The Naira team scored a grand slam on the third and final day to win the 2017 Presidential Aruba Caribbean Cup in grand style. The team released two blue marlin, four white marlin and one sailfish, good for 2,000 points, in the three days of tournament competition. It’s also the third year in a row they have won the tournament. Naira is a 57-foot Paul Mann home-ported in Aruba and owned by Ruben “Bincho” Mansur. Yilson Iriarte from Naira also won the tournament’s top angler trophy and prizes with 900 points.
Finishing in second place is Eric Mansur’s Alina team. They tallied 1,700 points from three blue marlin, one white marlin and five sailfish in the tournament. Alina is a 58-foot Paul Mann home-ported at Marina Varadero in Aruba, the host location for the Presidential Caribbean Cup tournament. The team fishing aboard Tara finished in third place with 1,500 points. Tara is captained by Alex Mansur. Billfishing in Aruba is a true family sport!
In the angler standings Iriarte was followed by Kanmar Kleinmodig from the Just Us team with 900 points, finishing in second place. Third went to Christian Mansur on Alina with 800 points.
Despite high winds and rough seas, the fleet of 19 participating vessels released a total of 64 billfish: 17 blue marlin, 23 white marlin and 24 sailfish, all on 30-pound-test line and non-offset circle hooks. Naira recorded the tournament’s only grand slam. The event serves as an important fundraiser for The Billfish Foundation, supporting billfish conservation in the Caribbean through research, education and advocacy.
19 TEAMS – 77 ANGLERS
BLUE MARLIN- 17 / WHITE MARLIN – 23 /
SAILFISH – 24/ GRAND SLAM – 1
COSTA GRAND CHAMPION TEAM- NAIRA2000 POINTS
2ND PLACE – ALINA 1700 POINTS
3RD PLACE – TARA 1500 POINTS
EAGLE CLAW GRAND CHAMPION ANGLER – YILSON IRIARTE 900 POINTS
2ND PLACE – KANMAR KLEINMOEDIG 900 POINTS
3RD PLACE – CHRISTIAN MANSUR 800 POINTS
360 Luxury Condos Wins Presidential Flamingo Fishing Rodeo
second annual event highlights great summer fishing in northern Costa Rica
Flamingo, Costa Rica: The second annual Presidential
Flamingo Fishing Rodeo produced not just outstanding competition but also a
great family-oriented focus, highlighting the terrific summer fishing that
northern Costa Rica has to offer. The 56 participating anglers, fishing on 14
boats, released 91 sailfish and four blue marlin in the two-day event. Among
the participants were seven family teams, five junior anglers and three lady
In the hotly contested offshore division, Team 360 Luxury
Condos, fishing aboard Wet Ass II,
emerged victorious. The team, representing a prestigious real estate
development in the region, had five sailfish releases on the first day and
backed it up with two blue marlin, three more sails and a dorado on Day Two for
the win. Scott Ivers from Team 360 was
also the tournament’s top angler.
Fishing on the Gamefisher
II, the Hub International team finished in second place. They released 13
sailfish. The heaviest dorado of the tournament was a a 51-pound beast landed
by Chris Kaufman on Permit III. The
top lady angler was Monica Guevara on Sea
Fun, and the top junior was Erik Evans on Bushwacker. The Kaufman family took home the top family award, and
the overall top boat was the Wet Ass II.
The Presidential Flamingo Fishing Rodeo benefits several
important charities, including Abriento Mentes, a group that assists local
residents in the Guanacaste Province with employment opportunities and
continuing education, as well as The Billfish Foundation, promoting
conservation in Central America and throughout the world. The Presidential
Flamingo Fishing Rodeo features a low entry fee and a family-friendly
atmosphere that’s perfect for ladies and junior anglers to experience the fun
of tournament fishing without the stress associated with a big cash prize. The
event also highlights the outstanding summer fishing in the northern Pacific
Next year’s Presidential Flamingo Fishing Rodeo will be held
The Aruba-based team wins the tournament for the second year in a row
Marina Varadero, Aruba—For the second year in a row, Ruben “Bincho” Mansur Jr. and his highly competitive team aboard the 57-foot Paul Mann, Naira, have emerged victorious in the Presidential Aruba Caribbean Cup. The tournament, presented by the Aruba Airport Authority and hosted by Varadero Aruba Marina and Boatyard, quickly became one of the hottest “must-fish” tournaments in the southern Caribbean region, thanks to not only the tough but friendly competition but also the entertaining dockside parties each evening. It’s one of those rare tournaments where friends gather to fish against friends, as much for bragging rights as for the first-place trophies, prizes and cash.
Mansur and company found the fish on Day One, releasing a grand slam of a blue marlin, white marlin and sailfish, to also earn additional bonus points for the slam. They added two more white marlin just before lines out to wind up their day with 2,200 points and a commanding lead. The second-place team, fishing on Driftwood, released a pair of white marlin to score 1,000 points. The team on Living Easy also had two whites and 1,000 points for third place.
Day Two saw the Naira team battling with Living Easy for the lead. The Living Easy team had one blue marlin and five white marlin for the day to close the lead, but Naira still remained firmly in command for the second day with a grand slam of a blue marlin, white marlin and sailfish, their second of the tournament. The Picanteteam was third going into the final day. They also scored a grand slam on Day Two of fishing.
And in the end, Naira was not to be denied. In three days of fishing, Bincho Mansur and company scored a total of 4,900 points with three blue marlin, six white marlin and two sailfish releases, plus two 100-point bonuses for the grand slams on Days One and Two. In second place was Herbert Merryweather and the Living Easy team with 3,000 points. They had one blue marlin and five whites for the tournament. The Alina team rebounded nicely after not scoring any points at all on the first day of competition; they released a grand slam on the third day and placed third overall with 2,300 points.
In the Top Angler standings, Carlos Isaza from Naira was first with 2,600 points, which included an impressive personal grand slam. Anthony Pinzon from Living Easy was second with 2,500 points and Jose Guanipa on Alina was third with 1,600 points.
For the event there were 70 billfish releases: 13 blue marlin, 43 white marlin and14 sailfish, all on 30-pound test line and non-offset circle hooks. There were four grand slams: two for Naira and one each for teams on Alina and Picante.
For more information or additional photography from the 2016 Presidential Aruba Caribbean Cup, contact tournament coordinator Joan Vernon via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 9, 2016
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Outstanding Fishing for Presidential
Flamingo Fishing Rodeo
Flamingo, Costa Rica: The Presidential Flamingo Fishing
Rodeo saw some amazing fishing for the ten international and family fishing
teams that gathered for the first annual event, held in Flamingo, Costa Rica.
Designed to highlight the outstanding sport-fishing for which the region is
world-famous, the Flamingo Fishing Rodeo hosted ten teams and 36 anglers,
targeting marlin, sailfish, mahimahi, tuna, roosterfish and snapper. Many teams
were families fishing the tournament with their kids.
The event kicked off with a silent auction and fundraiser
at Marie’s in downtown Flamingo. Despite a late-season thunderstorm, over
$1,000 was raised in just a few hours for the tournament’s charities, The
Billfish Foundation and Abriendo Mentes, a regional organization that assists
Costa Ricans with job opportunities and education.
On the first day of fishing, the boats departed from several
area beaches and headed for the open Pacific. Shortly after lines in at 8:30
a.m. the billfish releases started pouring in. Several of the area’s top boats
were in the bite, including Permit III,
II and others. The wind kicked up a bit by the afternoon, cutting the day
short for the offshore boats. By the end of the day there were two blue marlin
and 24 sailfish released by the small fleet, plus two tuna and a mahimahi
Perfect weather broke for the second day, and great fishing
continued. Daniel Suarez released two sailfish to win the Top Junior Angler
trophy. And just before the 6 p.m. deadline, the Murillo family arrived at the
weigh station with news that 6-year-old Issac Murillo had released a nice
roosterfish, winning the Roosterfish Release trophy and second place in the
Junior Angler standings. The Kaufman family—Rob and Dale—claimed the Top Family
award. Fishing aboard the Plautus, Jamey
Harliss had the tournament’s biggest mahimahi at 26 pounds, and Sam Frederichs
had the top tuna at 45 pounds .SjonHarliss was the Top Lady Angler, also
fishing on the Plautus.
The Hub International II team won the tournament with 17
sailfish and a blue marlin, all released, for 160 points. They were fishing on
the Permit III with Capt. Chepe
Santana. The Hub International I team was just 100 points behind at 150 points
on the Gamefisher II, and Bushwacker
was third with 130 points. David Hicks was the Top Angler with seven sailfish
released on the Permit III. The awards dinner and presentation was hosted and
sponsored by the Marina Flamingo Development Group. Costa Rica’s national
tourism department, ICT, was also a major sponsor and supporter of this year’s
The dates for next year’s Presidential Flamingo Fishing
Rodeo will be July 28-30, 2017, with fishing days on July 29 and 30. Excellent
charter boats are available and private vessels are always welcome. For more
information visit www.preschallenge.com
or email tournament coordinator Joan Vernon at email@example.com.
Heaviest Dorado: Jamey Harless - 29 lbs
Heaviest Tuna: Sam Friedrich - 45 lbs
Most Billfish Releases: Hub International 390 points
Most Roosterfish Releases: Isaac Murillo
Top Captain: Capt. Chepe Santana - Permit III
Top Angler : David Hicks 140 points
Top Lady Angler: Sjon Harless 26 points
Top Family: Rob & Dale Kaufman
Top Junior Angler: Daniel Suarez
Top Boy Angler: Daniel Suarez
2nd Place Boy Angler: Isaac Murillo
Over all Top Boat/Team:
Hub International Team 2
Presidential Challenge Charitable
New Tournament for 2016
Key Biscayne, FL—The Presidential Challenge Charitable
Foundation has recently announced the formation of a new “fun fish” tournament
for 2016: the Presidential Flamingo Fishing Rodeo. The event will be held in
Flamingo Beach, which is located on the northern coast of Costa Rica in the
nation’s Guanacaste province, and is scheduled for July 30-31, 2016.
“We’re going back to the basics with this tournament,”
says PCCA founder Joan Vernon. “It’s time we put the fun and family back into
sportfishing, as well as a more focused appeal to the charter boat angler.” In
fact, she says the tournament’s mission statement is to publicize Flamingo as
the fishing destination that it used to be by helping charter captains book
clients to fish this event. It will also create an increased awareness of Flamingo
and the northern Pacific region of Costa Rica as a world class fishing
destination. “It’s been very exciting to work with the charter captains as well
as the business owners in Flamingo, many of whom have been friends of mine for
many many years,” Vernon says. “This event will offer a minimal entry fee, just
$600 for a team of up to six anglers, and will have minimal rules—just go
fishing and have a great time. Plus we will also benefit not only marine
conservation in Costa Rica but also a local charity called Abriendo Mentes,
which is a nonprofit organization to help provide assistance to people in that
part of Costa Rica to have access to enhanced education and employment
opportunities.” Sponsorship opportunities are now available for this event so
please contact Joan Vernon directly, firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information.
In addition to the new Flamingo Fun Fish Rodeo, the
Presidential Challenge Conservation Series will consist of the Varadero Aruba
Caribbean Cup (with October, 2016 dates to be announced shortly). Vernon is
also considering a return to the sailfish-rich waters off Guatemala with a
Presidential Challenge event as well. Visit www.preschallenge.com for updates.
Season-Long Champions Crowned at PCCA El
Tranquilo Team Continues Winning Streak En
Route to Victory in the
Bahia del Sol, El Salvador: They are two of the most
prestigious awards in light-tackle billfishing: the Eagle Claw Grand Champion
Angler and the Costa Grand Champion Team awards. This year teams fished hard in
two separate seas—the Pacific and the Caribbean—in three events in order to
determine the winners. And it should come as no surprise that it would come
down to just 400 points separating first from third, indicating incredibly
close competition among the anglers who participated. This year’s circuit
included the Presidential Papagayo Cup in northern Costa Rica, the Varadero
Aruba Caribbean Cup and the Presidential Challenge of El Salvador. Anglers were
restricted to relatively light line classes (20 and 30 pound class) and were
also required to use non-offset circle hooks.
In the Eagle Claw Grand Champion Angler Division, Ken
Cofer was the winner with 2,800 points followed by J Godwin in second at 2,700
points. Bill Pino was third with 2,400 points. Both Ken and Bill fished the
season on the Tranquilo, while J was part of Team USA, chartering several boats
in the fishing areas. The Tranquilo was
the Costa Grand Champion team this year, scoring 10,100 points. Team USA was
second at 7,000 points and Team Priority was third at 3,800 points. Tranquilo also won the Billfish
Tournament Series of Central America perpetual trophy with a total score of
30,200 from their Central American tournament series this year.
