Thanks to Dr. “Leisure” Lee Stevens, co-founder of sister publication Marlin Magazine, I was invited to attend the inaugural American Caribbean Challenge in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico. Lee is the founder of this event and Jerry Perez serves as his director and right hand man. The reasons behind this event are quite different than other billfish tournaments in the Caribbean. This is a 100% charity based tournament, the goals of which are to help the hearing and sight impaired young people of Cabo Rojo and Western Puerto Rico. Already, Lee has gained the support of many local and foreign fishing teams as well as the support from Cabo Rojo Mayor Perza Rodriguez and Vice Mayor, Jorge Morales who has become the honorary chairman of the event. According to Lee, there were many monetary miracles leading up to the event but there was one miracle that took place just before that blew away anyone’s expectations. Mr. Raul Toro donated 6 1/2 acres of land out of the kindness of his heart. This plot of land is where “The Dream” will be built. “The Dream” is the school that will be built for these fantastic special needs children. So, needless to say, in just one year the tournament has already got the ball rolling in the right direction.
This year, by Cabo Rojo standards, the fishing was relatively slow for the eight participating teams but that didn’t stop Captain Jose Ramon on the One and Only from topping the leader board with two releases and taking home the victory.
If you are interested in fishing the 2010 American Caribbean Challenge, the dates are already set for October 1-3. For more information visit www.americancaribbeanchallenge.com