2024 SIGNATURE TRIPLE CROWN TOURNAMENT RULES
These rules and regulations are unofficial and may change from time to time. Any applicable corrections or changes to these rules and regulations will be reviewed at the mandatory tournament meetings after check-in and registration and before the first day of fishing for each leg of the event (Leg I: January 17, 2024, Leg II: February 21, 2024, Leg III: March 13, 2024).
Each tournament consists of three consecutive fishing days with no lay days.
Boats may leave the Marina and Herradura Bay at 6:00 am each fishing day or as soon as the radio operator has announced that all observers are checked in and an observer is on board. Fishing hours are from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm daily. Scorecards must be submitted to the tournament committee as soon as the boat returns to the Marina but under no circumstances later than 7:00 pm, including the last fishing day. Any boats failing to have their scorecard submitted by 7:00 pm will be disqualified for that day’s scoring.
The official time is GPS time. The committee boat will call lines in and lines out; however it will be the observer’s responsibility to be the official time keeper and call lines out on the boat each day. The time of release is a required element on the scorecard and will be used to break any ties. The failure to include the time on the scorecard will automatically place that boat in the last position in the event of a tie.
Eligible fish must be hooked within a 50-mile radius. The center of the 50-mile radius is established from Herradura bay with GPS coordinates N 09 38’920 and W 084 40’008. Fish can then be played outside the boundary until caught or released. Should a fish be hooked within 2 miles of the 50-mile radius, the team must make note of the GPS coordinates of the hook up on their GPS system. The tournament committee reserves the right to demand data from any participating team to verify that all releases for points were legitimately hooked within the 50-mile radius.
Participation in the Triple Crown is exclusive to boats who have entered in to a slip rental agreement with Los Sueños Marina and/or home owners within the Los Sueños Resort community. Acceptance of any participating team or individual participant to any leg of the Triple Crown or the entire tournament series is at the sole discretion of the tournament committee and is unappealable.
A maximum of five anglers per boat are permitted. Each team may register a sixth angler; however only five anglers are permitted to fish on the boat each fishing day, which means that a maximum of five names may be on the scorecard on any given day. The cost of registering a sixth angler is $500 per tournament. Upon registration, the names of all participating anglers and crew (captain and at least one mate) must be declared. There is no limit to the number of mates that can be declared.
Teams may substitute their team members from one leg of the Triple Crown to the next; however at least two of the original team members (any combination of the anglers, captain, or mates) must remain the same throughout all three events to be eligible to compete for the title of Crowned Champion.
All anglers and mates must be registered either at the registration event or by email by no later than 5:00 pm the day of registration before the first fishing day. The registration form must be filled out completely, including full name and contact information for each and every participant. Incomplete forms will not be accepted. The captain or owner must contact the tournament by email or in person at registration on Wednesday prior to each event no later than 5:00 pm the day before the first day of fishing to confirm the participation of the boat in the tournament.
Any emergencies dealing with angler substitutions will be handled on a case by case basis at the discretion of the Tournament Committee. Once approved, the substitution must be registered with the tournament director prior to the boat leaving the slip for that day of fishing.
A maximum of one professional angler, as defined in this paragraph, per team per leg of the Triple Crown will be permitted. Professionals shall be required to identify themselves on the entry form. The term professional shall be defined as any individual who, within the previous five years of the start of the first day of the first leg of the Triple Crown, derives income from and/or actively engages in the act of sportfishing for profit or employment, whether full or part-time, and whether such income comes from the ownership entity of the vessel or not, such as a captain, mate, deckhand, steward(ess), boat owner or charter operator who runs and operates a sportfishing vessel, television personality whose program is centered on the act of sportfishing and/or teaching others how to sportfish. The following individuals shall not be deemed professional under these rules and regulations: yacht brokers who do not personally run boats for profit or employment, licensed captains who do not derive income from sportfishing, event coordinators and/or fishing tournament promoters, television personalities who periodically engage in sportfishing but do not center their image, reputation, name or television program on sportfishing, charter operators and owners who do not act as a captain or mate on the vessels they own or manage. All participants will be required to submit entry forms for each angler in which they will declare their occupation. The tournament organizer reserves the right to deny the entry of any applicant into any leg of the Triple Crown or the entire tournament series with or without cause and the tournament organizer’s decision shall be unappealable. The Tournament Committee reserves the right at any time to disqualify any boat from any leg of the Triple Crown or the entire tournament series, should any of the information shown on the entry form be determined untrue. All decisions by the tournament organizer in regard to the determination of whether any proposed angler shall be declared a professional and therefore ineligible to fish in any tournament shall be final, binding and non-appealable.
The tournament organizer will be responsible for supplying qualified Observers to be rotated on participating boats throughout the three fishing days. A qualified Observer is deemed as any individual who is IGFA, IGFTO or LSOCP (Los Sueños Resort Observer Certification Program) certified. In the event there are less observers than teams, the tournament organizer will ensure that each participating team has the presence of an observer at least one of the three fishing days and that an Observer will be placed at a minimum on the top 10 boats from the previous day (where applicable). Observers will be required to participate in the tournament meeting on registration day and check in each morning for the boat assignments.