Continuing their red-hot winning streak from their
Mexican tournament swing that saw them winning nearly $3 million this season,
Ken and Amanda Cofer elected to fish the Presidential Challenge of El Salvador aboard
the Tranquilo en route home to their
slip at Marina Pez Vela in Quepos, Costa Rica. Despite a hard-fought battle
their team emerged victorious in this event, which was run concurrently with
the El Salvador International Billfish Tournament. As in previous years the
Bahia Del Sol was the host resort for the tournament, offering comfortable
accommodations and a couple great restaurants that were located just steps from
the waiting boats in the marina. The event kicked off with a gala welcome party
as the El Salvadorans got the party started in grand style.
The boats departed the marina at 5 a.m. each morning for
the run to the fishing grounds and it wasn’t long before the teams found the
fish. Tranquilo got off to a fast
start with plenty of sailfish and a bonus blue marlin on Day One but it was
neck and neck with Team USA on the Costa Rican charterboat Bushwacker on Day Two. However, there was little that anyone could
do to slow the inevitable as Tranquilo
continued to pull away from the fleet. In the end they would win the PCCA El
Salvador tournament with a score of 8,400 points. In second was Team USA on the
Bushwacker with 4,700 points. The Monique scored third with 3,800 points
and the Sails Tactic was fourth with
In the Top Angler standings, Tranquilo owner Ken Cofer was first with 2,000 points, followed by
his teammate Bill Pino in second with 1,900 points. J Godwin from Team USA was
third with 1,600 points.
Naira Team Wins Varadero Aruba Caribbean Cup!
Marina Varadero, Aruba: The Naira team, captained by Ruben “Bincho” Mansur, Jr, led the Varadero Aruba Caribbean Cup nearly wire to wire this year, scoring 2,400 points in three days, including a Grand Slam bonus on Day Two. They had two blue marlin, five white marlin and two sailfish releases in three days of fishing. This is the second time that the team has emerged victorious in this event. “We had a great tournament,” Mansur reports. “My crew caught nearly everything they saw and we worked well together. And congratulations to Yilson for his Grand Slam!” Indeed it would be Yilson Iriarte in third place in the angler standings thanks to his personal Grand Slam of a blue marlin, white marlin and sailfish on the Naira on Day Two of the tournament.
In second place was Eric Mansur’s Alina team with 1,900 points. They had two blues, four whites and a sailfish for the tournament. Mansur also reported great fishing. “We hooked up with a blue [marlin] and the Iliza came in behind us and hooked four white marlin—the ocean just came alive with bait and marlin.” The Tara scored 1,500 points from two blues and three whites to place third.
In the Top Angler category it was Bancho Mansur from the Naira in first place with 900 points. He’s followed by Odemaris Parades, an outstanding lady angler representing the Amazing Grace team, also with 900 points but falling just short based on time of release. In third was the Naira’s Yilson Iriarte with 800 points.
As with all Presidential Challenge events, the Varadero Aruba Caribbean Cup provides financial support to the many conservation projects currently underway by The Billfish Foundation, both around the world and right here in the Caribbean.
For the event there were 67 billfish releases: 17 blue marlin, 37 white marlin and 13 sailfish, all on 30-pound test line and non-offset circle hooks. There were two Grand Slams, both on the second day of fishing.
Team Picaflor wins PCCA Guatemala!
Texas/Panama-based Team Goes Wire to Wire in Victory
Puerto San Jose, Guatemala: For nearly 20 years the Presidential Challenge Conservation Series has wrapped up its season-long competition in the fish-rich waters off Guatemala, offering anglers an opportunity to experience some truly spectacular light-tackle billfishing. However, the 2014 rendition of the tournament went above and beyond those expectations, delivering angling excitement in spades for the fleet of 12 participating teams.
By the time the salt spray had cleared, a tournament-record 849 billfish had been released (845 sailfish and four blue marlin). The previous record of 676, set in 2010, was shattered. The average was almost 71 billfish releases per team for the tournament, or 23.6 per day. Simply incredible numbers. Most of the action occurred close to shore too.
Team Picaflor, hailing from Texas and Panama, led the tournament wire to wire from Day One through Day Three, fishing with Capt. Brad Phillips aboard the Decisive. John Richardson, Monte Richardson and Travis Russell finished the event with 10,400 points and were the top boat from each day of competition. Chasing them for second place was a Guatemalan team representing their national sportfishing association. Juan Manuel Cobar, Alvaro de la Hoz, Fernando Merck and Juan Pira were on the Piragua for the tournament, where they scored 9,200 points. Team USA, fishing on the Capt. Hook, landed in third place with 8,500 points. Bill Evans and J Godwin remained steady throughout the event as always.
In the Top Angler standings, Juan Cobar on the Piragua was first with 3,800 points. He was followed by Travis Russell with 3,600 points and Monte Richardson with 3,400 points, both representing Team Picaflor on the Decisive.
The tournament also wrapped up the annual competition for the Costa Grand Champion Team and Eagle Claw Grand Champion Angler for the Presidential Challenge Series. Teams and anglers must fish in a minimum of two PCCA events per season to be eligible for these awards. For the second year in a row, the Tranquilo was the Costa Grand Champion Team. The husband and wife team of Ken and Amanda Cofer tallied 9,950 points fishing PCCA events this year, and will have their team name engraved on the beautiful perpetual trophy that resides in the IGFA Hall of Fame in Dania, FL. In second was the Dragin Fly team with 9,800 points, followed by Team USA in third with 9,800 points.
In the Eagle Claw Grand Champion Angler standings, J Godwin from Team USA emerged victorious. Godwin scored 3,200 points for the season. He was followed by Nasry Arguedas from the Monique in second place with 3,100 points and Tranquilo’s Ken Cofer in third with 3,000 points. The standings were incredibly close all year.
Congratulations to everyone who fished the Presidential Challenge Conservation Series this season. As with all PCCA events, the proceeds were donated to support billfish research and conservation through The Billfish Foundation and other resources to ensure a strong fishery for future generations to enjoy. For more information visit www.preschallenge.com.
First Place Team/Boat: PICAFLOR/DECISIVE 10,400
Second Place Team/Boat: ASOCIACION NACIONAL de PESCA DEPORTIVA DE GUATEMALA 9200
Third Place Team/Boat: USA/CAPT. HOOK 8500
First Place Angler: JUAN COBAR 3800
Second Place Angler: TRAVIS RUSSELL 3600
Third Place Angler: MONTE RICHARDSON 3400
Past PCCA Costa Grand Champion Team winners, Team Picaflor, proved that they hadn’t lost their touch when they released a total score of 75 sailfish in the first two days of the Presidential Challenge of Guatemala. Led by current Top Angler, Travis Russell, the team fished with seasoned Captain Brad Phillips to hold their tournament lead. Chasing them for first place is the Guatemalan Team representing the Asociacion Nacional de Pesca Deportiva with anglers Juan Manuel Cobar, Alvaro de la Hoz, Fernando Merck and Juan Pira turned in a total of 65 sail releases aboard the Piragua. Right behind them is the red hot team of Dell Dembosky, Jay Weaver, Jesse Granitki, and Howard Webb fishing with Capt. David Salazar aboard the Finest Kind who have turned in 64 sailfish releases.
Juan Cobar is within striking distance of the top angler honors with 2800 points fishing with his ANPD de Guatemala team aboard Piragua. Monte Richardson fishing for Picaflor is challenging with 2500 points.
The total fish tally today was 609 sailfish and 1 blue marlin. The record for the most fish caught in a Presidential Challenge is 676 in 2010 also with 12 boats fishing. This year the fleet of skilled anglers are within striking distance of breaking that record during the final Presidential Challenge of Guatemala.
PCCA Guatemala Day Two Standings
First Place Team/Boat: PICAFLOR/DECISIVE 7500
Second Place Team/Boat:
ANPD de Guatemala/PIRAGUA 6500
Third Place Team/Boat: FINEST KIND 6400
First Place Angler: TRAVIS RUSSELL 2900
Second Place Angler: JUAN COBAR 2800
Third Place Angler: MONTE RICHARDSON 2500
Record Breaking Fishing Greets PCCA Anglers
Past Champs Picaflor Take the Lead on Day One
The fishing was awesome on the first day of the Presidential Challenge of Guatemala. The bite started at 8:05am when Jorge Castro aboard the Monique released the first sailfish. This was the first of a record breaking 353 sailfish to be released today. At stake are the titles of Eagle Claw TroKar Grand Champion Angler and Costa Grand Champion Team for the PCCA and the Series Champion Team in the BTSCA.
Past Costa Grand Champion Team winners, Picaflor, hailing from Texas and Panama took the top line of the leader board with 4400 points fishing aboard Decisive, with veteran captain Brad Phillips. The Guatemalan Team, ANDP de Guatemala is right behind with 3600 points fishing aboard the Piragua. Chasing points is Team USA fishing on the Capt. Hook who turned in 3500 points.
In the Angler Division we have Juan Cobar taking the lead fishing aboard the Piragua who turned in 2000 points today. Veteran PCCA Angler Travis Russell fishing for Picaflor had a score of 1800 points. Right behind him was teammate Monte Richardson with 1500 points.
This was a very exciting day of solid billfishing. There was no lag in the action as boats called in releases all day. Fish were close and action was hot!
Presidential Challenge Conservation Series Sponsors
PCCA Guatemala Day One Standings
First Place Team/Boat: Decisive/Picaflor 4400
Second Place Boat: Piragua/ANPD de Guatemala 3600
Third Place Team/Boat: USA/Capt. Hook 3500
First Place Angler: Juan Cobar 2000 pts
Second Place Angler: Travis Russell 1800 pts
Third Place Angler: Monte Richardson 1800 pts
353 Sailfish Released Today!
The Billfish Foundation’s Online Database: Enter Your Releases Today!
The Billfish Foundation has developed a new online database that’s very functional and easy to use, where anglers no longer have to tag their billfish. By recording this additional information on marlin and sailfish that are released without being tagged, much additional information can be gained that was previously unavailable. So we encourage everyone fishing in this year’s Presidential Challenge of Guatemala to visit their website and enter their billfish releases, whether they were tagged or not. The site is www.tagbillfish.org.
Ola Wins Chivas Regal Aruba Caribbean Cup!
Local Team Tops the Standings in Fifth Annual Tournament
Oranjestad, Aruba: The Ola, an Aruba-based team led by Sydney Ponson, had an amazing three days of fishing during the fifth annual Chivas Regal Aruba Caribbean Cup and by the end of the tournament they stood alone at the top of the leaderboard. They started their run with a pair of blue marlin releases on the first day, then scored bonus points for a Grand Slam (blue marlin, white marlin and sailfish) on the second day of the tournament to move into the lead. On Day Three they saved their best performance for last with two blue marlin and one white marlin releases. The team of Capt. Gregorio Maduro, Sydney Ponson, Michael Pascia and Rudolpho Ras finished the event with 2,300 points.
In second place was the aptly-named Amazing Grace, who also scored a Grand Slam on the third and final day of the tournament to come from behind. They had 1,900 points for the event. In third was the Alina, captained by Eric Mansur. They were in contention throughout the tournament but slipped to third place on the final day. Team Priority, fishing on the Driftwood, placed fourth with 900 points while the Sea Ross rounded out the top five with 800 points.
In the Top Angler standings, Ola’s Mike Pascia and Rudolpho Ras finished first and second with 1,300 and 900 points respectively. Amazing Grace’s William Bostillos and Odemaris Parades were third and fourth with 900 and 800 points, while Herbert Crew from the El Jefe placed fifth with 600 points.
For the tournament there were 17 blue marlin, 12 white marlin and 45 sailfish releases, all on 30-pound test Momoi line and Eagle Claw non-offset circle hooks. This marks a new record for billfish releases for the tournament, which showcases the outstanding billfishing offered in Aruba. The kickoff party hosted a presentation on white marlin by scientist John Houlihan, revealing data discovered through the Adopt-A-Billfish satellite tagging program in Aruba. And as with all Presidential Challenge events, a portion of the proceeds from the Chivas Regal Aruba Caribbean Cup will go to The Billfish Foundation to fund their conservation projects both in the Caribbean and around the world. For more information please visit www.preschallenge.com
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Dragin Fly Team Goes Wire to Wire in Presidential Papagayo Cup Anglers Pocket nearly $25,000 in Victory
Marina Papagayo, Costa Rica—The Dragin Fly angling team of Dwight Wolf, Mike Rankey, Tim DonLevy and Pat Renfro led wire to wire in the third annual Presidential Papagayo Cup, scoring 1,200 points from two blue marlin and six sailfish releases on Day Three alone for a total of 3,200 points and the win. They also swept the daily and overall optional jackpots along the way to victory to rack up nearly $25,000 in prize money. After releasing a blue marlin and seven sailfish on Day One, the team never let up, remaining in the lead at nearly every turn until the final call for lines out was made at 3 p.m. on Day Three.
