Helena Kirschenbaum rushed into headquarters holding a striped bass in one hand. It was three minutes before 10 p.m. on Saturday and the 69th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby was about to close.

But Ms. Kirschenbaum had made it, placing the 11.93-pound fish on the weigh table for Mike Cassidy to measure. She had been chasing the grand slam, and with the bass, was the only woman to weigh one in this derby.

“Normally I would wait until tomorrow,” weigh station volunteer Amy Coffey said, grinning. She handed Ms. Kirschenbaum the small white grand slam pin, and the two hugged.

David Flanders weighs in a bluefish with Mike Cassidy as Dmitiri Razmakhnin, 6, looks on. — Ivy Ashe

The last night of the derby brings an air of quiet anticipation. There’s not a lot of show going on at headquarters — the fillet program, typically a big spectator draw, does not take place on the last night. But there is nevertheless a crowd, just in case someone comes in with an 11th-hour upset.

And that was exactly the case around 9 p.m., when Sebby Keefe brought in a 7.87-pound shore bonito to take over the leader spot. Mr. Keefe joins Vinny Iacono, Creanga Cosmin, Preston Butler, Michael Mulcahy, Mary Ann Angelone, Mason Warburton (age 7), and Norman Bouchard onstage this afternoon at the awards ceremony at Farm Neck.

Shortly before 10 p.m., the derby committee members began to count down, as if it were New Year’s Eve.

“Three, two, one,” they chanted. Victoria Scott and Midge Jacobs rang the closing bell.

As committee members cheered and hugged, someone closed the doors of headquarters. Victoria took a sponge and began to erase the names on the leaderboard, cleaning up for next year.