On Saturday, March 9, tournament anglers, sponsors, celebrities and spectators witnessed the culmination of the richest sailfish series in the world. For more than four months, the best sailfish anglers around the globe have battled for the privilege to claim the title of world champions and don the iconic Quest for the Crest burgundy jackets. That dream was realized for Capt. Bill Wieteha and his crew on team Blue Time. They captured the title of world’s best with a score of 74 points, generated by a 12th-place finish at Operation Sailfish in December, a fifth-place finish at the Sailfish Challenge in February and a second-place finish at the Jimmy Johnson National Billfish Championship last weekend. The point’s race in the quest for the jacket was extremely tight. Weez in the Keys followed in second with 73 points, followed by Get Lit in third with 72 points and 4 Aces in fourth with 62 points. Capt. Bill Wieteha also earned a $25,000 Audemars Piaget watch from Altier Jewelers in Boca Raton as the top captain in the series.
Although they did not earn the jacket, Capt. John Dudas and his 4 Aces team did earn the championship rings from tournament host and a proven champion himself, Mr. Jimmy Johnson. The rings are reserved exclusively for the top team in the Jimmy Johnson National Billfish Championship, the final leg of the Quest for the Crest Series. 4 Aces caught seven fish on Day One of the tournament, and nine fish on Day Two to claim victory and more than $123,000 in prize money. The team also earned an additional $8,500 as the fourth-place overall team in the series. Blue Time collected over $95,000 in second place, plus an additional $34,020 as the top overall team in the Quest for the Crest series.
The remaining three spots in the top five of the JJNBC were occupied by Jichi, Weez in the Keys and Liquid Skillstorm, in that order. Jichi won near $49,150 in third place. Weez in the Keys collected over $40,000 with its fourth-place finish in the tournament and third-place finish in the series. Liquid Skillstorm grabbed near $40,000 in fifth place as well.
In the angler categories, Top Female Angler was awarded to Nikki White on O-Sea-D with two releases, and the Top Junior Angler was Eric Perna on Eco Fishing Team with five releases. Peter Adrian earned the Master Angler title on board 4 Aces with 11 total releases. The heaviest meat fish, a 49.7-pound wahoo, earned the Kawama-Blue Moon fishing team a paycheck for $14,400 also.
Thanks to three strong performances by 4 Aces, Blue Time and Debaitable, Viking Yachts was able to go back-to-back and win the Boat Builder’s Throwdown as the top boat manufacturer in the tournament. Viking Yachts won the perpetual trophy at the Sailfish Challenge, leg two of the series as well. The bronze trophy, sponsored by John Townsend, will remain on display at the Viking service center until the 2014 event.
By the end of the season, over $1.4 million in prize money was handed out to the top teams in the Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series. Blue Time maintains the No. 1 rank in the world in competitive sailfishing. Join us next year to see which teams will rise to the occasion in this world-class series! For complete results from the Jimmy Johnson National Billfish Championship, visit http://www.bluewatermovements.com/jjnbc_results.
–– Source: Jamie Bunn