This comes as their third win of the year, following a first place finish in the Los Suenos Signature Series event in January as well as winning the title of Top Overall Team in the Los Suenos series. The Dragin Fly is a 42-foot custom Maverick charter vessel captained by James Smith.
The Xta-Sea, with anglers Alexis and Julio Chamorro and Hugo Holmann in the cockpit and Capt. John LaGrone at the helm released two blue marlin along with a handful of sails on Day Three for a strong finish at 2,000 points and second place. The Chamorros are among the toughest competitors fishing in Central America and are a very well-respected team in any tournament they choose to enter. The Xta-Sea edged out the Pelese, who also scored 2,000 points but fell just short based on the time of their last release. Marc Stanley, Parker Bankston and Johnny Bankston, along with Capt. Max Morris, marched their way to third by pounding away at the sailfish, eventually tallying 17 releases along with a beautiful black marlin release for Pelese owner Marc Stanley from Day One.
In the Angler Division standings, Dragin Fly’s Mike Rankey took top honors with 1,400 points. He was followed by Julio Chamorro, who’s two marlin releases on Day Three aboard the Xta-Sea helped boost him to second in the angler standings with 1,200 points. Finishing third was Dwight Wolf, the leader from the first two days from the Dragin Fly.
Thanks to their strong finish, the Xta-Sea team also wins the Papagayo Cup Perpetual Trophy—their names will be inscribed upon this perpetual award that’s on permanent display in the ship’s store at Marina Papagayo. The Papagayo Cup is presented each year to the team with the highest point total between the PCCA Costa Rica tournament in March and the Presidential Papagayo Cup event in June. This year, the Xta-Sea team tallied 2,600 points between the two tournaments and was named the winners of this year’s award, one of the most prestigious in Costa Rican sportfishing circles.
In the standings for the new Billfish Tournament Series of Central America series, the Pelese team has moved into the lead with 4,550 points. They were followed by the Tranquilo with 4,100 points and in third the Dragin Fly at 3,250 points. At stake is a beautiful perpetual trophy that will be presented to the top team to display at their home marina for one year. In 2013, the remaining tournaments are the Flor de Cana Invitational in Nicaragua, the El Salvador International and the Presidential Challenge of Guatemala. For more information, visit www.billfishcentralamerica.com.
The staff of the Presidential Challenge would like to thank the ICT, Costa Rica’s national tourism agency, as the Presenting Sponsor of this year’s Papagayo Cup along with our Host Marina, Marina Papagayo. Costa Sunglasses sponsored the Costa ‘Rica’ Dock Party and Flor de Cana Rum was proudly served throughout the tournament; Flor de Cana is the Official Rum of the Papagayo Cup Series.
For more information on the Presidential Challenge Conservation Series, please visit www.preschallenge.com.
Family and Friends Wins Presidential Challenge of Costa Rica
Los Suenos-based Team Comes From Behind in Rough Conditions on Tournament’s Final Day
Playa Carrillo, Costa Rica
In addition to the unusually slow bite that held over from the first two days of competition, the teams fishing the third and final day of the Presidential Challenge of Costa Rica faced another hurdle: wind. A strong front pushed through the area bringing very windy conditions along with high seas to the coastal Pacific region that’s usually known for its calm conditions and excellent fishing.
However, the Family and Friends team managed to put together a comparatively good day in spite of the weather, releasing two sailfish before 9:30 a.m. and capping their day with a feisty striped marlin release. With 500 points scored for the day and combined with their tally from the first two days, it was enough to vault them from third into first place. The Family and Friends is owned by Kevin and Jackie Kopp and captained by Mike Canino. Angler Brian Danaso released each of their critical fish on Day Three. The team finished the tournament with seven sailfish and one marlin release, good for 1,000 points. The Family and Friends is a 50-foot Blackwell.
The Tijereta let go a pair of sailfish on the third day of the tournament to maintain their second place standing for Team USA/The Billfish Foundation. Bill Evans, Bill Easum and TBF representative Andrew Cox fished consistently and did well in this year’s event, scoring releases each day and missing just a few of their billfish. The difference for the team was on Day Two when a lively blue marlin appeared in the spread—the 300-point marlin could make a big difference in the scores and they knew it. Yet the finicky fish ignored the variety of baits thrown its way by the team as it switched from teaser to teaser before fading away without a bite. Still, the team was happy with their second place finish, 800 points from eight sailfish releases. The Tijereta is a 43-foot Island Boatworks charter vessel captained by Bubba Carter and based out of Los Suenos.
Finishing third was Team Priority on the Hoos Your Daddy, another charter boat out of Los Suenos that’s skippered by Capt. Dana Thomas. The team of Ed Arnold, Hans Kaspersetz and Jim McCord led Day Two of the tournament thanks to a striped marlin release by Kaspersetz, but were unable to improve on their standings on the third and final day. They slipped into third with 500 points (one striped marlin and two sailfish released).
In the angler standings, Brian Danaso from Family and Friends won it all with 600 points based largely on his striped marlin and sailfish releases from the third day. Hans Kaspersetz from Team Priority finished second with 500 points. In third was Bill Evans, fishing for Team USA/TBF on the Tijereta. In the Presidential Challenge, anglers must rotate positions on the boat to ensure a fair competition for the coveted Top Angler trophies and prizes, which included an Accurate reel, Costa sunglasses, Alutecnos fighting belts and more.
Despite slow fishing and terrible weather on the third day, the 17th Annual Presidential Challenge was still successful in its primary goal of raising much needed funding for The Billfish Foundation’s conservation projects both in Costa Rica and around the world. For the tournament there were 33 sailfish and three striped marlin, all released using 20-pound Momoi line and non-offset circle hooks.
Next up is the Presidential Papagayo Cup, Presented by the ICT and slated for May 16-19 in Marina Papagayo, Costa Rica. For more information on this event, please visit www.preschallenge.com.
New Billfish Tournament Series Announced The Billfish Tournament Series of Central America was recently formed to incorporate several of the high-profile billfish events in Central America, with the following goals:
• Promote sportfishing tourism as an important and sustainable industry throughout the Central American Pacific Coast region where the events take place. • Promote the conservation, research and sound management practices for all species of billfish including blue, black and striped marlin and sailfish as well as pelagic gamefish to both enhance and protect the future of the sportfishing tourism industry. • Increase and enhance the levels of communication and cooperation among the tournament directors and host resorts in the region.
The Billfish Tournament Series of Central America will consist of a year-long point race by Team/Boat which will result in an overall Series Champion. Points will be awarded by billfish release (marlin and sailfish) during participating tournaments using their event catch logs. The winning team will have their names inscribed upon the BTSCA Perpetual Trophy, which will reside at their home marina until the awards presentation for the following year. There is absolutely no additional cost for a team to participate in the Billfish Tournament Series of Central America as well.
Participating tournaments in the 2013 BTS will be the Quepos Billfish Cup, Feb. 6-9; Presidential Challenge of Costa Rica (Carrillo), Feb. 28-March 3; Presidential Papagayo Cup (Marina Papagayo), May 16-19; Flor de Cana International, August 15-18, 2013; El Salvador International, Nov. 6-9, 2013; Presidential Challenge of Guatemala, November 21-24, 2013. Additional tournaments may also be added.
Marina Varadero, Aruba—The Curacao-based Hey Chama team pulled off a down-to-the-wire victory in the third annual Chivas Regal Aruba Caribbean Cup, one of the most exciting finishes in the 17-year history of the Presidential Challenge Conservation Series.
Perhaps best known for not just superb marlin fishing but consistently windy conditions and rough seas, the waters surrounding the island nation of Aruba were unseasonably flat calm during this year’s tournament. While more comfortable for the participating anglers, the conditions produced slow fishing and a very tight field going into the last day. With just six minutes remaining on the third and final day, there were four teams knotted at the 600-point mark.
But showing that anything can happen in tournament fishing, the Hey Chama was mobbed by a trio of sailfish in the closing minutes. Just one remained hooked and was fought to a quick release as time ran out, giving the team of Capt. Irving Irausquin, Leonard and Roland Chapman, Ricky Winkel and Rafael Merentes the win with a total of 700 points.
One of the teams counting down the final minutes was the all-lady angler team fishing with Capt. Milton Pichardo aboard the Teaser, a 35-foot Bertram charterboat based in Aruba. The “Reel Teasers” team of Elizabeth, Natessa and Izaira Mansur and Jackie Croes had moved into the lead on the final day with six sailfish and 600 points. They were leading the fleet based on their time of last release as time ticked down. And while the sailfish release from the Hey Chama signaled a second place finish, the ladies took their efforts in great stride, cheering and toasting their finish with some well-deserved champagne upon their return to port.
A third team celebrated some last-day heroics during the Presidential Caribbean Cup. Robert Van Vliet, Elbert Suares, Jan Geerings and Eric Jansen, fishing aboard the Balkan, another vessel based in nearby Curacao, had not released a billfish going into the third and final day of the tournament. But with marlin worth 300 points and sailfish 100 points, they knew things could change in a hurry. By midday, they had their shot—a pair of white marlin came charging into the spread. Both were successfully hooked and released, rocketing the Balkan from obscurity to third place overall.
In the angler division standings, Rafael Merentes emerged victorious with 600 points, scoring a trio of sailfish releases (including the all-important tiebreaker) and a white marlin kicker during the tournament on the Hey Chama. Natessa Mansur had an outstanding performance on the Teaser to finish second with 400 points, followed by Alex Mansur, Jr. with 300 points on the Iliza. In the Caribbean Cup, anglers rotate rod positions throughout the day to ensure equality in the shots at fish, while certified observers provided by the tournament provide a level playing field. In addition, 30-pound test line is supplied to all participants, who must use non-offset circle hooks throughout the tournament.
For more information on the Chivas Regal Aruba Caribbean Cup, including dates for next year’s tournament, please visit www.preschallenge.com or become a “Friend” of the Presidential Challenge Conservation Series on Facebook.
PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESIDENTIAL CHALLENGE ANNOUNCES NEW TROKAR CIRCLE HOOKS Key Biscayne, FL/Denver, CO: The Presidential Challenge Conservation Series is pleased to announce a brand new circle hook design—LazerTrokar—from our longtime partners in conservation, Eagle Claw. The world’s only manufacturer of surgically sharpened fishhooks, Trokar is a full line that’s geared toward the saltwater angler.
Lazer TroKar features an incredibly sharp, symmetrically engineered three-sided hook point, superior quality wire and welded hook eyes on select styles. Based on proven designs from the billfish tournament world, the Trokar AP Circle is sure to provide consistent hook-ups; it’s offered in sizes 7/0, 8/0 and 9/0, all in non-offset, tournament approved designs. All Lazer TroKar hooks feature a premium black chrome finish that’s specifically tailored to withstand the corrosion and abuse that saltwater angling demands while the welded eye prevents the leader from hanging up on the hook eye. And perhaps best of all, Trokar hooks are proudly manufactured in the United States.
Eagle Claw has been a long-standing Partner in Conservation with the Presidential Challenge, with an involvement spanning over 16 years. They are the trophy title sponsor of the Eagle Claw Grand Champion Angler award, quite possibly the most highly coveted trophy of the Presidential Challenge Tournament Series, which is presented to the individual angler with the highest point total during the four-tournament Presidential Challenge series. For 2012, marine artist Pierre Pierce is crafting a beautiful custom bronze trophy for the Eagle Claw Grand Champion Angler, who will be crowned at the season-ending Presidential Challenge tournament in Guatemala.
The new Trokar hooks will also be distributed to the participants of each Presidential Challenge tournament in 2013, with sample packs placed in the angler bags prior to the start of each tournament. “Without a doubt these are the sharpest circle hooks available on the market today,” says Presidential Challenge founder and tournament coordinator Joan Vernon. “We feel that these new Trokar hooks will be very well received by our anglers and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Eagle Claw as we move forward into our 17th year of ‘fishing for conservation’ with the Presidential Challenge.”
