Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - After three days of fishing, the leader board of the 10th annual IGFA Offshore World Championship remained extremely close as several teams sat within striking distance of becoming the next Offshore World Champs. The team of Sean Mendonca, Derrick Tardieu, Mark Vilain and Clint Quong Sing of the International Marlin Madness Game Fish Tournament in Trinidad and Tobago continued to plug away at the fish, scoring two more releases on Day Three to bring their total to seven billfish releases after three days of fishing worth 2,100 points. Their score placed them in a tie for the lead with the XLVI Torneio Annual de Peixes de Bico ICRJ-Brazi team which also enjoyed fantastic billfish action and scored 2,100 points of its own. The team of Vicente Arruda, Gustavo Lima, Marco Antonio Oliveira Ribas, Chris Badsey and Jose Espinoza made its move up the leader board scoring two releases on Day One, four on Day Two and an additional billfish on Day Three to sit in a tie for first place. The stage was set for a dramatic last day of fishing.
Four teams were tied with 1,800 points after Day Three, just one fish away from the leaders. The teams representing Bisbees Black and Blue Marlin Tournament, the Presidential Challenge of Guatemala, the 2008 IGFA Offshore World Champions and the World Championship Billfish Release Tournament had each caught five billfish to close the gap on the leaders. The bite had slowed down a bit on Day Three making each release even more important. Any missed opportunities or lost fish could really hurt a team's hopes of overtaking the leaders on the fourth and final day of fishing.
Going into the last day of fishing Hernando Gonzalez sat in first place in the angler division with six releases worth 1,800 points. Fishing with the team from the World Championship Billfish Release Tournament, Gonzalez caught two marlin on Day One, two more on Day Two and an additional two on Day Three for the top angler spot. Jose Espinoza of the XLVI Torneio Annual de Peixes de Bico ICRJ-Brazil and Clint Quong Sing of the International Marlin Madness Game Fish Tournament were tied with five releases each worth 1,500 points.
The fleet released 41 marlin and one sailfish on Day Three, bringing the three-day total to 143 billfish overall. The game fish division also some saw action on Day Three with two teams weighing in 32-pound dorado. These game fish points will definitely come in handy going into the final day's fishing with such a close leader board.
The IGFA Offshore World Championship represents the largest international field of competitors in the world of offshore sport fishing. The 43 teams participating in the event represent 19 countries around the globe including Australia, Tonga, Italy, Brazil and more. With such a wide international field of competitors, the Offshore World Championship has earned the title of the "Olympics" of offshore fishing.
For the first time in the history of the IGFA Offshore World Championship, the scoring is broadcast live online. Follow all of the action by visiting www.igfaowc.com and clicking on "real-time tournament updates." Each catch is posted online immediately after the release so viewers can keep up to date on all the action.