Team Fa-La-Me is the one to watch as they continue their hot streak wining Bermuda’s largest tournament, the Bermuda Big Game Classic!
Fa-La-Me, a beautiful 70’ Viking with Capt. Robbie Moore, owner Frank Rodriguez, mate Jon Meade and teammates Tyler and Taylor Beckford are having quiet a season adding the Classic to their list of wins.
Fishing this year was a bit tough for the Classic, with 55 billfish released and none coming to the scales. The best fishing day was the second — especially for team Fa-La-Me with Rodriguez catching two blues in the morning hours and Tyler and Taylor Beckford each catching a white in the afternoon, earning them the daily jackpots, second-place position and 1,400 points heading into the final day of fishing.
As the leaders struggled to score on that last day, other teams got on the leaderboard with blue and white releases. With only an hour and a half to go in the contest, team Fa-La-Me called in a hookup that was crucial to their success. Angler Taylor Beckford brought the blue alongside with the team having to make a decision to take the fish and go for the triple daily and overall largest marlin jackpots or release her and go for the most billfish release points jackpot. The fish looked to be well over the 500-pound minimum, but team Fa-La-Me decided not to take a chance and released the fish. Either way, Team Fa-La-Me was looking at about the same winnings so it worked out perfectly.
Total winnings for Team Fa-La-Me was $213,300 including First Place Team, Day Two Marlin Jackpots, Most Overall Billfish Release Points Jackpot, Marlin Magazine Manufacturers Cup for Viking Yachts, and Garmin Grand. They also received King Sailfish Mounts trophies, Geoffrey Smith bronze sculptures, Vanmark Jewelry money clips, Fin-Nor combos, Steve Goione artwork, and lures from Scent Blazer, Mold Craft and Bonze.
The first day of fishing belonged to team Bree, a 72’ Merritt with Capt. Kyle Laine, owner Randy Ringhaver, mate Justin Laine and teammates Kenneth Mills, Greg Simmons, Brent Huffman, Debbie Miller and Cathie Chapman. Mills got things going with a blue release at 9:30 a.m. and followed up later in the day with another blue at 2:30 p.m. A few minutes after the second blue, Simmons caught a white to give Bree 1,200 points, Day One Marlin Jackpots and the lead in the tournament. On day two, Bree scored two more white releases and was sitting in the lead with 1, 600 points. Bree did not score on the final day and ended up in Second Place Overall. Total winnings for Bree were $87,480.
Another hot team this season is Over Budget with the father-son duo of owner and angler Ricky Sousa Sr., Capt. Ricky Sousa Jr. and mate Lee Kerbel. On day one, Sousa Sr. caught a blue and a white. On day two, he added another blue and with only 30 minutes to lines out, and added a white on the final day to slip into Third Place Overall and earn the Top Angler Award for Ricky Sousa Sr. Total winnings for Over Budget was $29,520.
On the final day, the first blue was released at 8:19 a.m. on Off Piste by owner-angler Brian Lines and teammates Dano Lee, Pete Lewis and Graham Bonze. The fish held up to take the Day Three Marlin Jackpot and net Off Piste a cool $43,200. Sometimes all it takes in one fish in a marlin tournament.
In the Game Fish Division, angler Darren Vickers’ 46.2-pound dolphin caught on Paradise One took the trophy and a check for $5,850.
The Top Lady Angler went to Charlotte Bosch de Noya on Reel Hot with her husband Nick New at the helm. Charlotte caught two blue marlin, earning her 1,000 points. Charlotte received a beautiful King Sailfish Mounts trophy, Steve Goione artwork, Vanmak Jewelry earrings, Keanon Sunglasses, and lures from Scent Blazer and Mold Craft.
The Top Junior Angler went to Marcus Dias with one white marlin release on his father’s boat Triple Play. This is the second time Marcus has won the Junior Angler Award in the Bermuda Triple Crown Series.