Pinewood Delivers

By Bud Edwards

Tournament organizers received some exciting news from Chuck Arpin & Bob Fichuk of Pinewood Sports & Marine, FFCBC chairman Doug Cain confirmed today. Pinewood, together with Lund Boats of Canada and Mercury Marine are donating $8,000.00 in cash to the 2005 event.

“Pinewood, Lund & Mercury have been exclusive sponsors since the dream was originally proposed back in 1994 with owner Chuck Arpin playing a lead role together with the Rendez Vous Trail,” Cain recalled. “I can remember the meetings at the town hall, Red Dog Inn and RVT offices when Chuck promised to bring aboard national sponsors Lund and Mercury. Not only did he deliver back then, Pinewood has been supportive every year since, including 2005.”

“For the past three or so years Bob Fichuk has been our primary contact at Pinewood and worked as our liaison with Mercury and Lund. Bob very successfully communicated the Tournament’s needs and proposed new ideas that increased the level of their sponsorship. Together with Ian Cummer of Mercury Marine and Bud McLeod of Lund Boats, he found solutions to the problems created by the demise of the Reel Raffle.

“The $8,000 is over and above the money Pinewood, Lund & Mercury have been putting into the prize board” Cain explained. “They will continue to fund the prizes for Big Fish each day; Top Finishing Rookie Team; Most Improved Team; Top Finishing Rendezvous Trail Team; Top Lund/Mercury Team and Top MinnKota Team, all worth $1,000.00 each, which is really good news.”

In addition Chuck & Bob confirmed that they will be supplying the Tournament with vital equipment. The Lund catch & release boat, powered by Mercury, which does double duty as the camera boat, will be helping take hundreds of smallmouth bass back to their home basin. For the first time perennial pilot and captain Tom Beck will not be behind the controls so Chuck, Bob & Doug wish to say a big ‘Thank You’ to Tom for his years of service.

“Pinewood’s most important contribution, from an angler’s perspective, is their parts department and mechanics,” Cain said as he thought about the use of ATV’s, trailers and help with the new stage backdrop last year. “There are so many great stories about the lengths Pinewood mechanics, lead by Al McTaggart, have gone to keeping teams on the water. Someday Pinewood and Mercury should do a television fishing show full of highlights demonstrating their ability to fix almost anything anywhere,” Doug proposed.

Five years ago the first local team to win, Dennis Barnard & Clint Barton, was sponsored by Pinewood and fished in a Lund powered by a Mercury motor. It was around the same time that GPS charts were done for Rainy Lake thanks to the leadership of Pinewood’s staff who recognized what advancing technologies would require them to offer their customers.

“It is wonderful that Pinewood Sports and Marine and the Tournament have grown and changed together,” Doug said very seriously. “We are very thankful for their continuous support and look for the strong relationship to continue. Our challenge is providing Pinewood, Mercury & Lund, along with all our sponsors, the best return possible for their annual investment,” Cain concluded.