New Boat, Outboard Companies Enjoy 2001 Classic

NEW ORLEANS, La. - After more than 30 years of
featuring a single boat and outboard sponsor, the 2001
BASS Masters Classic will now feature multiple boat
and motors for the very first time.

When Classic XXXI unfolds in New Orleans, the massive
Louisiana Delta will be alive with activity as the 45
Classic pros pilot three different boat brands powered
by the two biggest names in outboards. It will be a
new look for fishing's Biggest Show.

The Classic pros will be divided into 21 Triton boats,
20 Skeeters and four Bass Cats. Twenty-five boats will
be running Mercury outboards, while 20 will have
Yamaha engines on their transoms. The breakdown: three
Bass Cats powered by Mercury and one with a Yamaha; 14
Tritons with Mercury and seven with Yamaha; and 12
Skeeter boats rigged with Yamaha and eight with

This unusual diversity is the result of a new game
plan of involving multiple sponsorships that has
become the centerpiece of the B.A.S.S. partnership
philosophy. Triton and Skeeter are the official boats
of the BASSMASTER Tournament Trail; Mercury and Yamaha
share the same title as outboards. Bass Cat and G3
boats are associate sponsors of the Classic and Tour.

"This is a very exciting time and a great opportunity
for our sport to grow and reach its full potential,"
said B.A.S.S.  General Manager Helen Sevier. "For the
very first time, several of the great boat and motor
companies who have supported our anglers will now have
the opportunity to promote their products to the
widest possible audience."

"Everyone in the industry is well aware that the
B.A.S.S. shield is the most respected seal of

"Being named an official boat of B.A.S.S. and the BASS
Masters Classic is a dream come true," said Earl
Bentz, founder and president of Triton Boats,
America's largest-selling brand of fiberglass fishing
boats. "B.A.S.S. originated competitive bass fishing
over 30 years ago, and has led the fight against water
pollution and bass habitat destruction. With over
600,000 members worldwide, the Society is a guiding
force shaping the sport of bass fishing today. "

"Teaming up with B.A.S.S. to promote fishing is a
great opportunity," said Phil Dyskow, Yamaha Marine
Group president.  "Our new association with B.A.S.S.
provides a strong venue to demonstrate to bass anglers
worldwide that Yamaha outboards and Team Yamaha pro
anglers are proven performers."

B.A.S.S. Tournament Director Dewey Kendrick said the
logistics of weaving several different manufacturers'
products into a cohesive, smooth-running Classic
operation is somewhat challenging, but well worth the

"It's a lot to do and keep on top of, but it's
exciting having several different sponsor's boat and
motors involved in the Classic," he said. "And I think
the pros are really going to like it."

Nobody appears happier with the news than 3-time and
recently crowned B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year Mark

"I'm really excited about being able to compete in the
Classic driving a Bass Cat," the Arkansas pro said.
"Not only has Bass Cat been a longtime sponsor of
mine, but it is a real advantage to be able to fish
from a boat that you are real familiar with. I'm sure
the other guys would agree with that."

The 45 Classic contenders will be fishing for a
$100,000 top prize and the
most important title in the sport. Winning the Classic
is the high-water
mark in professional fishing and an accomplishment
that has rewarded past
winners with as much as $1 million in residual

The Classic is the championship event of the
BASSMASTER Tournament Trail.

By sanctioning over 20,000 tournaments worldwide,
B.A.S.S. is the world's
largest fishing organization. The BASSMASTER
Tournament Trail is the oldest and most prestigious
pro bass fishing tournament circuit. It continues to
set the standard for credibility, professionalism, and
sportsmanship after
more than three decades.  B.A.S.S. is a wholly owned
subsidiary of ESPN.

Classic  XXXI is a week-long celebration for those who
love the sport of
bass fishing. Notable activities during the 2001
Classic Week in New Orleans include the Kids Klassic
which takes place on Wednesday, Aug. 1st at Lafreniere
Park. The event is highlighted by a Meet the Pros
session from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and the contest taking
place from 9
a.m. to noon.

The Morial Convention Center will host the popular
Classic Outdoor Show,
which showcases new products in the fishing and
outdoor industry.  The show will be open to the public
from Thursday through Saturday. In addition to the
Classic Outdoor Show the Morial Convention Center will
also host the first two days' weigh-ins. There is no
admission charge.

The annual BASSMASTER CastingKids national finals,
sponsored by Chevy Trucks, will also be held at the
Morial Convention Center on Friday.

The final day weigh-in and the award-winning BASS
Masters Classic weigh-in show will take place at the
Louisiana Superdome on Saturday, Aug. 4th. The show
will be complete with a laser light show and will
feature the crowning of the new BASS Masters Classic

The 31st BASS Masters Classic will air on Saturday,
Aug. 18th, at 9:00 p.m.
(Eastern) on ESPN2.

Sponsors of the 2001 BASS Masters Classic include:
Chevrolet Trucks, Mercury Marine, Yamaha Outboards,
Triton Boats, Skeeter Boats, Lowrance Electronics,
Pennzoil Marine, Flowmaster Exhaust Systems, Stowaway
Batteries, Kuhmo Tires, Long John Silvers, Gore-Tex
Outwear, MotorGuide Trolling Motors, Bass Pro Shops,
Armstrong Industrial Hand Tools, GMAC Vehicle & Boat
Insurance, B.A.S.S. Platinum First USA Visa Card.

Associate Sponsors include: Bass Cat Boats, G3 Boats

The 2001 BASS Masters Classic is presented locally in
conjunction with:
State of Louisiana, Jefferson Parish Tourism and
Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation.   

For more information contact:
B.A.S.S. Communications

Bass N Edge