Eagle Claw’s Chris Russell echoed those sentiments, saying, “We’re very pleased to continue our relationship with the Presidential Challenge and look forward to the introduction of the Trokar line in the PCCA in 2013. These hooks are a real game-changer for the tournament billfish angler,” he added.
High Hook Tops 2012 Presidential Challenge of Costa Rica
The High Hook came to the Presidential Challenge of Costa Rica ready to fish, and they took on the fleet in style. They followed up with their Day Two performance going into Day Three, tallying more than enough points to outdistance the closest competitor (they had a memorable second day where they released three blue marlin and two sailfish, good for 1,100 points). While the scores were tight during most of the day, a last minute sailfish release put them on top with 1,500 points. High Hook owner Larry Allison was also the Top Angler for the tournament, releasing two blue marlin and a sailfish over the course of the three days. The High Hook is captained by Mike Parr with anglers Larry Allison, David Shinn, Lindor Arroyo and Jose Campon.
The Sea Angel clawed their way into second place with 1,300 points. Owner Greg Angel, his sons Capt. BC and Austin Angel and Arturo Moreno found only sailfish during the tournament, never releasing a marlin in three days, so they scored their points the hard way—one sailfish at a time. The team won several events in the Pacific last year including the Papagayo Cup Perpetual Trophy, presented to the team with the highest point total between the Presidential Challenge of Costa Rica and the Presidential Papagayo Cup.
Silver-Rod-O, with Team Las Ventanas del Mar (angler/owner Gary Carter, John Richardson, Tim Mossberg and Brian Grange) placed third with 1,300 points. A last-minute bite would have moved them into second but unfortunately they ran out of time, missing the 3:30 PM cutoff by just seconds.
In the angler standings, Allison took home first with 700 points thanks to his early release of a blue marlin. Gary Carter finished second with 700 points, followed by Arturo Moreno in third, also with 700 points.
The Presidential Challenge of Costa Rica celebrates its 16th anniversary of “fishing for conservation” this year. For more information on the tournament series, please visit www.preschallenge.com, or “friend” us on Facebook!
PCCA Final Standings
Four Blue Marlin, Six Striped Marlin and 67 Sailfish Released
First Place Team: High Hook, 1,500 points Second Place Team: Sea Angel, 1,300 points
Third Place Team: Las Ventanas del Mar, 1,300 points
First Place Angler: Larry Allison, 700 points Second Place Angler: Gary Carter, 700 points Third Place Angler: Arturo Moreno, 700 points
Top Boat: High Hook, 1,500 points
Second Place Boat: Sea Angel, 1,300 points
Third Place Boat: Silver-Rod-O, 1,300 points
Presidential Day Two Lead Falls to High Hook
The High Hook certainly lived up to her name today—the team, led by owner Larry Allison and Capt. Mike Parr tallied an incredible three blue marlin and two sailfish on Day Two of the Presidential Challenge of Costa Rica. Combined with their Day One total, this gives the Los Suenos-based team a total of 1,300 points in the tournament. Allison released two of the three marlin as well, good for 600 points and the lead in the angler standings.
However, the tournament is far from over. Gary Carter’s Las Ventanas del Mar team, fishing on the Silver-Rod-O, took over second place with 1,000 points and is well within striking distance of the leader. They released a pair of striped marlin and a sailfish on Day Two. The Silver-Rod-O is based in Carrillo. The Voice of the Wild tenaciously hung onto third place, assisted by a doubleheader of sailfish late on Day Two (a tough enough prospect on a standard sportfisherman, much less one 90 feet in length). They reached the 800 point mark and third place in the tournament. Let It Ride dropped to fourth at 800 points today while the Sea Angel released six sailfish on Day Two to move into fifth overall with 800 points. Both teams have had come-from-behind wins in the past and are just a couple marlin away from victory here.
In the angler standings, Larry Allison’s two blues on Day Two landed him in first place with a two day total of 700 points, followed by Gary Carter on the Silver-Rod-O, also at 700 points. The Sea Angel’s Arturo Moreno, the 2011 Eagle Claw Grand Champion Angler for the PCCA Series, is in third place with 500 points. Lindor Arroyo and Dick Tanner round out the top five anglers, respectively.
The tournament continues tomorrow with the final day of fishing, which will be followed by an awards presentation and Billfish Foundation auction and dinner at the Villas Playa Samara. Transportation to and from the Carrillo Anchorage will be provided for all registered anglers and captains.
For more information on the Presidential Challenge tournament series, please visit www.preschallenge.com.
PCCA Day Two Standings
Four Blue Marlin, Six Striped Marlin and 38 Sailfish Released
First Place Team: High Hook, 1,300 points Second Place Team: Las Ventanas, 1,000 points
Third Place Team: Voice of the Wild, 800 points
First Place Angler: Larry Allison, 700 points Second Place Angler: Gary Carter, 700 points Third Place Angler: Arturo Moreno, 500 points
Top Boat: High Hook, 1,300 points
Second Place Boat: Silver Rod O, 1,000 points
Third Place Boat: Voice of the Wild, 800 points
Let It Ride Leads Day One of 2012 PCCA Costa Rica
The fishing team aboard the Let It Ride leads after Day One of the Presidential Challenge of Costa Rica. Two more days will follow to determine not only the winner of the tournament but also the early leader in the standings for the Papagayo Cup Perpetual Trophy. The second leg of the series will be the Presidential Papagayo Cup, slated for June 6-9, 2012 in Marina Papagayo, located in northern Costa Rica.
Fishing was off to an unusually slow start today, with the Bushwacker’s Randall Garcia releasing the first billfish of the tournament at 9:26AM this morning. The good news was that the fishing steadily improved throughout the day. The Let It Ride, with anglers James Kontos, Dick Tanner and Alex Nole let go a striped marlin just after noon, then added a second stripey to their point total around 3PM in the afternoon to wind up Day One with 600 points.
Voice of the Wild had a solid showing today with a striped marlin release followed by a sailfish kicker, good for 400 points and second place. In third was the Priority team fishing on the Capullo—angler Hans Kaspersetz let go a striped marlin at 11:12PM to lead the anglers tied at 300 points. Gary Carter’s Las Ventanas del Mar, fishing aboard the Silver-Rod-O, placed fourth thanks to Carter’s blue marlin release just after one o’clock in the afternoon—his would be the only blue marlin of the day. The Sea Angel team rounded out the top five with a pair of sailfish released for Greg Angel and Arturo Moreno.
In the angler standings, Kaspersetz leads all thanks to his early marlin release. He’s chased by Ramon Gonzales, Dick Tanner, Gary Carter and Alex Nole respectively, all with 300 points for a marlin release.
The Presidential Challenge of Costa Rica is the first event of the season for the PCCA, which will next move to the above-mentioned Marina Papagayo in June for the Presidential Papagayo Cup. Then it’s off to the Caribbean in October for the Aruba Caribbean Cup and back to the Pacific in November for the season finale, the Presidential Challenge of Guatemala. Anglers fishing the series are in competition for the Costa Grand Champion Team award as well as the Eagle Claw Grand Champion Angler. For more information on the Presidential Challenge tournament series, please visit www.preschallenge.com.
PCCA Day One Standings
14 Sailfish, Four Striped Marlin and One Blue Marlin Released using 20-pound test Berkley line and non-offset circle hooks!
First Place Team: Let It Ride, 600 points Second Place Team: Voice of the Wild, 400 points
Third Place Team: Priority, 300 points
First Place Angler: Hans Kaspersetz, 300 points Second Place Angler: Ramon Gonzalez, 300 points Third Place Angler: Dick Tanner, 300 points
Top Boat: Let It Ride, 600 points
Second Place Boat: Voice of the Wild, 400 points
Third Place Boat: Capullo, 300 points
Conservation Work Yields 40-Mile Longline Closure
This year, thanks to the work of Herbert Nanne, TBF’s director for Central America, the Presidential Challenge was granted a special closure to all longline fishing operations within 40 miles of the tournament site in Carrillo. In addition, at least one patrol boat will be at sea during the three days of the tournament to enforce the closure within the 40-mile boundary. While this may seem like a small step, it represents an important precedent upon which additional measures may be considered.
Team OBX Victorious at PCCA; Southern Pride Wins Series
Few tournaments in sportfishing are as competitive as the Presidential Challenge of Central America, and this year proved that once again the PCCA hosts the world’s most talented light tackle anglers. With a stellar Day Three performance, Team OBX emerged victorious in Guatemala with a three-day total of 4200 points aboard the Rum Line with Capt. Chris Sheeder. They also finished third in the Costa Grand Champion standings for the season with 7,650 points.
In second place in the tournament was the Casa Vieja Lodge team, anchored by Lodge manager and executive chef Juan Cruz-Anon with 4200 points. They fished the Makaira with Capt. Jason Brice. Finishing third was Team TBF on the Intensity with Capt. Chris Sheeder with 3,900 points for the tournament.
In the Costa Grand Champion Team division, the Southern Pride emerged victorious with 8300 points, just 50 points ahead of the Sea Angel team at 8250. The Southern Pride fished in all four PCCA events this year, winning the Caribbean Cup in Aruba for the second time in a row in 2011. The Sea Angel in turn won PCCA Costa Rica and the Papagayo Cup for a stellar year on their own.
Congratulations to all who competed in the 2011 Presidential Challenge tournament series. Over $25,000 was raised for billfish conservation and an important satellite tagging project was completed this year in Aruba, thanks to your help.
For the tournament there were 346 sailfish, three blue marlin and two striped marlin released, all using Berkley 20-pound test line and non-offset circle hooks.
First Place Team: Team OBX, 4,200 points Second Place Team: Casa Vieja, 4,200 points Third Place Team: Team TBF, 3,900 points
First Place Angler: Yefry Garcia, 2,000 points Second Place Angler: Russ Petranto, 1,700 points Third Place Angler: Craig Johnson, 1,700 points
First Place Boat: Rum Line, Capt. Chris Sheeder Second Place Boat: Makaira, Capt. Jason Brice Third Place Boat: Intensity, Capt. Mike Sheeder
TBF Team Holds Slim Lead after Day Two of the Presidential Challenge
The team representing The Billfish Foundation, consisting of Steve Fanscy, Andrew Cox and James Cambridge, held onto a slim lead over the field in the Presidential Challenge of Guatemala despite giving up several hours due to a damaged prop. Their original boat, the Intensity, hit a submerged object on the way to the fishing grounds but fortunately a replacement boat was available—the team was able to transfer to the Release and keep on truckin’. For Day Two they let go another 14 sailfish to tally 3,000 points in the tournament to date.
The Southern Pride team on the G-Rod remains hot on their heels though—they managed another 1,600 points today including a blue marlin release for Russ Petranto to hold second place at 2,800 points. In third is the Casa Vieja Lodge team fishing with Capt. Jason Brice on the Makaira—they scored 15 sailfish today to tally 2,600 points.
In the Angler Division standings, Yefry Garcia is leading with 1,400 points followed by Russ Petranto with 1,400 points and James Cambridge with 1,200 points.
The standings remain extremely tight with numerous teams within striking distance of the leaders, so it’s still anyone’s tournament to win or lose.
DAY TWO RESULTS
For the tournament there have been 216 sailfish, three blue marlin and two striped marlin released, all using Berkley 20-pound test line and non-offset circle hooks. The event’s First Fish was a sailfish released by Russ Petranto at 8:32AM on Day One.
First Place Team: Team TBF, 3,000 points Second Place Team: Southern Pride, 2,800 points Third Place Team: Casa Vieja Lodge, 2,600 points
First Place Angler: Yefry Garcia, 1,400 points Second Place Angler: Russ Petranto, 1,400 points Third Place Angler: James Cambridge, 1,200 points
Team TBF Tops Day One of PCCA Guatemala
The first day of fishing in the 15th Annual Presidential Challenge of Guatemala has now officially concluded, with The Billfish Foundation team taking an early lead with 13 sailfish releases and a blue marlin kicker, good for a total of 1600 points. The team was led by TBF intern Andrew Cox, who was the Top Daily Angler for Day One with 700 points (one blue marlin and four sailfish releases). The team of Cox and PCCA veterans James Cambridge and Steve Fanscy were fishing aboard the Casa Vieja Lodge boat Intensity with Capt. Mike Sheeder at the helm.
In second place was the Southern Pride team aboard the G-Rod skippered by Tucker Colquhoun—the angling team of Gerard Aliseo, Ted Smith and Russ Petranto combined for a total of 1200 points and 12 sailfish releases. In third is Team USA fishing on the Circle Hook with 1100 points: Bryan O’Dell, Bill Easum and John Price. The Circle Hook is captained by Eddie Bairez.
