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Some of the country’s best giant tuna fishermen will be heading to Gloucester later this month to compete in the Bluefin Blowout, an annual tournament that has raised $1.7 million for the Alzheimer’s Association since it began in 2012.

The event is presented by the Lyon-Waugh Auto Group and hosted by the Cape Ann Marina Resort.

This year’s blowout kicks of on Monday, July 15 with the Bluefin Bash fundraiser, a night of dinner, cocktails, and dancing, as well as an auction to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. Tickets are still available online, but are going fast.

The tournament begins the next day, with registration throughout the afternoon, followed by a captain and crew dinner. At 10 p.m., boats a record-high 91 have signed up and are expected to participate are allowed to leave the dock and head for open waters, where they will have until 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 18 to snag the biggest tuna they can. Each fish will be brought back to the marina to be officially weighed in.

The public is invited to watch the weigh-ins and cheer on their favorite boats and crews. From 5 to 8 p.m. on July 17, those still on land can attend a new event: Bites by the Sea, a fundraising food truck festival. Attendees will enjoy drink tastings, delicious food truck dishes, the chance to shop from local vendors, and a great view of boats coming in to have their catch weighed. Tickets are available online.

This year, tournament organizers hope to top $500,000 in fundraising for the Alzheimer’s Association.

Last year, 85 competitors hauled in 22 tuna totaling more than 10,000 pounds. The winning boat, the Molly Jane out of South Portland, Maine, hooked a 719-pound tuna and received cash and prizes worth about $160,000. The tournament and its associated events raised more than $423,000 for its cause.

The Bluefin Blowout began in 2012 as the project of businessmen and amateur fishermen Drew Hale and Rob Bouley. In 2017, longtime sponsor Lyon-Waugh took over even operations, focusing on amplifying its power to raise money for the cause of Alzheimer’s research. Auto group managing partner Warren Waugh’s late wife suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, so the cause is very personal to him.

Anyone interested in donating, attending events, or buying Bluefin Blowout apparel can visit