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November 03, 2011

Southern Pride Tops Aruba Caribbean Cup

Team gains ground in overall standings

The Chivas Regal Aruba Caribbean Cup Presented by the Aruba Tourism Authority has become one of the most popular tournaments in the southern Caribbean--this year's event proved to continue that tradition of excellence.

For the second straight year, the Southern Pride fishing team has emerged victorious in the Chivas Regal Aruba Caribbean Cup, this time fishing aboard a chartered vessel, the Curacao-based Papucho.

The angling team of Gerard Aliseo, Jimmy Taylor, Tucker Colquhoun and Mariano dal Maso, with Captains Chris Garner and Charles Heldewier-Vignon at the helm, finished the tournament with 2300 points: three blue marlin, four white marlin and two sailfish.

One team to find hot action during their pre-tournament scouting was Capt. Butch Cox's Prime Time, who scored a Grand Slam of three different billfish species the day before the tournament. It was a telling sign of things to come, as the Prime Time would score another Grand Slam on the first day of fishing to lead nearly the entire tournament only to fall from first to third on the final day of fishing.

Finishing in second place was Team Priority, Jim McCord, Jim Vaughan and Hans Kaspersetz, fishing aboard the Driftwood. They scored 1900 points in the tournament (five blues, one white and one sailfish). The Caribbean Cup marked the successful return of this team, once a top contender in the Presidential Challenge series just a few years ago. 

In the angler standings, Anthony Pinzon won first place with 1500 points fishing aboard the Driftwood, an Aruban-based 35-foot Bertram charter boat. They were followed by Rob Belcher on the Prime Time with 1000 points in second place and Jeff Stingel, fishing on Frank Pettisani's Exile in third with 900 points.

The Chivas Regal Aruba Caribbean Cup serves as an important fundraising event for The Billfish Foundation. The tournament directors presented Elliott Stark from TBF with a check for $5,000 on behalf of the event participants, with a promise to continue to support billfish conservation in the Southern Caribbean through the Adopt-A-Billfish satellite tagging program and more.

The Caribbean Cup not only features outstanding fishing but also nightly entertainment, with theme cocktail parties after fishing and gala kickoff and awards dinners. Aruba's Minister of Tourism, the Honorable Otmar Oduber, was on hand to welcome the teams during the kickoff and to also celebrate with them during the awards. The tournament's Presenting Sponsor is the Aruba Tourism Authority. The event also receives outstanding support from a wide variety of local sponsors as well. 

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