In the Top Angler standings, Cox leads with 700 points followed by his teammate Cambridge with 600 points and Russ Petranto with 500 points.
The PCCA Guatemala also concludes the annual race for the title of Costa Grand Champion Team and Eagle Claw Grand Champion Angler for the tournament series. These prestigious awards will also be presented Sunday evening along with the tournament prizes.
All billfish were released alive using 20-pound test Berkley Big Game line supplied by the tournament’s sponsor and non-offset circle hooks—the Eagle Claw 2004EL is the preferred hook of the Presidential Challenge series.
DAY ONE RESULTS
For the day there were 89 sailfish and two blue marlin released, all using Berkley 20-pound test line and non-offset circle hooks.
First Place Team: The Billfish Foundation, 1600 pts. Second Place Team: Southern Pride, 1200 pts. Third Place Team: Team USA, 1100 pts.
First Place Angler: Andrew Cox, 700 points Second Place Angler: James Cambridge, 600 pts. Third Place Angler: Russ Petranto, 500 pts.
Southern Pride Team Victorious in Aruba Caribbean Cup
VARADERO MARINA, ARUBA: For the second straight year, the Southern Pride fishing team has emerged victorious in the Chivas Regal Aruba Caribbean Cup, this time fishing aboard a chartered vessel, the Curacao-based Papucho. The angling team of Gerard Aliseo, Tucker Colquhoun, Mariano dal Maso and Jimmy Taylor, with Capt. Charles Heldewier-Vignon at the helm, finished the tournament with 2300 points: three blue marlin, four white marlin and two sailfish.
With the low-slung mountains of Venezuela visible in the hazy distance, the tournament kicked off with great weather and 19 boats participating. The forecast was for calm seas throughout the week although local rain squalls would produce rough conditions from time to time. The good news was the fishing: many locals had reported a great marlin bite in progress. One team to find hot action during their pre-tournament scouting was Capt. Butch Cox’s Prime Time, who scored a Grand Slam of three different billfish species the day before the tournament. It was a telling sign of things to come, as the Prime Time would score another Grand Slam on the first day of fishing to lead nearly the entire tournament only to fall from first to third on the final day of fishing.
Finishing in second place was Team Priority, Jim McCord, Jim Vaughan and Hans Kaspersetz, fishing aboard the Driftwood. They scored 1900 points in the tournament (five blues, one white and one sailfish). The Caribbean Cup marked the successful return of this team, once a top contender in the Presidential Challenge series just a few years ago.
In the angler standings, Anthony Pinzon won first place with 1500 points fishing aboard the Driftwood, an Aruban-based 35-foot Bertram charter boat. They were followed by Rob Belcher on the Prime Time with 1000 points in second place and Jeff Stingel, fishing on Frank Pettisani’s Exile in third with 900 points.
The Chivas Regal Aruba Caribbean Cup serves as an important fundraising event for The Billfish Foundation. The tournament directors presented Elliott Stark from TBF with a check for $5,000 on behalf of the event participants, with a promise to continue to support billfish conservation in the Southern Caribbean through the Adopt-A-Billfish satellite tagging program and more.
The Caribbean Cup not only features outstanding fishing but also nightly entertainment, with theme cocktail parties after fishing and gala kickoff and awards dinners. Aruba’s Minister of Tourism, the Honorable Otmar Oduber, was on hand to welcome the teams during the kickoff and to also celebrate with them during the awards. The tournament’s Presenting Sponsor is the Aruba Tourism Authority. The event also receives outstanding support from a wide variety of local sponsors as well.
For the tournament there were 70 billfish released by 19 boats and 72 anglers:a very impressive 35 blue marlin, 16 white marlin and 19 sailfish. Two Grand Slams were scored during the tournament, with all marlin being caught using non-offset circle hooks and Berkley 30-pound test line supplied by the sponsor. Dozens more marlin were raised and lost, proving once again that Aruba has an outstanding fishing for a variety of billfish species.
Final Standings, 2011 Chivas Regal Aruba Caribbean Cup Presented by the Aruba Tourism Authority
Top Team: Southern Pride, 2300 pts.
2nd Place Team: Priority, 1900 pts.
3rd Place Team: Prime Time, 1800 pts.
Top Angler: Anthony Pinzon, Driftwood, 1500 pts.
2nd Place Angler: Rob Belcher, Prime Time, 1000 pts.
3rd Place Angler: Jeff Stingel, Exile, 900 pts.
Top Boat: Papucho, 2300 pts. 2nd Place Boat: Driftwood, 1900 pts. 3rd Place Boat: Prime Time, 1800 pts.
Grand Slams Continue in Aruba Caribbean Cup
The second day of the Chivas Regal Aruba Caribbean Cup produced yet another Grand Slam, this time for the angling team of Frank Pettisani, Jeff Stingel and Gabriel Octavio aboard the Exile. They let go a blue marlin, two white marlin and sailfish to earn an additional 100 bonus points. Combined with their Day One total, this moves them into third place with 1400 points.
The Southern Pride team, fishing on the Papucho, released a doubleheader of white marlin to add 600 points to their overall score. That’s enough to push them into second place overall with 1500 points. The Reel Pushy had two blue marlin and a sailfish today to move into fourth place for the tournament. The Alina also made a big move on Day Two with two blue marlin and a sailfish release. For Day Two there were 19 billfish released: nine blues, seven whites and three sailfish, bringing the overall release total to 47 billfish.
In the angler standings, Robert Belcher continues to lead with 900 points (three blue marlin) followed by Jeff Stingel with 900 points and Anthony Pinzon moving into third with 900 points.
47 Billfish Releases in the Tournament: 24 Blue Marlin, 12 White Marlin and 11 Sailfish, all using Berkley 30-pound test line and non offset circle hooks
Day Two Overall Standings First Place Team: Prime Time, 1700 pts. Second Place Team: Southern Pride/Papucho, 1500 pts Third Place Team: Exile, 1400 pts.
First Place Angler: Robert Belcher, 900 pts. Second Place Angler: Jeff Stingel, 900 pts. Third Place Angler: Anthony Pinzon, 900 pts.
Prime Time Dominates Day One of Aruba Caribbean Cup
Capt. Butch Cox and his angling team of Christian Mansur, Eric Mansur Jr, Mike Callahan and Rob Belcher took to the seas off Aruba during Day One of the Chivas Regal Aruba Caribbean Cup and never looked back. By 10AM the Prime Time team had scored a Grand Slam—one blue marlin, one white marlin and one sailfish—and by lines out the team had amassed 1,700 points (three blue marlin, two white marlin and one sailfish, plus a 100 point bonus for the Slam). Hot on their heels was Team OBX fishing on the Teaser, captained by Milton Pichardo with anglers Mike Viveiros, Ebby Hall, Gary Tarpley and Mike Huling. They amassed 1,000 points with two blue marlin and one sailfish released. In third place was the Priority team on the Driftwood with 900 points (two blue marlin and one white marlin). For the first day there were 28 billfish released: 15 blues, five whites and eight sailfish.
In the angler standings, Rob Belcher leads with 900 points, three blue marlin, followed by Anthony Pinzon with 600 points and Jimmy Taylor in third with 600 points.
Marina Papagayo, Costa Rica—The first annual Presidential Papagayo Cup, Presented by the ICT and Hosted by Marina Papagayo, wrapped up Saturday evening with a gala awards presentation at the beautiful Prieta Beach Club. Emerging victorious in the event was the Sea Angel, a team that’s dominating the Costa Rican billfishing season this year. With previous wins in both the Presidential Challenge of Costa Rica and the first leg of the Los Suenos Signature Series, Greg and “Mamalu” Angel, fishing with their sons Austin in the cockpit and BC at the helm, came to town ready to fish against the best teams in the Pacific. But victory would not come easily.
As the anglers gathered for the registration, the fishing reports were very promising: the waters off Marina Papagayo were teeming with plenty of sailfish, ready to provide all the angling excitement for which this region is world famous. And while long offshore runs of up to 50 miles to the fishing grounds are frequently necessary, the productive waters were located much closer to shore, ranging from 20 to 35 miles. The highlight of the evening was the Costa Kickoff Party, sponsored by Costa Sunglasses. As the teams and their guests mingled and enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and complimentary rum drinks, the expectations for a great three days of fishing ran very high.
Marina Papagayo itself proved to be an outstanding location for an international sportfishing tournament like the Presidential series. With 180 slips for vessels to 220 feet in length, in addition to 24-hour security, high speed fuel services and much more, all located within the protected waters of the Bahia de Culebra and just 30 minutes from the international airport in Liberia, Marina Papagayo has much to offer her visitors. Day One kicked off beneath steel-grey clouds that soon gave way to plenty of bright Costa Rican sunshine. The fishing also proved just as hot, with over 60 sailfish released by the fleet for the day. David and Joanna Finkelstein, fishing aboard the Miss Behavin, emerged as the Day One leaders with 10 sails released, good for 1,000 points. There were two additional teams at the 900-point mark though, including the Sea Angel, so it was far from a runaway. With two days left, it would be anyone’s event to win or lose.
That evening was the Maverick Yachts cocktail party, hosted by Larry Drivon aboard his 90-foot motoryacht, Solstice I. The participants really enjoyed the evening’s camaraderie. Maverick Yachts are among the world’s finest in their class, custom built in Costa Rica.
Day Two is usually “moving day” in the Presidential Challenge series tournaments: some teams break away from the pack and move up the leaderboard, while others turn right instead of left and fall out of contention. However, in this event the second full day of fishing proved to only further tighten the competition: three teams now had accumulated 16 sailfish releases and 1,600 points, separated only by their time of release in order to determine the Day Two standings. It would be the Sea Angel in the lead, followed by the Miss Behavin and the Dragin Fly, a team led by Tim DonLevy that’s also had much success so far this year on the Costa Rican billfishing circuit. It would be an all-out dash to the finish line on the third and final day of fishing. At this point the fleet had released another 58 sailfish to break the 100-release mark.
Unfortunately for the competing anglers, an unusual natural phenomenon caused the fishing to shut down almost completely for the last day of the tournament—just eleven sailfish were released. Four of those fell to the baited hooks trolled by the Zara, Mark Stiles’ vessel that’s home-ported right there at Marina Papagayo. They were the top boat for Day Three and also moved into second place for the tournament. The Sea Angel added two more fish to their tally to finish in first with 1,800 points and 18 sailfish releases for the three-day event. The team won $18,000 from the tournament plus an additional $6,300 in the optional jackpot for a total of $24,300 for the weekend. The Zara slid home in second place with 1,800 points, falling just short based on the time of their last release. They won second place money in the tournament, $10,800, plus second place in the optional jackpot and the Top Daily Boat prize for Day Three to tally $18,900. In third was the Dragin Fly with another solid performance, 1,700 points and 17 sailfish. They had the Top Daily Boat prize for Day Two at $5,400 and third place tournament money to finish with $12,600.
In the Maverick Yachts Angler Division, Hansel Mendez finished in first place with 1,100 points and 11 sails, followed by Hugo Angulo with 1,000 points and 10 sailfish. In third was Cliff Mountain with 800 points. The first annual Presidential Papagayo Cup Perpetual Trophy went to the Sea Angel team as well, having finished as the High Point Team between the Presidential Challenge of Costa Rica and Presidential Papagayo Cup tournaments. They tallied an amazing 5,200 points between the two events. The team will have their names engraved on the Perpetual Trophy, which will be permanently displayed at Marina Papagayo.
For the tournament there were 136 sailfish released by the fleet, all using tournament-required non-offset circle hooks. In addition, there was a donation made to The Billfish Foundation for $2,800 on behalf of the event, which represented the proceeds from the optional jackpot.
FINAL RESULTS 136 sailfish for the Tournament First Place Team: Sea Angel, 1,800 points $24,300.00 Second Place Team: Zara, 1,800 points $18,900.00 Third Place Team: Dragin Fly, 1,700 points $12,600.00 First Place Angler: Hansel Mendez, 1,100 points Second Place Angler: Hugo Angulo, 1,000 points Third Place Angler: Cliff Mountain, 800 points
SEA ANGEL WINS FIFEENTH ANNUAL PRESIDENTIAL CHALLENGE OF COSTA RICA PRESENTED BY I.C.T
Playa Carrillo, Costa Rica—The fifteenth annual Presidential Challenge of Costa Rica Presented by the I.C.T wrapped up the annual tournament with a gala awards presentation and dinner Sunday evening with a large crowd in attendance at the tournament host resort, the beautiful Villas Playa Samara. Throughout the previous four days, the eleven teams and scores of participating anglers, observers, captains and crews, sponsor representatives and VIP guests were treated to excellent weather and outstanding offshore fishing action for marlin and sailfish. In fact, the tournament set a new record this year for the high number of billfish releases.
