2,754 billfish released during the Second Leg of the 2016 Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown by 43 teams
12 years of tournament records shattered!
It was an epic three days at Los Sueños Resort Marina, located at Playa Herradura on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific Coast. During the second leg of the third annual Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown billfish series, presented by Chantilly Air, February 24-27, 2016. All previous Los Sueños tournament records, going back 12 years and 34 individual events, were broken.
Imagine releasing 75 billfish in just three days and not even making it into the top 10 boats! Over the course of the competition, 108 anglers on the world’s most competitive saltwater sport fishing teams released a total of 2,754 billfish. To put this number in perspective, the fish to boat ratio is 64 fish per boat in three days, or close to 2 fish each and every minute of the tournament. Incredible numbers and incredible teams in an incredible place – beyond compare!
All hoped for a busy day but by lines in at 8:00 am but no one was prepared for what the day would bring. The first double release was called in only four minutes after lines in by Blue Eagle. Exactly at 10:00 am Numero Uno released fish number 290. The bite continued. Radios were burning hot. At 12:00 o’clock tournament control logged fish number 512, released by Dragin Fly. At 2:01 pm Penny Perfect called in the first quadruple of the day, fish numbers 729 to 732. It was then that it became clear that the previous tournament record for the most billfish released in single day, previously set on the third day of the 2015 Triple Crown with 879 billfish, was only minutes away from being broken. Several teams – Pelese, Fish Tank, Pescadora and Jaruco – were fighting it out. The honor of receiving fish number 1000 went to No Agenda. By the end of Day 1 a total of 1,103 sailfish were caught and released, surpassing the previous record by 316 fish or 21%. To quote one of the observers “It was insane out there! Wherever you looked fish were popping like rice”. Fitting for Costa Rica – someone must have spilled the beans.
The most fish caught that historic day were released by Fish Tank and Pelese with 37 sailfish (3700 points) each, with Fish Tank releasing their last fish only 11 minutes before Pelese to win the day. Agitator, Sea Fix and Southern Pride also put on stellar performances, putting them into the top three spots for Leg II after the first day.
It was First Light who called in the first fish of Day 2 at 8:05 am. By 8:08 am five more fish were reported to tournament control, including a double by Sea Fix. It would be another busy day. By 10:48 am Pescadora briefly held the first place position for Leg II, followed by Agitator and Fish Tank. Release after release, often five or more in less than a minute, were called in. By 1:14 pm Pelese had moved into first place, followed by Dragin Fly and Agitator. By 3:08 pm Fish Tank had moved up to second place. At 3:48 pm fish number 2,000 was called in by Sea Fix. Tournament Control jokingly had to remind the teams that the tournament was still only on the second day of competition. The day ended with 932 billfish releases for a two-day total of 2,035 (all sails). The standings going into the last day of competition left Agitator in first place with 6600 points, Pelese in second with 6400 points and Spanish Fly in third with 6300 points.
It was anyone’s game going in to the third and final day. Agitator started the day at the top of the leaderboard with 6,600 points, with at least 10 teams in hot pursuit. The Tournament Committee posed the question – at what time would the all-time record for the most fish caught in a single tournament, being 2,170, be beat? It did not take long. By 9:34 am Dream Time released fish number 2,171 and opened a new chapter in Los Sueños tournament history book. By 10:07 am Agitator was still holding on to first place, Pelese was in second and Sea Angel in third Place. At 2:00 pm Pelese had moved into first place, bumping Agitator to second. Spanish Fly rounded out the top three, with Sea Angel just behind. Positions were changing by the minute. At 2:08 pm Reel Joy called in the only marlin release of the tournament. It was like a ping pong match – too fast to follow. When lines in was called at 4:00 pm, it was the closest leaderboard in Los Sueños history. Once all the scorecards were reviewed, the final standings were verified and announced at the awards ceremony. The 43 participating teams had released a three-day combined total of 2,754 billfish (2,752 sails and 1 marlin)!
Agitator finished at the top of the leaderboard with 8,700 points (87 sails), followed by Pelese in second place with 8,600 points (86 sails), on time over Spanish Fly with 8,600 points (86 sails), over Sea Angel who had also achieved 8,600 points. It was so close that Spanish Fly and Sea Angel not only tied on points, but also on their last time, forcing the Tournament Committee to go back to their second last time – with just 8 minutes between them.
It was an incredible three days of competition that provided a new benchmark in billfish tournament competition.
Agitator, a 51’ Scarborough, is participating in a Los Sueños tournament for the first time at the 2016 Triple Crown. Having won second place during Leg One in January the team has started a solid winning streak. This time, Captain Jon Duffie took his anglers, Jonathan Duffie, Judith Duffie, Danny Gough and Charles Gerlach straight to the top of the podium. Agitator is now in an excellent position for the Triple Crown Showdown, where the Series Champion will be crowned on April 2nd.
