The Bermuda Triple Crown Billfish Championship celebrated its 10-year anniversary with a record number of game boats visiting the island. Fifty different teams fished at least one event and 28 boats fished every leg of the championship. A total of $1,073,500 in purse was awarded during the series with an additional $100,000 in quality gifts, trophies and prizes.
During the nine days of fishing, a total of 156-billfish were video/photo verified releases including 95 blues, 56 whites and 5 spearfish. Tournament qualifying weighed fish included a 573 on No Vacancy, 598 on Weez in the Keys and a 693 caught by 14-year old J.T. Winston on Kerry D. Another notable catch happened between events for 8-year old, Gillian Ricks, who bested a 336.3-pound blue on her family’s boat, El Cazador, which is a pending IGFA Girls Small Fry world record.
Some highlights of the series included the first ever repeat win of the Billfish Blast for team Sea Toy, the first repeat winner in the Big Game Classic by team Que Mas, and team Fa La Me was the first repeat winner of the Sea Horse during the Triple Crown-era and became the first repeat winner of the Bermuda Triple Crown Billfish Championship in the event’s 10 year history.
The 2014 Bermuda Triple Crown Billfish Championship proved once again that anyone has a chance regardless of your standings heading into the final event. Team Fa La Me started the Sea Horse with a total of 800-points from four white marlin releases during the first two legs of the series and sat in 17th place – 1600-points behind the Triple Crown leader. They caught 1 blue on the first day but still remained 1473-points behind. The second day of fishing in the Sea Horse will be etched forever in the minds of team Fa La Me
Owner Frank Rodriguez released a blue in the morning followed by another blue by mate Taylor Beckford right before noon moving the team into contention. At 2:39 Captain Rob Moore called in a double header with anglers Dave Berard and Frank Rodriguez doing battle. Berard fought the fish on stand up gear and brought the blue to leader in 7-minutes. Rodriguez’s fish was a much larger female that finally came to leader 167-minutes later and was estimated to be near 600-pounds. This release brought team Fa La Me to a total of 3300-points, a mere 27-points ahead of team No Vacancy going into the last day of fishing. Those 27 points ended up being enough for Fa La Me to win the Bermuda Triple Crown Billfish Championship for a record second time.
Team Fa La Me has now become one of the most elite teams the sport has ever seen winning events in the Bahamas, Dominican Republic and Bermuda. Owner Frank Rodriguez, Captain Rob Moore, mates Taylor Beckford, Tyler Beckford, Dave Berard and Jeffrey DeSilva went home with the Vanmark Championship Rings, Geoffrey Smith Bronze sculptures, Tycoon Tackle Custom Rods, Garmin Virb Elite Cameras, Release Marine Custom Step Box, King Sailfish Mounts Trophies, Bonze Custom lures, Bonze clothing, Wiley X Sunglasses, an ATL Fuel Bladder, a Yeti Cooler, Bacardi Spirits, and AFTCO Championship apparel, a boat gaff, bucket harness and gloves. Congratulations to Team Fa La Me!