A chill breeze buffeted the tuna wharf at Wedgeport, Nova Scotia. It stung the welter of spectators until their cheeks matched the crimson-coated Royal Canadian Mounted Police. But the chill of the wind only put a keener edge to the occasion. This was the last day of the 13th International Tuna Cup Match, an affair for which half a hundred sportsmen may travel, among them, some 500,000 miles to compete for the Sharp Cup, consume Nova Scotia lobster and overcome language barriers with fellowship and common angling interests.
Tuna have been few and far between at Wedgeport all summer—only a pitiful 15 hung up on the costly new dock over a prematch period which normally furnishes 500 or more. Hospitable Wedgeport wondered somewhat apprehensively through this month's three-day match whether the teams from eight nations would catch enough to want to come back.
Twenty-four boats bobbled on Soldier's Rip the first day, trolling in the tide with herring baits and teasers. Each nation was assigned three boats, and as national flags whipped at the masthead an anxious man huddled in the fighting chair hoping for a strike. And the strikes came. By 10 a.m., Harry Wesley Smith of the Argentine Team, a onetime squash and golf champion and a four-goal polo player, was "on" a fish. Three hours and 15 minutes later he boated a 583-pound tuna. Almost simultaneously Stuart Peeler, whose father captained the United States Team, had a 200-pound fish at the boat and in midafternoon Hartmuth von Koeller landed a 553-pounder for the German Team.
It was Wedgeport's best day all year and, if the next was less productive, it was satisfyingly dramatic. Angling from the same boat for the British Empire were Alfred Trask and Peter Roscoe. Trask is a Nova Scotian and had driven to Wedgeport that morning from his home in Yarmouth, ten miles away. Roscoe, on the other hand, had undertaken an 8,000-mile trip from Southern Rhodesia to be on hand. The big fish fell to the native son: a 648-pound bluefin that Trask boated in 40 minutes. It was the only fish of the day, the last of the match, and it won for Britain.
The teams from Cuba, Portugal, Mexico and Peru had no catches at all, but were they downhearted? Not so much so that they weren't planning already for Wedgeport in '57.
TICKLE MEOW TURTLE BOIL GAM
Tickle meow turtle boil gam,
Tickle may art wetter kraut,
Bar meerschaum pinups an croaker jag—
Are dun clarify nabber gat bag!
Roots, roots, roots, further harm tame;
F-day dun wean itchy sham.
Fur itch wan, toe, tree storks—yore art!
—H. L. CHACE