War Heroes on Water is returning to Newport Beach for the sixth annual charitable fishing tournament to raise money supporting combat-wounded veterans with a three-day on-the-water fishing experience hosted by a crew of experienced anglers.
NEWPORT BEACH— War Heroes on Water will host its sixth annual event, which will take place Sept. 22-26. A fleet of over 40 yachts (with more expected to join) each donated to the tournament by SoCal residents, some participating for the sixth year in a row, and will take nearly 120 vets out on the water for the three-day fishing tournament.
WHOW was created in 2018 by Anthony Hsieh. Hsieh is the founder and executive chairman of loanDepot, a lifelong angler, and the owner and leader of Team Bad Company, a world-class, record-holding competitive sportfishing fleet.
Hsieh started WHOW to honor his best friend— a Veteran of the Vietnam War and is confident that the joy he and fellow anglers found on the ocean could bring healing to the Veteran community. Since the first tournament, Hsieh has dedicated himself to bringing awareness to the Veteran community’s needs, specifically to the mental health crisis many returning heroes face daily.
Veterans receive a hero’s welcome upon arrival at the Newport Beach kick-off reception on Sept. 22 at 5 p.m., where they will mingle with captains, crews, and supporters.
Saturday, Sept. 23, will kick off with opening ceremonies from noon- 4 p.m. and will host a silent auction. At 4:30 p.m., a celebratory boat parade will take place throughout Newport Harbor. Viewers can show support and appreciation for the Veterans as they head to sea for the tournament. The WHOW Boat Parade is free and open to the public. Public viewing areas, as well as a broadcast of the boat parade, can be found at can be found at https://warheroesonwater.com/boat-parade/.
Sept. 24 will be dedicated to an entire day of fishing, as will Sept. 25 until 5 p.m., when an on-the-water closing ceremony will commence at 5 p.m. From 5:30- 8 p.m., a live weigh-in will take place on the Green Pleasure Pier in Avalon. The weigh-in will be live-streamed for viewers to watch from home. Tuesday, Sept. 26, there will be an intimate private ceremony for the captains and crews.
Onboard the boats, Southern California fishermen will share their knowledge of local waters and expert fishing techniques to teach veterans how to catch a bite. Each crew will fish for ranking points and trophies across various categories.
“[Freedom Alliance] is our charitable partner,” said Tournament Director Rod Halperin. “They accept all the donation funds directly, cover our hard costs to operate the event, and the surplus goes to help fund all of their other veteran support efforts throughout the year.”
Freedom Alliance was formed in 1990 by two Vietnam Veterans to provide year-round support for wounded troops and military families. To this day, Freedom Alliance has awarded more than $20 million in college scholarships to the children of military heroes who were killed or disabled in military service. Additionally, Freedom Alliance helps injured Veterans and military families with outdoor recreational therapy trips, hero vacations, care packages for deployed troops, and all-terrain wheelchairs. The money raised supports thousands of veterans through Freedom Alliance’s year-round therapeutic services and scholarships for combat-wounded service members and their families.
“Our partnership with WHOW continues to deepen with each passing year,” said Freedom Alliance President Tom Kilgannon. “We are honored to support WHOW’s goals and humbled by the work they have achieved in such a short amount of time.”
For more information on WHOW, Freedom, Alliance, and where to watch live streaming, please visit https://warheroesonwater.com/.