Pelese has consistently been among the top performing teams to fish at Los Sueños. This tournament marked the first podium finish for this team of dedicated anglers, landing in second place, only 100 points behind the winning team. With Captain John Lagrone at the helm of this 60’ Spencer, Los Sueños owner Marc Stanley and his fellow anglers gave a handsome performance.
Spanish Fly, a 42’ Maverick built in Costa Rica, has fished the waters off the coast of Los Sueños for more than a decade. Captain Daniel “Danny” Espinoza is a local legend. He has led anglers Larry Drivon, Richard Lebo, J Godwin and Juan Carlos Fallas to success several times, including a first place finish during the first leg of the 2014 Signature Triple Crown.
On behalf of the tournament committee, a heartfelt congratulations to all of the participants!
CASH PRIZES & AWARDS
The evening could not have been any more perfect for the awards ceremony on Saturday night, held under the stars on the white sand at the Los Sueños Beach Club. Guests enjoyed a phenomenal buffet dinner and live musical performance by Mustang 65. Immediately preceding the presentation of trophies, prizes and checks to the tournament winners, guests enjoyed the highly anticipated dock show filmed and produced by Rich Christenson, and edited by Paige Sparks. The ceremony was closed out by a spectacular fireworks display by Faisa and a jam-packed after party with DJ Charlie Stevens at the Terrace Lounge in the Los Sueños Marina Village. Tournament winners took to the stage to receive a total of $145,000 in cash, as well as other prizes provided by tournament sponsors.
1st $72,500 Agitator: 8,700 points, 87 sails
2nd $43,500 Pelese: 8,600 points, 86 sails
3rd $29,000 Spanish Fly: 8,600 points, 86 sails
Trophies by Gray Taxidermy
Other prizes and awards by: Tunaskin- apparel; Steve Goione- framed prints of the 2016 Triple Crown tournament art; Vanmark, Inc.- gold pendants; Costa– sunglasses for the winning anglers; and Flor de Caña- aged rum for winning teams and top angler.
Congratulations to Carlos Gonzalez of Gunsmoke on releasing 40 sails for an individual total of 4,000 points.
The entire tournament organizing committee would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who came together to support this event. Our gratitude goes out to all the anglers, captains, mates, observers, technical advisors, cameramen and videographers, Los Sueños staff and of course, our sponsors (in alphabetical order): Bristol Marine Supply, Canvas Designers, Caterpillar/Gregory Poole, Chantilly Air, Clinica Biblica, Costa Sunglasses, Costa Rica Dreams Sport Fishing, Costa Rica Luxury Rentals & Tours, CR Primo Fishing Tackle, Cummins, Flor de Caña, Galati International Yacht Sales, Gato Gordo golf cart rentals and sales, Gray Taxidermy, Los Sueños Resort and Marina, Moto Desmo Costa Rica (Ducati and Vespa), MTU/Tractomotriz, Poms & Associates, SeaDream Finance and Insurance, Sevenstar Yacht Transport, Steve Goione Marine Artist, Tunaskin Aquatic Apparel, Vanmark Inc., Viking Yachts, Weather Routing Inc. For more about our sponsors, please visit www.LStournaments.com and click on Sponsors.
OWC QUALIFYING EVENT
The top team from each leg of the Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown will be eligible to compete in the 2016 Offshore World Championship. For further information, please visit www.offshorechampionship.com.
ABOUT THE LOS SUENOS SIGNATURE TRIPLE CROWN
2016 marks the 3rd Annual Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown billfish tournament series. The Triple Crown consists of three annual tournaments, in January, February and March each year, and is fished out of the world class Los Sueños Resort and Marina in Costa Rica. The dates for 2016 are Leg I: January 20-23, Leg II: February 24-27, and Leg III: March 30-April 2. Mark your calendars! The dates for 2017 are already scheduled – Leg I: January 18-21, Leg II: February 22-25, Leg III: March 22-25.
ABOUT LOS SUEÑOS RESORT AND MARINA
Los Sueños Resort and Marina is the premier luxury real estate resort in Costa Rica. Nestled on the Central Pacific Coast, Los Sueños is an 1,100-acre oasis offering incredible ocean, rainforest and golf course view properties; a gorgeous waterfront Marina Village commercial area with restaurants, shops and lively entertainment; a large private beach club for residents; an 18-hole championship golf course; a superb 201-room Marriott Hotel; and much more – all within close proximity to world record-setting sport fishing waters. Information on Los Sueños Resort and Marina is available online at www.lossuenos.com.
For further information, please contact Ashley Bretecher, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications, Los Sueños Resort and Marina, Toll-free: 1-866-865-9759, Direct Tel: 011-506-2630-4005, Fax: 011-506-2630-4010, or e-mail: email@example.com.