WASHINGTON - The 2018 season of the Crappie Masters Tournament Trail kicks off later this week, with the Renewable Fuels Association signed on as a co-title sponsor for the second consecutive year. The first of 18 tournaments begins Friday, Jan. 26 in Deland, Fla., between Daytona and Orlando, at St. Johns River. "Crappie Masters is again proud and honored to team with the Renewable Fuels Association in 2018 as a title sponsor of the Crappie Masters All American Tournament Trail," said Crappie Masters President Mike Vallentine. "We look forward to the continued education of the tournament Anglers, along with the general public, with an aggressive approach utilizing national television, social media, print, and grassroots face-to-face conversations. E10 is safe to use in outboards, as highlighted that in the past three years, every Crappie Masters tournament winning team has safely used E10 fuel with no reported engine issues. We plan to dispel the mistruths, rhetoric, and scare tactics from some organizations that continue to plague this safe, environmentally friendly, renewable, and homegrown fuel that is preferred by many tournament participants. Crappie Masters will continue to support America's farmers and help make ethanol and renewable fuels the top choice of boaters and the public nationwide." "We are looking forward to another successful Crappie Masters Tournament Trail this year," said RFA Vice President of Industry Relations Robert White, who plans to attend this week's event. "Last year was the first time RFA was a co-title sponsor of the event and it tremendously helped boost public awareness of ethanol use in marine engines. The winners of the 2017 season even noted that fueling with 10 percent ethanol (E10) played a factor in their championship, yielding great performance. For nearly 30 years, 10 percent ethanol has been used in all types of marine engines and the fuel blend is approved for use by all major marine engine manufacturers, helping to clean the air and water." Crappie Masters Television will also highlight each tournament. The weekly show can be found on the Pursuit Channel, which is on DIRECTV 604, Dish Network 393, Verizon, CenturyLink and Roku. Additional funding for the sponsorship came from the National Corn Growers Association. The next Crappie Masters Tournament Trail event is Feb. 2-3 at Lake Talquin in Gadsden County, Fla. The 2018 Crappie Masters Tournament Trail season runs through Oct. 20. A full schedule is available here.