The tournament kicked off with the usual rules meeting and welcome party, where participants had a chance to meet each other and share in the wonderful camaraderie that earmarks the sport of competitive billfishing. Throughout the tournament the seas remained quite calm and the fishing grounds lay just 20 miles offshore, a characteristic of the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica.
And the fish were certainly there in good numbers and were ready to cooperate—the first sailfish of the event was released after just 18 minutes had elapsed after the call for lines in the water, the official start of the tournament. Throughout the next three days, the VHF radio was alive with calls of billfish releases to the official Tournament Control, while impartial observers on each vessel ensured full compliance with all tournament rules. In addition, each angler was supplied with Berkley Big Game 20-pound test line, which is mandatory for use in this tournament. Non-offset circle hooks were also mandatory, ensuring that a very high percentage of the billfish would be hooked in the corner of the jaw instead of deeper in the stomach, throat or gills. The Eagle Claw 2004EL was the preferred hook of the tournament.
Once the final scores had been tabulated, it was determined that the Sea Angel team had emerged victorious in the Costa Team Division. The Sea Angel team consists of boat owner and angler Greg Angel, his son Capt. BC Angel at the helm and anglers Arturo Moreno and Frederico Ortega acting as anglers alongside Greg in the cockpit. The team was in contention throughout the entire tournament but really put on the pressure on Day Three, releasing two blue marlin (worth 300 points each) in addition to a handful of sailfish to move well ahead of the second place team. They wound up the tournament with 3,300 points—two blue marlin and 27 sailfish released in three days. The team splits their time between home ports in Texas and Los Suenos, and, according to owner Greg Angel, intends to return often to Puerto Carrillo for the excellent billfishing.
In second place was the Las Ventanas del Mar team, consisting of Gary Carter, John Richardson and Earl Engel, fishing aboard the Permit III with Capt. Chepe Santana.They were able to score a personal Grand Slam (blue marlin, striped marlin and sailfish) for Richardson on the second day of the tournament on their way to scoring a total of 2,100 points for the event. In fact, there were three boat Grand Slams for the tournament, proving just how prolific the billfishing can be off Carrillo. In fact, Carter’s gameboat Silver-Rod-O is home ported here, within sight of his beautifully scenic condominium project, Las Ventanas del Mar, overlooking the anchorage.
In third place was another local favorite, the Gamefisher II, with Capt. Richard Chellemi and Team OBX aboard: Mike Viveiros, Dell Dembosky and Craig Johnson. Team OBX was the Grand Champion Team for 2010 and is poised to make another run at the overall series title again this year. They had a great day on the third afternoon of the tournament to overtake several other teams for third place.
In the Maverick Yachts Angler Division, John Richardson won first place with 1,300 points based in no small part on the strength of his personal Grand Slam on Day Two. He went on to release two more marlin along the way—quite a feat considering that PCCA rules require anglers to rotate in positions around the boat every 30 minutes to ensure fairness and equality.
In second and third places in the angler standings were Sea Angel team members Arturo Moreno and Greg Angel, with 1,200 and 1,100 points each. Moreno let go a pair of blue marlin and a handful of sailfish on the last day alone to vault up in the standings, while Greg Angel was steady as ever in the cockpit throughout the tournament.
The Presidential Challenge of Costa Rica Presented by I.C.T serves as an important fundraising project for billfish conservation in Costa Rica. A significant portion of the event proceeds are sent to The Billfish Foundation, where they are used to fund conservation projects such as the recently-concluded socio-economic study, both in Costa Rica and around the world. These projects are vitally important to the future health of billfish stocks.
The winning team will be invited to attend the IGFA Offshore Championship in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and the top angler also receives an invitation to attend the World Billfish Series Grand Championships in Los Suenos, Costa Rica.
For the three days of fishing, there were 115 billfish released: 20 blue marlin, five striped marlin and 90 sailfish. For more information on the Presidential Challenge Tournament Series, please visit www.preschallenge.com.
OFFICIAL RESULTS 15th Annual Presidential Challenge of Costa Rica
Presented by the I.C.T.
COSTA TEAM DIVISION 1st Place: Sea Angel, 3,300 points 2nd Place: Las Ventanas del Mar, 2,100 points 3rd Place: Team OBX, 1,800 points
MAVERICK YACHTS ANGLER DIVISION 1st Place: John Richardson, Team Las Ventanas del Mar; 1,300 points 2nd Place: Arturo Moreno, Sea Angel, 1,100 points 3rd Place: Greg Angel, Sea Angel, 1,100 points
Sea Angel Tops Presidential Challenge of Costa Rica
The victorious Sea Angel team with PCCA's Yvonne Cooper, left, during the gala awards presentation.
The third and final day of competition in the Presidential Challenge of Costa Rica went down much as the previous two: great weather, outstanding billfishing action and superb camaraderie among the participating anglers, captains and observers.
It wasn’t long before the VHF radio came alive with the calls of released fish, but one message seemed to electrify the fleet—the Day Two leaders on the Sea Angel, holding a slim lead, released a blue marlin worth 300 points just before 9 a.m. They would go on to release another blue before lunchtime as well as 11 sailfish, wrapping up the event with 3,200 points—two blue marlin and 26 sailfish.
The team is a family-oriented one, with dad and owner Greg Angel in the cockpit, his son BC at the helm and Arturo Moreno and Frederico Ortega serving as the two additional anglers for this tournament. They are the winners of the Costa Team Division and early leaders in the overall PCCA Series points race.
In second place is the Las Ventanas del Mar team on the Permit III with 2,100 points. Anglers John Richardson and Gary Carter each released blue marlin today to keep the team in contention throughout the event, yet they fell just short of the mark set by the winners. Earl Engel also contributed to the team effort.
In third place, Team OBX made a big Day Three move with a pair of blue marlin and assorted sailfish on the Gamefisher II to slide into a trophy position. Mike Viveiros was the event’s top angler for Day Three while Dell Dembosky and Craig Johnson also added valuable points to the team’s scores throughout the event.
In the Maverick Yachts Angler Division, John Richardson, right center, finished in first place with 1,300 points for the Las Ventanas del Mar team. He was followed by Arturo Moreno with 1,100 points and Greg Angel with 1,100 points, both fishing on the red-hot Sea Angel.
The Bushwacker finished off their day with a Grand Slam: a blue and striped marlin and sailfish, the third of the event.
For the tournament, there were a record-breaking 115 billfish released: 20 blue marlin, five striped marlin and 90 sailfish.
BILLFISH BITE CONTINUES FOR PRESIDENTIAL CHALLENGE
The Sea Angel team holds the Day Two lead in the Presidential Challenge of Costa Rica with 1600 points.
Day Two of the Presidential Challenge of Costa Rica is usually “moving day,” where teams either make a charge up the leaderboard or drift off out of tournament contention. And today was a good representation of that history.
Day Two started off much as the previous, with calm seas, a light tropical breeze and a short boat ride off the beach at Playa Carrillo to the waiting gameboats. Sportfishing off this part of Costa Rica is reminiscent of the earliest years of exploration, with boats anchored in the harbor, pangas ferrying anglers, fuel and supplies, and very little in the way of hustle and bustle. This is old-school Central American billfishing at its’ finest!
Capitalizing on their six sailfish releases from the first day, Greg Angel, Arturo Moreno and Frederico Ortega moved to the top of the leaderboard on Day Two aboard the Sea Angel, adding 10 additional sails today for a total score of 1,600 points. Surprisingly, this team has yet to release a marlin in the tournament—they’re getting their points the hard way, one sailfish at a time.
In second place is the Las Ventanas del Mar team on the Permit III with 1,400 points. Angler John Richardson scored a solo Grand Slam today: a blue marlin, striped marlin and a sailfish to the team’s Day One score.
In third place, Team Billfish Foundation, fishing on the Wetass II, also made a move with a blue marlin and a pair of sailfish releases today to finish in third with 1,000 points. Another team making a big move today was the Maverick Yachts group on the Super Fly—they had a team Grand Slam today with a blue marlin, striped marlin and sailfish, to add an additional 700 points to their Day One total for a two day tally of 1,000 points and fourth place. Moving day at the PCCA!
In the angling division, John Richardson has 1,000 points for the Las Ventanas del Mar team, followed by J. Godwin for Team Maverick at 900 and Fredrico Ortega with 800 points.
For the tournament so far in two days there have been 62 billfish released, all using Berkley Big Game 20-pound test line and non-offset circle hooks: 11 blue marlin, three striped marlin and 48 sailfish.
DAY TWO OFFICIAL RESULTS COSTA TEAM DIVISION 1ST Place: Sea Angel, 1,600 points 2nd Place: Las Ventanas del Mar/Permit IIl, 1,400 points 3rd Place: TBF/Wetass II, 1,000 points
MAVERICK YACHTS ANGLER DIVISION 1st Place: Roger Munoz, Uno Mas, 500 points 2nd Place: Russell Nelson, Team TBF, 400 points 3rd Place: Tom Wichers, Southpaw, 400 points
PRESIDENTIAL CHALLENGE OF COSTA RICA NOW UNDERWAY The 15th Annual Presidential Challenge of Central America is now underway in Playa Carrillo, Costa Rica.
Nearly forty anglers gathered for a rules meeting and welcome party followed by a terrific buffet dinner last night at the tournament host resort, the Villas Playa Samara. Most hit their beds early in the anticipation of a full day of fishing, while others chose to enjoy the complimentary rum drinks well into the evening, but no matter what the choice, a wonderful night was had by all in attendance.
The first day proved to be an action-packed adventure for the teams finding the billfish, while other boats seemed to wander aimlessly around the placid Pacific Ocean. Holding the Day One lead is the Permit III with the Team Las Ventanas del Mar aboard; they released two blue marlin and a sailfish for a total of 700 points. The team consists of Gary Carter, John Richardson and Earl Engel. They reported excellent fishing conditions, seeing several other marlin during the day.
In second place was the Sea Angel, a beautiful F&S Yacht captained by BC Angel, with six sailfish and 600 points. Greg Angel, Arturo Moreno and Frederico Ortega handled the angling duties in the cockpit. This team comes to Carrillo fresh off a victory in the first leg of the Los Suenos Signature Series, so they’re definitely on a roll here in Costa Rica.
The Southpaw, with Capt. LR Hastings at the helm, scored 600 points with one striped marlin and three sailfish releases to finish third today. The Southpaw angling team includes owner Bob DeGabrielle, Tom Wichers and the infamous observer-turned-angler, Boot.
In the angling division, Roger Munoz has 500 points for Bob Osborn’s Uno Mas team, followed by Russell Nelson with 400 points for Team TBF/Wetass II and Tom Wichers, also with 400 points, fishing on the Southpaw. The first fish of the tournament was a sailfish released by Sea Angel’s Arturo Moreno just 16 minutes after the call for lines in.
For the first day’s action, there were 24 billfish released, all using Berkley Big Game 20-pound test line and non-offset circle hooks: seven blue marlin, one striped marlin and 16 sailfish.
DAY ONE OFFICIAL RESULTS COSTA TEAM DIVISION 1ST Place: Las Ventanas del Mar/Permit III, 700 points 2nd Place: Sea Angel, 600 points 3rd Place: Southpaw, 600 points
MAVERICK YACHTS ANGLER DIVISION 1st Place: Roger Munoz, Uno Mas, 500 points 2nd Place: Russell Nelson, Team TBF, 400 points 3rd Place: Tom Wichers, Southpaw, 400 points
2011 Dates Presidential Challenge of Costa Rica, March 24-27 Presidential Papagayo Cup, June 22-25 Presidential Caribbean Cup of Aruba, Oct. 20-23 Presidential Challenge of Guatemala, Nov. 10-13
(Note: All events feature three days of fishing. The first date listed is slated for registration but can also be used as a pre-fishing day).
CASA VIEJA LODGE HOLDS ON TO WIN PCCA GUATEMALA
Marina Pez Vela, Guatemala—Tournament sportfishing comes down to consistency, especially in an all-release event. A team may get lucky one day but the winners will find a way to slog through three full days on the water, making the most of the opportunities that are presented.
That was the case on the third and final day of the Presidential Challenge of Central America. With the first two days in the books, the stage was set for a record-breaking finish, both in terms of overall releases and the highest final score of an individual team in the fourteen year history of the Series.
