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(far right in photo) 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