QUEPOS, Costa Rica (April 28, 2017)—At the Lucas Oil Offshore World Championship, the world’s best anglers gathered for the opportunity to earn the most exclusive title in international tournament fishing. But of the 50 elite teams in the competition, only one could be crowned 2017 Offshore World Champions: Team Torneio de Peixes de Bico (Brazil).
After years of coming close to a win, including a second-place finish in 2016, victory was especially sweet for Brazilian anglers Evandro Soares, Ricardo Pedrosa, Joao Paula Da Costa, Eduardo Castro and Antonio Villarejo. Soares also took home the prize for sixth-place angler with 1,200 points.
As champions, the team received coveted OWC champion rings by VanMark Jewelry and the opportunity to apply for the Offshore World Championship for many years to come.
Another of the 11 Brazilian teams competing in the tournament, Team Torneio Marlin do Rio de Janeiro followed in second place. Anglers Luis Carlos Bulhoes, Lucas Fonseca, Alberto Quintaes, Vicente Arruda and Vicente Luis Arruda each received a gold VanMark pendant and a one-year extension to compete in the 2018 championship.
The 2016 OWC Champion team—Richard De Vertile, Manuel Merino, Alan Fitzwilliam and Jerome McQuilkin—kept last year’s momentum with a solid third-place finish. This is a big accomplishment for a defending champion team, and it earned them an invitation to the 2018 tournament and silver VanMark pendants.
The top angler award was presented to angler Brian Walley of the Los Cabos Billfish Tournament team. Walley released three blue marlin for 1,500 points. Anglers Luena Amaro (Angola), Conrad Skinner (Trinidad and Tobago), Gene Sauers (U.S.A.) and Hunter Barron (U.S.A.) followed in second through fifth place, respectively.
The world-class charter boat crews of Costa Rica, lead the Offshore World Championship teams to success all week. Captain Johnny Cerpas Venagas and his crew on Macushla earned the top prize in their category for assisting with the release of thirteen billfish for 2,700 points.
Throughout the tournament, 256 anglers from 29 countries released and video-verified 202 sailfish, 49 blue marlin, two black marlin and one striped marlin for a total of 254 billfish overall. In an unexpected turn of events, the sailfish were slow but the marlin made a big showing. Anglers released more blue marlin in four days than the past four tournament years combined.
Four dorado and one tuna over the 25-pound minimum were also brought to the scales during the week.
The tournament came to a close Friday night with food, drinks and live entertainment at an awards gala at Marina Pez Vela. Winners were presented with King Sailfish trophies, VanMark Jewelry pieces and prizes from industry-leading companies.
1st Place: Torneio de Peixes de Bico (Brazil) – 2,900 points
2nd Place: Torneio Marlin do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) – 2,400 points
3rd Place: 2016 OWC Champions (Trinidad and Tobago) – 2,300 points
1st Place: Brian Walley, Los Cabos Billfish Tournament (Mexico) –1,500 points
2nd Place: Luena Amaro, Tavira Offshore Classic 2016 Marlin Cup (Portugal) – 1,400 points
3rd Place: Conrad Skinner, 36th Annual Marlin Madness Game Fish Tournament (Trinidad and Tobago) – 1,300 points
Top Boat / Captain
1st Place: Macushla (Los Suenos, Costa Rica): Captain Johnny Cerpas Vanegas – 2,700 points
2nd Place: Spanish Fly (Los Suenos, Costa Rica): Captain Juan Carlos Amora – 2,500 points
3rd Place: Sea Fly (Los Suenos, Costa Rica): Captain Carlos Espinosa – 2,400 points
1st Place: Denis Seiveright (Jamaica), 55th Montego Bay International Marlin Tournament – 47.3 lbs.
2nd Place: Rafael Sasso (Brazil), Torneio de Peixes de Bico – Clube Icarai – 37.7 lbs.
3rd Place: Omar Derbas (U.A.E.), Fujairah Offshore Fishing Tournament – 31 lbs.
1st Place: Joseph Rahman (New Jersey, U.S.A), Casa de Camp International Blue Marlin Classic – 35.7 lbs.
See full results, photos and videos on the official online scorekeeper: owc17.catchstat.com