And by the time the scores had been tallied, that’s exactly what happened. The previous score for most releases had been 553 sailfish back in 2003—this year the fleet released 676. The Top Boat high score was 67 in 2003; this year, it was 86 sailfish. Impressive to say the least for three days of offshore action!
Proving that home field advantage and experience does indeed have its merits, Jim Turner’s Casa Vieja Lodge team repeated as victors in the 2010 Presidential Challenge of Guatemala with 8600 points. Turner, Juan Anon and Herb Rosell made it look easy, and had a great time along the way. Rum Line’s Capt. Chris Sheeder took home Top Boat honors as well.
In second place, by less than nine minutes on time of release, was Team OBX/Decisive aboard Capt. Brad Phillips’ Decisive. They had tied going into the final hours of the event but would end up falling short by the closest of margins. Decisive was the Second Place Boat.
Taking third was the Sea Angel, splitting time between Los Suenos, Costa Rica and Texas, with anglers Austin Angel, Greg Voell and Arturo Moreno in the cockpit and Capt. BC Angel at the helm. They had 7500 points for the tournament and were also Third Place Boat.
This afternoon, the teams will be welcomed back to the tournament host, Casa Vieja Lodge, for cocktails before the awards presentation ceremony begins at 8PM.
For the PCCA Series, Mike Viveiros was the Eagle Claw Grand Champion Angler, with 4050 points. Mike fished well in Costa Rica, Aruba and here in Guatemala to win this prestigious award. The OBX/Decisive team was also named the Costa Grand Champion Team for the series with 10,550 points.
FINAL RESULTS 676 Sailfish*; 7 Blue Marlin; 1 Striped Marlin (*Tournament Record)
1ST PLACE TEAM: Casa Vieja, 8600 points 2ND PLACE TEAM: OBX/Decisive, 8600 pts. 3RD PLACE TEAM: Sea Angel, 7500 pts.
TOP BOAT OVERALL: Rum Line, 8600 pts. 2ND BOAT OVERALL: Decisive, 8600 pts. 3RD BOAT OVERALL: Sea Angel, 7500 pts.
TOP ANGLER: Dell Dembosky, 3600 pts. 2ND ANGLER: Jim Turner, 3500 pts. 3RD ANGLER: Mike Viveiros, 3000 pts.
TOP DAILY ANGLER DAY THREE: Edwin Tajada, 1400 pts.
TOP BOAT DAY THREE: Decisive, 3000 pts.
EAGLE CLAW GRAND CHAMPION ANGLER: Mike Vivieros, 4050 pts. SECOND PLACE: Austin Angel, 3100 pts. THIRD PLACE: John Price, 3050 pts.
COSTA GRAND CHAMPION TEAM: OBX/Decisive, 10,550 pts. SECOND PLACE: Hattaboy/Southern Pride, 10,450 pts. THIRD PLACE: Sea Angel, 8900 pts.
Team Casa Vieja Holds Onto Day Two PCCA Lead
Marina Pez Vela, Guatemala—Day Two of the Presidential Challenge of Guatemala began with a flurry of dockside antics. The Casa Vieja Lodge team, still celebrating their Day One lead, managed to procure a large mirrored disco ball, original 1970s vintage, which was promptly hung from the bridge as the appropriate dance music blared from the cockpit speakers. It was clear they intended to fish their own way, and in style, going into Day Two. Meanwhile, the Intensity crew found themselves dealing with a different situation: a 20-pound pig had been stashed in their head compartment by unnamed pranksters. Unfortunately for the crew, bladder control wasn’t one of the animal’s strong points. Amid loud squeals of protesting pork and thumping disco music, the fleet departed the docks at 7AM. The disco music must have set the mood, because Casa Vieja Lodge, fishing on the Rum Line with Capt. Chris Sheeder, held onto their Day One lead, adding another 33 sailfish releases to their total score for an outstanding two-day tally of 6100 points. This is Guatemalan billfishing at its finest! Moving into second place with an incredible 38 sailfish releases is Team OBX/Decisive, with Capt. Brad Phillips at the helm. The team rebounded strongly and is now in position to make a serious run at the tournament leaders as well as the Costa Grand Champion Team series standings. Dell Dembosky moved into the Angler lead with 2400 points for the tournament, also moving him into contention for the Eagle Claw Grand Champion Angler Title along with several others. Another team with a consistent second day showing is the Sea Angel, with Capt. BC Angel at the wheel. They let go another 26 sailfish to move into third with 4900 points. This fun-loving team also topped the 1,000 billfish release mark for 2010 today with an incredible 1,020 sailfish and marlin releases in just 160 days of fishing. This afternoon is the Bacardi Bash cocktail party at Casa Vieja Lodge, with all participants cordially invited. Tomorrow is the third and final day of the tournament, with the awards to follow tomorrow evening starting at 8PM.
THE BILLFISH FOUNDATION The Billfish Foundation, in conjunction with the Central American fisheries management group OSPESCA , is conducting a Tagging and Data Collection Workshop this evening at Casa Vieja Lodge. Information from this project will be shared among the Central American nations in order to formulate comprehensive fisheries management plans. Funds raised by the PCCA will be contributed to TBF to further their involvement in this project. For further information, please visit www.billfish.org.
DAY TWO RESULTS 256 Sailfish; 3 Blue Marlin; 1 Striped Marlin
1ST PLACE TEAM: Casa Vieja Lodge, 6100 points 2ND PLACE TEAM: OBX/Decisive, 5600 pts. 3RD PLACE TEAM: Sea Angel, 4900 pts.
TOP BOAT OVERALL: Rum Line, 6100 pts. 2ND BOAT OVERALL: Decisive, 5600 pts. 3RD BOAT OVERALL: Sea Angel, 4900 pts.
TOP ANGLER: Dell Dembosky, 2400 pts. 2ND ANGLER: Jim Turner, 2400 pts. 3RD ANGLER: Herb Rosell, 2300 pts.
TOP DAILY ANGLER DAY TWO: Mike Viveiros, 1500 pts.
TOP BOAT DAY 2: Decisive, 3800 pts.
Marina Pez Vela, Guatemala — The fourteenth annual Presidential Challenge of Guatemala is officially underway, with 12 angling teams hitting the billfish-rich waters off the Pacific shores of Guatemala in search of marlin and sailfish.
The weather dawned characteristically warm and sunny in typical Central American style under the watchful eyes of the volcanoes that shadow the coastline here. After a quick breakfast and a few cups of strong Guatemalan coffee, the teams were ready to hit the seas.
Taking an early lead is the Casa Vieja Lodge team, headed by lodge owner Jim Turner and fishing aboard the Rum Line with Capt. Chris Sheeder. With the home field advantage, Turner’s team of Juan Anon and Herb Rosell released a total of 28 sailfish in today’s action to top the Day One leaderboard with 2800 points. Rosell was also the Top Angler on Day One with 12 sailfish releases to his credit.
In second place, with one marlin and 18 sailfish was the Sea Angel team. Based out of home ports in both Texas and Costa Rica, this angling team has all the makings of a true championship contender. Team USA rounded out third place with 20 sails, fishing on the Makaira. A Presidential Challenge veteran, Team USA is also poised to make a charge up the leaderboard as the tournament progresses.
The evening’s social schedule includes the legendary Tequila Party at Casa Vieja Lodge, where the margaritas and shooters will flow and the live mariachi band promises to entertain everyone.
DAY ONE RESULTS
157 Sailfish; 2 Blue Marlin
FIRST FISH: Steve Fanscy, 8:57 AM
1ST PLACE TEAM: Casa Vieja Lodge, 2800 points 2ND PLACE TEAM: Sea Angel, 2300 pts. 3RD PLACE TEAM: USA, 2000 pts.
1ST PLACE ANGLER: Herb Rosell, 1200 points 2ND PLACE ANGLER: Dell Dembosky, 1100 pts. 3RD PLACE ANGLER: Jim Turner, 1000 pts.
TOP BOAT: Rum Line, 2800 pts. 2ND BOAT: Sea Angel, 2300 pts. 3RD BOAT: Makaira, 2000 pts.
SOUTHERN PRIDE VICTORIOUS IN CARIBBEAN CUP
The Southern Pride fishing team, comprised of owner Ted Smith along with Gerard Aliseo, Russell Petranto and Tucker Colquhoun, led the Chivas Regal Aruba Caribbean Cup nearly wire to wire. The team released a pair of blue marlin and a white marlin early on Day One and never relinquished the lead from that point forward. They finished the tournament with 2100 points; four blue marlin, one white marlin and a pair of sailfish in four days of tournament competition.
Second place fell to the Aruban-based Alina, captained by Eric Mansur. The team released a Grand Slam for the boat on Day Two, winding up the event with 1900 points; three blue marlin, one white marlin and three sailfish (plus 100 additional bonus points for the Grand Slam).
The OBX team, fishing on the Teaser, slid into third place with a big move on the third day of the tournament. They finished the event with 1400 points; four white marlin and two sailfish.
The anglers, observers, captains and crews really enjoyed the tournament, which featured good fishing in unseasonably calm seas and plenty of warm-hearted Aruban hospitality along the way.
Tonight is the gala awards presentation and dinner to be held at the Aruba Surfside Marina.
OVERALL RESULTS BLUE MARLIN: 24 WHITE MARLIN: 12 SAILFISH: 33
1ST PLACE TEAM: Southern Pride, 2100 points 2ND PLACE TEAM: Alina, 1900 pts. 3rd PLACE TEAM: Team OBX, 1600 pts
1ST PLACE ANGLER: Anthony Maduro, 1000 pts 2ND PLACE ANGLER: Harry Vernon, 900 pts 3RD PLACE ANGLER: Tucker Colquhoun, 800 pts
As we motor past the first two days of competition in the Chivas Regal Aruba Caribbean Cup Presented by the Centro di Pesca Hadicurari, it’s clear that both the weather and the fishing have been great for the 23 participating teams.
Ted Smith’s Southern Pride continues to roll through the tournament standings, releasing another pair of blue marlin in today’s action for a total of 1900 points.
Moving into second place is the Aruban-based Alina, captained by Eric Mansur. They caught a Grand Slam for the boat, earning an extra 100 bonus points for the team by releasing a blue marlin, white marlin and a sailfish in a single day. They now hold second with 1400 points.
In third is the Energy, another boat based in Aruba, with 1,000 points, adding a pair of blue marlin releases on Day Two to their total. For the second day of the tournament, there were nine blue marlin released, along with five white marlin and eight sailfish.
The angler race remains unchanged from Day One, with Russell Petranto in the lead with 700 points followed by Marcelo Heyden in second with 400 points. Tucker Colquhoun is in third with 400 points based on time of release.
Tonight features an Aruba-themed party with entertainment, drinks and snacks right after fishing at the Varadero Marina. This event is sponsored by Baptist Health International—their representative, Ivis Guerra, will be on hand to answer any questions so be sure to attend.
DAY TWO RESULTS
BLUE MARLIN: 17 WHITE MARLIN: 9 SAILFISH: 21
1ST PLACE TEAM: Southern Pride 1900 points
2ND PLACE TEAM: Alina, 1400 pts.
3rd PLACE TEAM: Energy, 1000 pts
1ST PLACE ANGLER: Russell Pentranto, 700 pts
2ND PLACE ANGLER: Marcelo Heyden, 400 pts
3RD PLACE ANGLER: Tucker Colquhoun, 400 pts
TOP BOAT: Southern Pride, 1900 pts
2ND BOAT: Alina, 1400 pts
3rd BOAT: Energy, 1000 pts
Chivas Regal Aruba Caribbean Cup Now Underway
The Chivas Regal Aruba Caribbean Cup Presented by the Centro di Pesca Hadicurari is now underway in beautiful Aruba with the first day of fishing in the books.
Twenty-three local and international teams charted their courses for productive fishing grounds prior to a 7AM scheduled departure from the tournament host location at Varadero Marina. Some would choose to target sailfish in the waters close to home while others would venture far and wide in search of blue and white marlin. With the all-release format and various points scored for each species, the strategies involved would play a crucial part in determining the outcome of the day.
Gary Tarpley, fishing aboard the 35-foot Bertram Teaser, wasted no time in releasing the first fish of the tournament, a sailfish, just five minutes after lines in the water was announced at 8AM. The action was steady throughout the day until the late afternoon.
The morning bite was especially productive for the team aboard the Southern Pride, who managed a pair of blue marlin releases before adding a white marlin later in the day. However, the local boat Talika put themselves in great position with one blue and one white marlin let go today. Rounding out the top three was the Driftwood, the first to release a single blue marlin which put them ahead on time of release.
