The 2019 IGMR Winner: Lainey Jones
And the winner is… Lainey Jones! Jones wins the 2019 IGFA Great Marlin Race
The IGFA Great Marlin Race (IGMR), presented by Costa Sunglasses, is a partnership between the IGFA and Dr. Barbara Block’s lab at Stanford University. The 2019 IGMR officially concluded on September 30, 2019. When all was said and done, 19 tags reported a total of 17,926 miles of linear distance and logged 3,234 days of billfish migration and diving behavior.
One tag, however, was responsible for 23 percent of the total linear distance. On August 8, 2019, a tag sponsored by Lainey Jones was deployed on an estimated 300-pound blue marlin while fishing on the Mama Who during the Bermuda Triple Crown. Two hundred, forty-two days later, the tag surfaced and began reporting data off the west coast of Africa. Lainey’s blue traveled an impressive linear distance of 4,166 nautical miles (nm) and had a total estimated track of 6,847 nm.
It’s important to note that the total estimated track is calculated using light and sea surface temperature measurements from the tag and a sophisticated mathematical algorithm. Since each location along the track potentially has some error associated with it, the IGMR instead uses the more precise linear distance to establish IGMR winners. To calculate the linear distance, we use the point of tag deployment determined by GPS, with the point of tag pop-up determined by Argos satellites.
Second and Third
Coming in second place was another blue marlin tagged at the Bermuda Triple Crown that was sponsored by Laura and Byron Russell and deployed aboard the Hit ‘N Run. The Russell’s blue traveled a linear distance of 2,744 nm and had total track estimated at 4,415 nm.
And, if winning first place wasn’t enough, Lainey Jones also scored third place for the year with a tag she sponsored and deployed on another blue marlin at the Triple Crown. Lainey’s other blue had a linear distance of 2,392 miles, and an estimated track of a whopping 6,569 nm.
Since switching to Microwave Telemetry tags, we have seen a dramatic increase in tag retention. Last year’s race saw 52 percent of tags stay on for the full duration of 240 days, and the average retention rate was 180 days. While Bermuda dominated the 2019 IGMR, right now, it’s anyone’s guess which tagging location will be responsible for winning the 2020 IGMR.
Learn more about supporting the IGMR and see the Costa swag you’ll receive when you donate to the cause.