TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS – Leg II of the second annual Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown beat the previous year by over 600 billfish
Los Sueños Resort and Marina, located at Playa Herradura on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific Coast, is home to the annual Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown billfish series, presented by Poms & Associates. The second leg of this year’s triple header, held February 25-28, 2015, beat the total releases from the same leg in 2014 by 629 billfish. Forty participating teams comprised of 161 anglers released a total of 1,688 billfish, including 21 marlin and 1,667 sailfish, in just three days of fishing! This was the fourth highest number of billfish released during a Triple Crown tournament and the 761 billfish released on the third and final day represented the third highest number of fish on any single day of the Triple Crown; this record is held by the first day of the third leg in 2014, when 836 billfish were released by 37 teams in just eight hours.
The docks were grumbling going into Day 1, with the all too familiar phrases “Fishing is slow” and “I hope the fishing gets better”. The week before, boats were reporting double and sometimes triple digit releases. The last few days immediately prior to the tournament though, boats were coming back with as little as two. Come tournament time, history repeated itself once again and as soon as lines hit the water at 8:00 am on February 26th the bite went off with Billfish calling in the first release at 8:09 am. Exactly one hour into the first day, it was Billfish calling in again to report the release of fish #50 at 9:00 am. By 10:00 am, Team Galati had gained an early lead with 800 points, followed by Southern Pride, Trophy Box and Xta Sea, each with 700 points. A total of 90 sailfish had been released. At 10:24 am, Tranquilo released the first marlin of the tournament, Trophy Box called in the first triple, followed by Team Galati and Enjoy each with a double, bringing the fish count to 118 in two and a half hours. At 4:00 pm when lines out was called, Tarheel and Family and Friends were both still hooked up to marlin. Tranquilo had secured a first place finish for the day with 3300 points (23 sails, 2 marlin), but Tarheel had Trophy Box on the edge of their seats. The confirmed marlin released at 4:08 pm by Tarheel, bringing them to 2900 points (24 sails, 1 marlin), bumped Trophy Box out of their second place standing and into third for the day with 2800 points (28 sails). Family and Friends also released their marlin at 4:12 pm for 1000 points for the day. A total of 463 billfish were released, including 454 sails and 9 marlin.
There were exactly 118 releases in just under two and a half hours on Day 2 as well, including one marlin by Jaruco, for 581 billfish overall. By 10:30 am, Team Galati was still in first place with 4100 points (1500 on Day 2 alone), Tranquilo was in second with 3900 points, and Tarheel in third with 3200 points, on time, over Trophy Box. A little over an hour before lines out the teams had achieved a total of 823 billfish releases, including 13 marlin and 810 sails, and they didn’t let up. At the end of the day, Gringo Honeymoon released their last sail precisely at 4:00 pm and 10 more teams released fish after that, including Trophy Box, Sea Angel and Morgasm each with a marlin release. Morgasm’s marlin was the last release of the day at 4:35 pm. A two-day total of 927 billfish overall, including 17 marlin and 910 sails had been released. At the top of the leaderboard going into Day 3 was Team Galati yet again, with 5600 points (3000 points Day 2 with 30 sails), followed by Tranquilo with 5300 points (2000 points Day 2 with 20 sails), and Trophy Box in third with 5200 points (2400 points Day 2 with 14 sails and 2 marlin). There were 464 billfish released on Day 2 alone, including 456 sails and 8 marlin. Trophy Box and Tarheel went into Day 3 tied for the top spot on the Signature Championship leaderboard, with 15,400 points each.
Fishing was excellent over the first two days, but it nearly doubled on Day 3. While 118 fish were released in two and a half hours on the first two days, 211 were released in the same amount of time on the third and final day of the competition. The leaderboard remained relatively constant with head-to-head competition between what we’ve jokingly nicknamed the “Four T’s” – Team Galati, Trophy Box, Tranquilo and Tarheel. By 1:30 pm, the fleet had released 1381 billfish and the leaderboard had Team Galati in first on time, tied for points with Trophy Box (each with 7100 points), Tranquilo in third with 6800 points and Tarheel 700 points back in fourth with 6100 points. At 1:46 pm Trophy Box knocked Team Galati out of their comfort zone and took over the top spot. Roughly an hour later, the teams reached 1500 billfish releases. It looked like Trophy Box had solidified the win, especially after reporting a triple at 2:45 pm. Team Galati starting bridging the gap at 3:06 pm with a sailfish release and sealed the deal with a single sail at 3:45 pm, almost immediately followed by a double at 3:47 pm. Tarheel fought valiantly, making up quite a bit of ground with a triple at 3:49 pm, followed by a quadruple at 3:56 pm. No one was going home early. In fact, there were 11 sails released after lines out, including a double by Penny Perfect and a quadruple by Sea Angel. Blue Eagle released the last fish of the tournament at 4:06. At the end of the day, the 161 anglers had released a three-day total of 1688 billfish, including 21 marlin and 1667 sails. On Day 3 alone, there were 761 billfish released, including 4 marlin and 757 sails; the third highest number on any single day of a Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown tournament. Chasin Tail took the honor of top boat for Day 3 with 27 sails and 1 marlin for 3200 points. Team Galati finished first overall with 8000 points after releasing 80 sails, Tranquilo in second on time, achieving 7900 points (69 sails and 2 marlin) just three minutes prior to Trophy Box, who ended in third, also with 7900 points (69 sails and 2 marlin).
