Day Three of the 15th Annual Offshore World Championship sport fishing tournament is re-writing up the record books. The overall tournament results at the end of Day Three totaled 2,307 sailfish, seven blue marlin and 63 dorado by the time “lines out” was called at the end of Day Three.
According to past tournament reports, the last world record for billfish tournament releases took place only three months ago.
“The 2014 Offshore World Championship hosted by Marina Pez Vela in Quepos, Costa Rica has beaten the world record of tournament billfish releases with 2,314 in just three days of fishing,” said Carter Takacs, Marina Operations Manager of Marina Pez Vela. “The last three day record was 2,170 releases set at the 2014 Los Suenos Signature Series Leg I, which was also set this year on the central Pacific coast of Costa Rica.”
On Day Three, the catch stats were 707 sailfish, one blue marlin and 18 dorado. The top team on Day Three was Waihau Bay Nationals aboard Frenzy with 22 sailfish for a total score of 4,400 points.
Overall Standings by End of Day Three
1st Place, 13,630.90 points, Luanda Sailfish Classic
2nd Place, 12,000 points, Torneio Marlin Azul do Rio de Janeiro
3rd Place, 11,800 points, 33rd Annual TTGFA Marlin Madness Tournament
Frenzy — Captain Jose Fernandez and Mate Marco Solano, 13,800 points
Dragin Fly — Captain James Smith and Mate Albert Ramos, 12,500 points
Gamefisher II — Junior Bustos Abarca and Mate Diego Lopez Castrillo, 11, 600 points
Top Three Anglers
Rafael Brigham, Billfish Kifofo Express, 7,400 points
Michael De Freitas, 33rd Annual TTGFA Marlin Madness Tournament, 5,400 points
Dario Marijan, Kup Prvaka-Vodice, 5,245.60 points
1st Place, 52.7 pound, Igor Franceschi, of Kup Prvaka-Vodice Team
Video Edited by Dan Grissom
The anglers of the tournament represent many nations as well as generations. Isaiah Aleong Baksh, a 13-year-old angler from Trinidad, has been fishing since he was three-years-old. He caught his first, 350-pound blue marlin at the age of 10. He is fishing on the Trinidad Tarpon Team along with his four friends.
“Of all the tournaments, this has been the best one,” Baksh said. “I’ve never seen so many fish before.”
The Offshore World Championship is not only bringing fish records to the Quepos coast, but economic impact to the Quepos community.
“Marina Pez Vela is very proud of hosting the 15th Annual of the OWC. This tournament is succeeding in positioning Costa Rica as a top of the line sport fishing destination, and also bringing economic benefits up to $2 million for the tourism-related value chain,” said Miguel Ramírez, Strategic Development Director at MPV. “The Quepos community is more than glad to have the best anglers of the world back.”
Marina Pez Vela has also recently joined with the Blue Carbon Program, and has initiated efforts to become the first Carbon Neutral Marina in the region. The Blue Carbon Program launched during the 2014 Offshore World Championship. The program was developed by The Costa Rican Fisheries Federation (FECOP), which is an association that promotes responsible fishing in Costa Rica and is made of organizations willing to protect, develop and encourage the sustainable use of the country’s fisheries.
One of FECOP’s primary focal points is billfish conservation. Besides the environmental impression such as their shaping of oceanic food chains, they are also important for tourism through sport fishing.
“Through many studies, an individual billfish has been estimated to be worth $3,000 each,” said Enrique Ramirez Guier, Executive Director FECOP. “One billfish drives money to so many services such as hotels, attractions and restaurants. There is a wide distribution of income coming from this kind of event.”
FECOP is taking the opportunity to align itself with the Offshore World Championship to inform through the tournament’s presence while at Marina Pez Vela.
“We wanted to create a relationship with Offshore World Championship to educate our initiatives to all the participating captains and mates,” Guier said. “It gives the sport fishing industry a relevance to promote the conservation of sport fishing species.”
FECOP hosted a dockside party for the captains, mates and anglers at Marina Pez Vela with complimentary food, drinks and entertainment to round out the day.
The tournament is sponsored by the Costa Rican Tourist Board (ICT) and Marina Pez Vela, along with Accurate, AFTCO, Costa del Mar, Eat Me Lures, Flor de Cana, Garmin, Geoffrey Smith Galleries, Guy Harvey, Hidden Bay Realty, IWS Scales, King Sailfish Mounts, Lazer Sharp Eagle Claw, Marlin, Maverick Sport Fishing Charters, Maverick Yachts, Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic, Ocean LED, Parador Resort and Spa, Salt Water Sportsman, Shimano, Sport Fishing, Toyota Rent a Car, Tycoon Tackle, Vanmark Jewelry, and Yeti Coolers.
Follow all the action live on the official online scorekeeper site: http://owc14.catchstat.com/
The tournament fishing will continue throughout the week, ending on April 10. The Awards Gala at Marina Pez Vela will be April 11, which will honor the top teams, boats and anglers.