Right from the start, the organizers of the 2017 Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown knew the fishing would be special for the kickoff of the event’s first leg, held January 18 to 21, 2017, in Los Sueños, Costa Rica. Most of the boats that had been on the water had returned with reports of terrific marlin bites, on both blues and striped marlin. At 500 points per release, the marlin would prove to be a game-changer in a tournament series usually dominated by sailfish.
Alexis Chamorro’s Xta-Sea team kept themselves in contention throughout the event, then made their move on Day Three. The experienced team, based in Nicaragua but fishing extensively throughout Central America, released five marlin on the final day alone. This gave them a total of just six sailfish but a whopping 12 marlin releases for the three-day tournament, good for 6,600 points and the win.
Agitator, last year’s top overall team, returned with the goal of picking up right where they left off, and by the call for lines out they stood in second place. Capt. Jon Duffie led the family team to a runner-up finish, where they released 30 sails and seven marlin in the event for 6,500 points.
Capt. Andy Helms and the En Joy team catapulted themselves from near-obscurity to a third-place finish with a huge last day. They released seven marlin on Day Three to not only win the daily prize but also third, tallying 13 sails and 10 marlin releases and 6,300 points for the tournament. Gray Ingram’s Big Oh team finished fourth at 6,300 points and Alpha Bravo was fifth with 6,200 points.
For the three-day event, there were 997 billfish released: 785 sailfish and an incredible 212 blue and striped marlin by the 50-boat participating fleet. See below for photos from the event.