Team Galati’s anglers Bob Hixson; Pat Healey, Drew McDowell and Don Gemmell of Viking Yachts, and Carmine Galati of Galati Yacht Sales, have been participating in the Los Sueños billfish tournaments since their inception in 2004, although not always together. Capt. Tony Carrizosa has been on stage seven times total and has the record for the most first place finishes of any captain in Los Sueños tournament history (four since 2007), including a first place win during Leg I 2007 on Stephanie Lee, the Series Championship 2007, and second place during Leg I 2013 on Rebel. 2009 was the first time this year’s team joined forces on Game On and together they have placed first three times, including Leg I 2011 on Game On, Leg II 2014 on Team Galati and now. They also placed third during Leg II 2009. Team Galati finished ninth during the first leg of the 2015 Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown and this time around moved up to third in the race for the Signature Championship going into the third and final leg of this year’s triple header.
Tranquilo participated in a Los Sueños tournament for the first time during the last year of the Los Sueños Signature Billfish Series in 2013, finishing in the middle of the pack. This year, with Captain Victor Julio Lopez at the helm and anglers Bill Pino, Ken Coffer, Amanda Coffer and Craig Johnson manning the rods, they finished fifteenth during the first leg of the 2015 Signature Triple Crown, but made up a lot of ground during the second leg, finishing second overall and fifth in the running for the Signature Championship.
Trophy Box was a new addition to the Los Sueños boat list in 2015; however, owner Gray Ingram, and fellow anglers Watson Caviness, Paige Robertson, and Jimmy Fields are familiar faces on the docks. The Trophy Box team upped their game this year. Captain Ronnie Fields is no stranger to the limelight either, having stood on stage more than any other captain in the history of Los Sueños tournament fishing – no less than ten moments in the spotlight since 2010. He has amassed three first place finishes (Big Oh Leg II Signature Billfish Series 2010, Big Oh Marlin Invitational 2010, Bandolera Signature Billfish Series Leg II 2012), one second place finish (Big Oh Leg I Signature Billfish Series 2010), four third place finishes (Big Oh Signature Billfish Series Leg II 2011, Bandolera Signature Billfish Series Leg I 2012, Trophy Box Leg I Signature Triple Crown 2015, Trophy Box Leg II Signature Triple Crown 2015) and two series championships (Big Oh Signature Billfish Series 2010, Bandolera Signature Billfish Series 2012). Trophy Box finished third during Leg I 2015 and is in second place in the race for the Signature Championship going into Leg III.
On behalf of the tournament committee, congratulations to this leg’s tournament winners and all of their challengers!
CASH PRIZES & AWARDS
The weather was ideal for the awards ceremony on Saturday night. It was held under the stars on the white sand in front of the Los Sueños Beach Club. Guests enjoyed a phenomenal buffet dinner and a live musical performance by Cristóforis. 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 Michael Butler. The ceremony was closed out by a spectacular fireworks display by Faisa and a jam-packed after party with DJ Charlie Stevens was hosted at the Terrace Lounge in the Los Sueños Marina Village. Tournament winners took to the stage to receive a total of $127,000 in cash, as well as other prizes provided by tournament sponsors.
1st $63,000 Team Galati: 8,000 points, 80 sails
2nd $38,000 Tranquilo: 7,900 points, 69 sails and 2 marlin
3rd $26,000 Trophy Box: 7,900 points, 69 sails and 2 marlin
Trophies by Gray Taxidermy
Other prizes and awards by: Costa Rica Dreams- a fishing trip with accommodations in a Del Mar condominium; Tunaskin- apparel; Rick Bogert- framed prints of the 2nd annual 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.
The top angler for Leg II made the Wall of Champions alongside his teammates on Tarheel during the first leg of the 2015 Signature Triple Crown. This time though, E. Smyth McKissick graced the stage alone after releasing 26 sails and 1 marlin for 3100 individual points, 200 points ahead of the closest runner up Jimmy Fields of Trophy Box who released 24 sails and 1 marlin for 2900 individual points, and 600 points ahead of the third top angler Carmine Galati of Team Galati, who released 25 sails for 2500 individual points. This was an incredible start to Smyth’s Los Sueños billfishing legacy.
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): Caterpillar/Gregory Poole, Chantilly Air, Costa Sunglasses, Costa Rica Dreams Sport Fishing, Costa Rica Luxury Rentals & Tours, CR Primo Fishing Tackle, Flor de Caña, Galati International Yacht Sales, Gato Gordo golf cart rentals and sales, Gray Taxidermy, Los Sueños Resort and Marina, Marriott, Moto Desmo Costa Rica (Ducati and Vespa), MTU/Tractomotriz, Poms & Associates, Rick Bogert, Scotiabank, Secure Title Latin America, Sevenstar Yacht Transport, 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 2015 Offshore World Championship. For further information, please visit www.offshorechampionship.com.
ABOUT THE LOS SUENOS SIGNATURE TRIPLE CROWN
2015 marks the 2nd Annual Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown billfish tournament series, presented by Poms and Associates Insurance (www.pomsassoc.com). 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 have been set. Mark your calendars! Leg I: January 20-23, Leg II: February 24-27, 2016 and Leg III: March 30-April 2. NOTE: The dates for Leg III in 2016 were moved back by one week to avoid overlapping with Costa Rica’s Holy Week. For future Signature Triple Crown events, the tournaments will be held on fixed weeks each year, Leg I registration on the third Wednesday of January, Leg II the fourth Wednesday of February and Leg III the fourth Wednesday of March.
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.lsrm.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.