A Day Three grand slam clinched the 2017 Presidential Aruba Caribbean Cup — and a three-peat — for the Naira team.
The crew finished with 2,000 release points — earned from four white marlin, two blue marlin and one sailfish in three days of fishing on the 57-foot Paul Mann. A grand slam of the three billfish species — this year’s only grand slam in the tournament — kept Naira owner Ruben “Bincho” Mansur and his crew ahead of the second-place Alina team, which finished with 1,700 release points from five sailfish, three blue marlin and one white marlin. The Tara team finished third with 1,500 release points. Eric Mansur owns and operates Alina, while Alex Mansur captains Tara.
Marina Varadero, the host of the tournament, is the Alina team’s home. However, the Naira team appears unbeatable in the Presidential Aruba Caribbean Cup. The crew has won three straight years.
Naira angler Yilson Iriarte won the tournament’s top angler trophy with 900 points. Just Us angler Kanmar Kleinmodig also finished with 900 points but Iriarte won on time. Alina angler Christian Mansur scored 800 points and finished third.
Despite rough seas and high winds, the 19-team field released 64 billfish: 24 sailfish; 23 white marlin; and 17 blue marlin, all on 30-pound-test line and non-offset circle hooks.