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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28, 2017
CONTACT: Scott Burt, 850-233-1633; scott@cmmmarinas.com

Sonny Middleton Named the 2017 Recipient of the
Perpetual Gulf Legends Award

Bob Schwarz (L), general manager of A&M Yacht Sales, accepts the 2017 Gulf Legends award on behalf of this year's recipient, Sonny Middleton, along with marine artist Larry Rackley (R).
Photo credit: Lightwave Photographs

Employees and friends of 2017 Gulf Legends recipient Sonny Middleton honor the boating industry icon during a ceremony Saturday evening at The Wharf Boat Show in Orange Beach, Alabama.
Photo credit: Lightwave Photographs


The Wharf Marina, Orange Beach, Alabama:

During a special ceremony Sonny Middleton was named the 2017 Gulf Legends recipient Saturday evening at The Wharf Marina Boat Show. This perpetual award was created to recognize those who have made a significant long-term impact on sport fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, whether they are boat owners, sponsors, captains, crew, tournament volunteers or others.

Middleton is the owner of Dog River Marina, A&M Yacht Sales and Middleton Marine, three stalwart businesses in the central Gulf boating community. Middleton has been an avid supporter of big-game tournaments for decades and is a passionate advocate for the sport and conservation of marine resources. He has also served as a volunteer advisor to several tournament directors throughout the years.

"This award was created to recognize those who have had an enormous impact in our industry," said Scott Burt, tournament director for the Blue Marlin Grand Championship in Orange Beach and past director of the Bay Point International Tournament in Panama City Beach, Florida. "We want to recognize those who have touched lives and Sonny has touched so many throughout his legendary career. There would not have been a Bay Point Invitational without him. He breathed life into that tournament which served as a blueprint for several others. Sonny has been our sport's biggest champion and he truly deserves to be honored as our latest Gulf Legend."

"Sonny is an icon in this industry, not only in the Gulf but throughout the world," says Carmine Galati of Galati Yacht Sales. "I can't think of a better recipient for this award."

Due to health reasons Middleton was unable to accept the award in person. Several of his loyal employees were there on his behalf, along with a large gathering of lifelong friends, tournament contestants and industry associates.

The Gulf Legends commemorative piece, an original custom painting from marine artist Larry Rackley, represents an uplifting of the sport by the individuals who have worked so hard over the years to make it successful. The award is presented annually and will be on permanent display at The Wharf Marina Outfitters Store, located at The Wharf in Orange Beach, Alabama. Previous recipients include Leon Edwards and Dennis "Spanky" Hill.