Tonight features a Mexican fiesta-themed party at Varadero Marina for the participants, with plenty of margaritas and tequila flowing along with some South of the Border snacks and music.
The Happy Anglers aboard Southern Pride, Day One Leaders.
DAY ONE RESULTS SAILFISH: 13 WHITE MARLIN: 4 BLUE MARLIN: 7 First Fish: Gary Tarpley (sailfish) 8:05am 1ST PLACE TEAM: Southern Pride, 1100 points (2BM, 1WM) 2ND PLACE TEAM: Talika, 700 pts (1BM, 1WM) 3rd PLACE TEAM: Driftwood, 400 pts (1BM on time) 1ST PLACE ANGLER: Russell Pentranto, 700 pts 2ND PLACE ANGLER: Marcelo Heyden, 400 pts 3RD PLACE ANGLER: Tucker Colquhoun, 400 pts TOP BOAT: Southern Pride, 1100 pts 2ND BOAT: Talika, 700 pts 3rd BOAT: Driftwood, 400 pts
BOGERT NAMED TOURNAMENT ARTIST
Rick Bogert’s art is inspired by a lifelong passion for sport fishing and the people and places that fill his memories, and so he was a perfect choice for Official Artist of the Presidential Carribean Cup and the Presidential Challenge of Central America's Guatemala leg.
From the New England giant tuna grounds to the North and Mid-Atlantic Canyons, fishing for marlin and tuna, the Hawaiian Islands for marlin, The Caribbean and throughout Central America for billfish. A lifetime of traveling, Rick’s passion for sportfishing and art has been influenced by many different areas and cultures.
Rick’s painting style ranges from realism to impressionist and his creations cover a wide range of mediums including pen and ink, watercolor, gouche, acrylic on canvas and oil on canvas. His broad use of colors is always as interesting as the subject itself.
Rick is the featured artist for all the billfish tournaments at the prestigious Los Suenos Resort in Costa Rica as well as a supporter of many other tournaments both charitable and conservationist around the world.
“I try to change the styles and colors so each piece is different and that’s what keeps it interesting for me. Whenever, I create a piece of art there is always a story that goes along with it. Art, in my mind, is not only about a pretty painting. It’s about an adventure, great places, great moments with friends and dreams - something that inspires us. Each of my paintings is personal and contains a little piece of who I am," he says.
Visit Rick’s website and click on the category that interests you. You'll find Rick’s work available as limited edition giclee prints and canvases. Rick’s original artworks are also featured on the site and available for purchase or commission.
THE PRESIDENTIAL CHALLENGE OF COSTA RICA
GET SET FOR PCCA COSTA RICA
WHERE: PLAYA CARRILLO, COSTA RICA HOTEL: VILLAS PLAYA SAMARA WHEN: MARCH 5-6-7, 2010 WHAT: ALL CATCH AND RELEASE BILLFISH TOURNAMENT
HATTABOY TOPS PCCA FLEET
Playa Carrillo, Costa Rica—Day Three of the 2010 Presidential Challenge of Central America’s Costa Rica leg started off much like the previous two: windy. However, at least the wind shifted direction somewhat, making for a not too unpleasant ride out in the morning. Following the daily pattern, things slacked off by around eleven and everyone was able to enjoy the rest of the day’s fishing in relative comfort. Day Three’s action belonged to the Hattaboy, a beautiful Hatteras Yacht based out of Los Suenos Marina, owned by Ted Smith and captained by Chris Garner. With anglers Gerard Aliseo, Russ Petranto and Arturo Lopez Nuna in the cockpit, the team performed admirably throughout the event but really put on a show today with one marlin and four sails released. They topped the standings at 1700 points. Aliseo was the tournament’s Top Angler with 700 points. , Coming in a very close second was the Big Oh, always a constant threat. Owner Gray Ingram and anglers Barry Daniels and Ben Horning collectively produced 1300 points in the tournament. Ingram also placed third in the angler division standings with 600 points. Nailing down a solid third place finish was the Sea Angel, captained by BC Angel. Anglers Austin Angel, Greg Voell and Arturo Moreno piled up 1300 points as well but fell just short of the Big Oh team based on time. Austin Angel was second in the angler standings with 700 points. The Costa Rican Tourism Board, ICT, will host the awards dinner this evening at the tournament’s host resort, Villas Playa Samara. The entire staff of the PCCA would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved for your participation and dedication to helping billfish conservation. This evening, a check in the amount of $5000 will be presented to Ellen Peel, president of The Billfish Foundation, to be used for the TBF conservation program in Costa Rica. For more information on the Presidential Challenge, please visit www.preschallenge.com. We hope to see each of you next year!
FINAL RESULTS 57 Sailfish/10 Marlin 1ST PLACE TEAM: Hattaboy, 1700 Pts. 2ND PLACE TEAM: Big Oh, 1300 Pts. 3RD PLACE TEAM: Sea Angel, 1300 Pts.
1ST PLACE ANGLER: Gerard Aliseo, 700 Pts. 2ND PLACE ANGLER: Austin Angel, 700 Pts. 3RD PLACE ANGLER: Gray Ingram, 600 Pts.
TOP BOAT: Hattaboy, 1700 Pts. 2ND BOAT: Big Oh, 1300 Pts. 3RD BOAT: Sea Angel, 1300 Pts.
BIG OH TAKES DAY TWO LEAD
Playa Carrillo, Costa Rica—In a second day marked by blustery winds and unusually rough sea conditions in the morning followed by a rapid clearing of the conditions by noon, the Big Oh team led by owner Gray Ingram and captained by Ronnie Fields showed why they are considered a dominant force in sportfishing. Fresh off a victory in the second leg of the Los Suenos Signature Series, as well as being named Top Team of the series, the Big Oh came to Carrillo hoping to continue their winning ways. In a slow day of fishing, they managed to convert the majority of their bites to releases, tallying an additional two sailfish for Ingram as well as two more for Ben Horning, adding a total of 400 very valuable points to their side of the leaderboard. They lead the ICT Team Division scores with 1100 points, while Ingram leads the Costa Del Mar Angler Division with 600 points. The Day One leaders aboard the Sea Angel continue to hang tough though; the team finished up the second day of fishing in third place overall at 900 points. The Hattaboy moved into second place based on a last-minute marlin release, adding to their scores and finishing the second day of the tournament at 1000 points. In the angler scoring, Diego Lopez and Arturo Lopez took over second and third places respectively, each falling just short of the mark set by Gray Ingram. Despite the slower-than-usual fishing, the competitors remain in high spirits, due in no small part to the afternoon Bacardi Bash parties that commemorate the end of each fishing day of the Presidential Challenge. Tomorrow marks the third and final day of competition, with the awards celebration set for tomorrow evening at the tournament’s host resort, the beautiful beachside Villas Playa Samara.
DAY TWO RESULTS 1ST Place Team; Big Oh, 1100 pts 2ND Place Team: Hattaboy 1000 pts 3RD Place Team: Sea Angel 900 pts 1ST Place Angler: Gray Ingram, 600 pts 2ND Place Angler: Diego Lopez 600 pts 3RD Place Angler: Arturo Lopez 600 pts
Day One of the Presidential Challenge Dominated by Weather, Blue Marlin Releases
Playa Carrillo, Costa Rica—The sport of billfishing is anything but predictable, and that parable once again proved true as the first day of fishing in the 14th annual Presidential Challenge of Central America’s Costa Rica leg got underway earlier today.
During the evening, strong winds began to howl through the stately Guanacaste hardwoods surrounding the anchorage at Playa Carrillo, an omen of what was to follow. By the time the fleet of 12 boats headed for open water, the seas had built considerably and the winds continued to push in from a recent passing frontal system.
However, this didn’t seem to deter the fish from biting. At the 4PM Reactor Watches call for lines out, the team aboard the Sea Angel held a slim lead in the ICT Team Division with 800 points over the Hattaboy and Big Oh boats, each with 600 points. Team USA on the Gamefisher II was in fourth with 500 points and the Silverado rounded out the top five teams with 300 points.
In the Costa Del Mar Angler Division, Gray Ingram led the field with 400 points followed by Austin Angel with 400 points. Steve Fanscy was in third place with 300 points along with Russ Petranto and Diego Garza Garcia.
As in every Presidential Challenge tournament, participants must use non-offset circle hooks, with the Eagle Claw 2004EL the preferred hook of the PCCA. In addition, all anglers must use tournament-supplied Berkley Big Game 20-pound test line, making this one of the most competitive light-tackle tournament series events found anywhere in the world of sportfishing.
DAY ONE RESULTS 24 Sailfish/5 Blue Marlin COSTA DEL MAR ANGLER STANDINGS First Place Angler: Gray Ingram, 400 pts. Second Place Angler: Austin Angel, 400 pts. Third Place Angler: Steve Fanscy, 300 pts. ICT TEAM DIVISION STANDINGS First Place Team: Sea Angel, 800 pts. Second Place Team: Hattaboy, 600 pts. Third Place Team: Big Oh, 600 pts . MARINA PEZ VELA BOAT STANDINGS First Place Boat: Sea Angel Second Place Boat: Hattaboy Third Place Boat: Big Oh First Fish of the Tournament: Charlie Orth, 8:13AM PCCA DAY ONE UPDATE Blue Marlin Dominate Action
Playa Carrillo, Costa Rica—As of 1PM Costa Rican time, several boats had released blue marlin to shake up the standings during Day One of the Presidential Challenge of Central America’s Costa Rica leg. Moving into first place is the Texas-based Sea Angel team with one blue marlin and two sailfish releases, good for 500 points (any species of marlin are worth 300 points while sails are worth 100). In second place is the Hattaboy team, based out of Los Suenos, Costa Rica, also with one marlin and a pair of sailfish and 500 points. In third is Silverado, a local team from Playa Carrillo, with three sails and 300 points.
Three hours remain in the fishing day today and with both the weather and the bite improving it seems that this year’s event is off to a running start. Stay tuned for updates from Costa Rica!
DAY ONE OF PCCA COSTA RICA NOW UNDERWAY Fleet Confronted with High Winds, Challenging Conditions
Playa Carrillo, Costa Rica—The sport of billfishing is anything but predictable, and that parable once again proved true as the first day of fishing in the 14th annual Presidential Challenge of Central America’s Costa Rica leg got underway earlier today.
During the evening, strong winds began to howl through the stately Guanacaste hardwoods surrounding the anchorage at Playa Carrillo, an omen of what was to follow. By the time the fleet of 12 boats headed for open water, the seas had built considerably and the winds continued to push in from a recent passing frontal system.
However, this didn’t seem to deter the sailfish from biting. Just one hour into the tournament, there have been three releases so far: two for Gary Carter’s Silverado and one for the Sea Angel. Prior to the start of this year’s tournament, most of the local boats had difficulty in locating the fish, a factor most blamed on the unusually high water temperatures associated with an El Nino weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean.
The tournament will progress for the next three days, with the winning teams, anglers and boats receiving their prizes Sunday evening.
The azure blue waters off Carrillo, Costa Rica are home to some of the best billfishing in the world. In addition to plenty of big Pacific sailfish, a surprisingly large number of blue, black and striped marlin call these waters home during the spring season. The Presidential Challenge of Costa Rica, scheduled for March 4-7, 2010, coincides perfectly with the height of the billfishing season off central Costa Rica, offering anglers the ultimate in light-tackle angling in a tournament setting that’s highly competitive both on a team and individual angler basis. This year’s event is once again hosted by the Villas Playa Samara, offering comfortable rooms situated just steps away from the beach and spacious freshwater pool complete with swim-up bar. The tournament entry fee includes nightly cocktail parties in addition to the awards dinner at the completion of the event. All proceeds from the tournament will go to The Billfish Foundation to support their conservation efforts in Costa Rica. This year’s event kicks off March 4th with registration and a mandatory angler’s meeting with complimentary cocktails supplied by Bacardi. Fishing will commence on March 5th with drinks and dinner to follow at Casa Vela, the private home of tournament coordinator Joan Vernon. March 6th is the second day of the tournament with a Bacardi Bash immediately afterward, with March 7th being the third and final day of competition. There’s another Bacardi Bash with the awards dinner and presentation that evening. For more information, please visit www.preschallenge.com or email Joan Vernon, the tournament coordinator, at email@example.com. We look forward to seeing you in Costa Rica! Local telephone: Joan Vernon 305-904-4678 (After Feb. 15...506-8350-2375/Monica Guevara 506-2200-0526.
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