The Offshore World Championship is one of the world’s most competitive sport-fishing tournaments, and it’s also held in one of the world’s top hot spots: Quepos, Costa Rica. Teams from the four corners of the fishing world descend upon this quaint community, located on the central Pacific coast, for a week of head-to-head competition. Each day, the teams rotate among a fleet of charter boats and billfish releases must be verified on video, both of which ensure a level playing field. This year, 50 teams representing 29 nations signed up for a shot at being named the Offshore World Champions.
And after years of nearly reaching the top, including a runner-up finish in 2016, this season proved to be a fortuitous one for Brazil’s Team Torneio de Peixes de Bico. With 12 sailfish and one blue marlin released in four days of fishing, they topped the international field with 2,900 points to win the 2017 Offshore World Championship. Team members included Evandro Soares, Ricardo Pedrosa, Joao Paulo Da Costa, Eduardo Castro and Antonio Villarejo. As champions, they received a host of sponsor prizes but none were more coveted than the custom champion’s rings from VanMark Jewelry.
Brazil hosted a strong contingent of 11 teams in this year’s OWC, including the second-place Team Torneio Marlin do Rio de Janeiro. Anglers Luis Carlos Bulhoes, Lucas Fonseca, Alberto Quintaes, Vicente Arruda and Vicente Luis Arruda released 12 sailfish to score 2,400 points and the tournament’s runner-up spot.
In third place was the 2016 OWC champion team of Richard De Vertile, Manuel Merino, Alan Fitzwilliam and Jerome McQuilkin, representing Trinidad. They released three blue marlin and four sailfish in four days to tally 2,300 points.
Brian Walley of the Los Cabos Billfish Tournament team was the event’s highest-scoring individual angler, with three blue marlin released for 1,500 points. Luena Amaro from Angola and Conrad Skinner of Trinidad and Tobago rounded out the top three, respectively.
Capt. Johnny Cerpas Vanegas on Macushla earned the top captain award with 13 billfish releases for the tournament.
For the 2017 OWC, 256 anglers from 29 countries released and video-verified 254 total billfish: 202 sailfish, 49 blue marlin, two black marlin and one striped marlin for a total of 254 billfish overall.
Keep scrolling for a photo gallery from this year’s event.