A fleet of 64 international teams from 24 countries paraded out of Marina Pez Vela into the sailfish-rich Costa Rican waters yesterday for the start of the 15th Annual Offshore World Championship sport fishing tournament. In all, anglers had released an impressive 761 sailfish, three blue marlin and 27 dorado by the time the “lines in” call was made at the end of Day One.
The historic bite was on all day with many teams scoring multiple releases. Team Royal Pahang Billfish International Challenge representing Malaysia caught-and-released 27 sailfish and two dorado to take the lead with 5459.20 points. The Championship Anglers are mainly targeting sailfish worth 200-points per release, but should they encounter and best a blue, black or striped marlin — they will earn 500-points per release. Game fish, which includes tuna, wahoo and dorado, also scores team points and counts for individual prizes.
Standings After Day One
1st Place 5459.20-points, Royal Pahang Billfish International
2nd Place 5030.90-points, Luanda Sailfish Classic
3rd Place 5000-points, Harbourside Marine Bahamas Rotary Tuna Classic
Gamefisher II - Captain Junior Bustos Abarca and Mate Diego Lopez Castrillo
1st Place Dorado leader with 44.10-pounds is Vitomir Ros representing Campeonato Nacionel de Big Game Tournament
Following each day of fishing, the anglers enjoy themselves at the daily Dockside Socials at Marina Pez Vela with complimentary Flor de Cana Rum, local Costa Rican beer, food provided by Runaway Bay Restaurant and live entertainment while the anglers check-in their release videos.
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: www.owc14.catchstat.com
The Parador Resort and Spa is the host hotel for the championship anglers from all over the world, which sits high on the Pacific coastline within minutes from Manuel Antonio National Park. The tournament has grown within itself, but also within the local Quepos community.
“The main impact is not only for the hotel, but also the local community,” says Jorge Rodriguez, Resident Manager of Parador Resort and Spa. “The tournament drives business to restaurants, attractions and transportation services. The community is 100% focused on this tournament.”
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.