Any boat entering any leg of the Triple Crown or the entire tournament series must have an adequate toilet on board. In the event of mechanical failure, substitution of boats will be permitted. Substitutions must be submitted to the tournament director prior to departure from the marina each fishing day.
All participating boats, anglers, captains and crew must abide by Costa Rican laws and tournament, national and international pandemic protocols and guidelines, when applicable. The Tournament Committee assumes that all participants have all necessary permits, licenses and/or registrations required to legally operate and fish in Costa Rican waters. The Tournament Committee is not responsible for verifying compliance with Costa Rican legislation; however, in the event the Tournament Committee either becomes aware of incompliance or in the event of a protest, the Tournament Committee will disqualify a boat from any leg of the Triple Crown or the entire tournament series if found not to have the necessary requirements under Costa Rican law, or all releases by an individual angler if said angler does not have the necessary individual fishing license. Should the captain or a mate not have an individual fishing license and a protest is filed, the boat will be disqualified. Incopesca, the government entity responsible for issuing fishing licenses, has an office within the marina premises and participants are encouraged to confirm the validity of their fishing licenses with this office prior to the day of registration for each tournament.
The land-based tournament committee boat is located within Los Sueños Marina.
IGFA rules apply unless otherwise noted.
Dead bait and lures are acceptable for all legs of the Triple Crown. Live bait is prohibited.
The stated line strength shall not exceed 50 lbs. (24 kg.) test. The Tournament Committee reserves the right to take line samples for over-testing purposes.
For all legs of the Triple Crown, the combined length of the double line and the leader shall not exceed 40 feet, including all knots and hooks, and the length of the leader itself shall not exceed 30 feet. The Tournament Committee reserves the right to take leader samples for testing.
Anglers are required to use tournament-legal non-offset circle hooks. J-hooks may only be used for non-baited lures.
Up to six rods and four teasers are permitted to be in the water at any given time, regardless of whether a mate has touched the line or is reeling one in. A dredge is considered a teaser. If there are more than six lines in the water and a fish is hooked at that time, regardless of the line it is hooked on, the fish is disqualified. Anglers can rotate rods at their own discretion.
The hook-up must be carried out by one angler without assistance from fellow anglers or crew. Once a fish is hooked, it is prohibited to transfer the rod to another angler. The registered angler must play the fish from start to conclusion. It is in the best interest of the team not to allow a non-angler to participate in reeling in a line. If a fish happens to strike the bait the non-angler is reeling in, then the rod is disqualified. Teams should not allow mates or guests to reel in lines; if they do it will be at their own risk of having that fish disqualified or if there are more than six lines in the water, having any fish that strikes a line at that time disqualified. One angler may fight two fish as long as he only puts the second reel’s drag in strike and does not touch the rod until the first fish is caught or lost.
A release is defined as a leader to rod tip or by someone touching the leader with their hand. IGFA leader and double line requirements apply. Slapping or intentional snatching of the leader will disqualify the catch. At no time shall the Observer interfere with the release.
Protocol for Reporting a Catch:
The official radio channel is 19A, unless otherwise noted. All marlin hook-ups and releases, and all sailfish releases must be reported to Tournament Control via radio. To avoid radio congestion, radio communications will be handled in the following manner.
For Sailfish releases, the dialog should be communicated as follows:
Vessel— “Control, Control [Name of Vessel]” one release right now”
(Note: the vessel does not have to say “sailfish”)
For Marlin releases, the dialog should be communicated as follows:
Vessel— “Control, Control [Name of Vessel] hooked up to a marlin”
Committee Boat—“[Name of Vessel] hooked up to a marlin 10:30 a.m.”
Once the Marlin has been released:
Vessel— “Control, Control [Name of Vessel] one marlin release right now”
Committee Boat—“[Name of Vessel] marlin released 10:50 a.m. Release number 256.”
Tournament Control will respond with a time of hook-up and then a time of release and release number for marlin. Tournament Control will respond with a number for sailfish releases.
Two minutes prior to calling lines out teams will report their hook ups to the committee boat. The committee boat will not respond until after lines out is called. The observer is the official on board to observe and confirm last minute hook-ups.
Although it is common practice for the Observer to hand in the scorecard, it is the Captain’s ultimate responsibility to make sure his boat logs every fish on the scorecard. It is also the Captain’s responsibility to ensure that the scorecard is completed properly with correct and legible angler names (check angler list that is sent to the boat with the observer each morning), timely delivered to the scoring committee and prior to delivery, ensuring that it is signed both by the captain and the observer.
Verification of Catch:
All releases must be witnessed by the Observer. Teams may also obtain photo evidence, with date and time stamp, of their marlin releases. In the event of a dispute between the team and the observer with regard to the verification of the species of fish, the Rules Committee shall base its determination on the observer’s ruling, unless the team has sufficiently recognizable photo/video evidence or witness statements to the contrary.
