moved the Expo from the hockey rink two years ago, to that place on Paugus last year to Sheps this year. Each year gets closer to my camp so thats a good thing. The expo seemed smaller last year and just doesn't have any sparkle. If they can't double the size of the vendors attending...I may just not show. Forcing attendance by including the cost into the derby fee is a bit heavy-handed but honestly if it wasn't paid for in my fee I wouldn't go either unless it became huge.
Like last year, they haven't posted any prizes other than the boat so far. As prizes drop so does attendance for the derby. This only swings back with the resurgence of sponsors. BSA is very good at fund raising but even they can't seem to bring sponsors to this table. BPS has a huge partnership with BSA and they seemed to drop so I'd like to know that story.
A few years back I noted that the derby attendance seems to be dropping and nobody (until BSA came along) seems to have the excitement to run it like Rick Davis did. Unless its turns around, we will cross a threshold where even current vendors drop and BSA ditches the effort and the derby closes its doors for good. Many seasoned anglers don't attend the derby and protest it due to their opinion on its impact on the fishery. That is also impacting participation. When its gone, I will miss it. There is a history there and a Spring highlight for my friends and myself. We've never scored higher than 5th but the "lure" of the boat adds some excitement.
They need to bring back the news paper......that’s what lured in the sponsorships with advertising. I know it sounds old school.
Spoke w/folks running the derby at Trinity Sportsman's Show in Concord yesterday. Derby is a go. I was asked to attend party Thursday evening at Shep Brown's in Gilford. Captain Bobby
I have two friends who are dropping out this year due to the prizes, especially the second and third place downrigger and fishfinder. They already have them in their boats and don't need them. Selling them is a pain and would bring in less money than their worth. They both said if they just went with total cash prizes like the ice derby they would be back in.