All billfish must be released to obtain points. Sailfish releases are worth 100 points each and all species of marlin and spearfish are worth 500 points each.
Scorecards must be filled out and verified by each Captain and turned in to tournament control daily. Scorecards must be submitted to the tournament no later than 7:00 pm each day, including the last fishing day, even if a team has reported that they are fighting a fish at lines out. Only if a team has mechanical problems during the fishing day or while returning to Los Sueños Marina, may they pass the completed scorecard to another boat to be submitted. The scorecard must be legible, show the boat name, date, time of release, release number, species of fish (marlin or sailfish), name of the angler, and have the signatures of the Captain and Observer.
In the event of a tie, time of release will be used to determine the winner, with the prize going to the boat that obtains the given release first.
All participants in any leg of the Triple Crown or the entire tournament series, whether a captain, angler, mate, or observer are subject to these tournament rules in addition to Costa Rican legislation and tournament, national and international pandemic protocols and guidelines, where applicable. Should the Tournament Committee be made aware of any potential rules infraction, it is solely up to the Tournament Committee to investigate and determine if such potential infraction applies to any individual leg of the Triple Crown or to the entire tournament series. Any ruling by the Tournament Committee shall be communicated to the individual(s) in question and shall be non-appealable.
Protests must be submitted in writing to the Rules Committee by 7:00 pm on the same day as the catch or release of the disputed fish or, should the protest be filed for a reason other than a fish, prior to 7 pm on the last day of the tournament. The Tournament Committee shall determine if the potential infraction affects the validity of the participation of any individual participant or team in the tournament or series.
Any protest filed as to the legitimacy of any participant angler being considered a professional, in accordance with the definition of these rules and regulations, must be accompanied by sufficient evidence to support the protest.
All protests must be accompanied by a non-refundable $1,000 filing fee (cash only). Investigations by the Tournament Committee to verify information will be limited exclusively to the reason for the protest; nevertheless, should any additional infractions be found during the investigation, the Tournament Committee shall also be able to disqualify any individual participant or team from the tournament or series. Notice of a protest will be provided by the Tournament Committee to the primary contacts of the vessel protested (captain and/or boat owner). All information obtained during the investigation is confidential and shall be kept on file by the Tournament Committee.
All participants in any tournament or series agree to undergo a polygraph test in the event the Tournament Committee deems it necessary to resolve a potential infraction. Failure to submit to the polygraph test shall result in automatic disqualification.
These rules shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the Laws of the Republic of Costa Rica. In the event that any provision of these rules is determined to be invalid or unenforceable, then such provision shall be omitted from these rules and the remaining provisions shall remain in full force and effect. Any and all disputes, claims, differences, disputes or controversies arising out of or in relation to any aspect of these rules, their performance, liquidation, interpretation, validity or any breach thereof, shall be resolved by arbitration of law at the participant’s request in accordance with the bylaws of the International Center for Conciliation and Arbitration of the Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce (“CICA”). The Parties hereby agree to submit voluntarily and unconditionally to its rules and bylaws and claim knowledge thereof. The laws of Costa Rica shall govern the conflict. The arbitration shall take place at CICA in San José, Republic of Costa Rica. An arbitration tribunal of three arbitrators shall decide the matters subject to the arbitration procedure. The award rendered pursuant to such arbitration shall be in writing, shall be final, binding and conclusive between the parties. The award shall have no further recourse, except for those provided for review and nullity. Once the award is rendered and is final, it will produce the effects of res judicata and the parties shall comply with the award without delay. Costs related to the arbitration procedure and arbitrators shall be borne by the parties in equal proportion as the arbitration procedure advances, unless the arbitration tribunal decides otherwise.
For each leg of the Triple Crown, trophies will be awarded to the top three boats based on overall billfish release points. The total cash prize purse will vary depending upon the number of entries received. Cash prizes will be distributed to the top three boats (based on overall billfish release points) as follows: 50% first place, 30% second place, 20% third place.
The title of Series Champion shall be given to the boat to obtain the highest combined score over the three tournament series first. The Series Champion will have their boat name added to the perpetual trophy, located by the Marina Office in the Marina Entry Building in Los Sueños Resort and Marina.
Participating anglers are competing for recognition as Top Angler of each leg of the Triple Crown, as well as Top Angler Overall where the angler to obtain the most points over all three events of the series is recognized. In addition, the Triple Crown shall award the Top Female Angler Overall after the third leg. Professional anglers are not eligible to compete in these top angler categories.
The total cash prize purse to be distributed to the Series Champion will vary and shall be based on the number of entries received and eligible to compete for such title under these rules and regulations (see paragraph 2 under Anglers).
Federal Legislation and IGFA rules apply to the entire event unless otherwise noted. The rules and regulations are subject to change at the discretion of the Rules Committee. The interpretation, decisions and enforcement by the Rules Committee of these rules and regulations shall be final and binding on all anglers, boats, captains, crews and observers participating in any leg of the Triple Crown or the entire tournament series.
All participants are required to comply with tournament, national and international pandemic guidelines and protocols, if and when applicable.