At the Lucas Oil Offshore World Championship, held April 15-20, 2018, some of the world’s best anglers gathered for the opportunity to earn the most exclusive title in international tournament fishing. This year the title went to Team Torneio Marlin do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). In fact, the top-four finishing teams all won qualifying events in their home country of Brazil.
The victory was especially sweet for anglers Matheus Assad, Elias Houaiss, Mateus Marques, Helio Marques and Carlos Assad. Last year, their team came in second place to fellow Brazilians, Team Torneio de Peixes de Bico. The 2017 OWC Champions team finished a respectable seventh in 2018. As 2018 champions, Team Rio de Janeiro received coveted OWC champion rings by VanMark Jewelry and the opportunity to apply for the Offshore World Championship for many years to come.
Of the 11 Brazilian teams competing in the tournament, seven finished in the top ten. Team Torneio De Peixes De Bico followed in second place. Anglers Nilo Cottini Filho, Luis Roberto Teixeira Soares, Gustavo Pustiglione Santos and Nilo Cottini Neto each received a gold VanMark pendant and a one-year extension to compete in the 2019 championship. Team Torneio De Peixe De Oceano, composed of Leonardo Bochner, Eliseu Soares Neto, Pedro Salema Von Bertrand, Fernando Almeida Neto and Joao Victor Lopes Zanur, had clutch third and fourth days of fishing to jump into third place overall after the final day.
The top angler award was presented to angler Juan Cabrera Pena of Team XXV Torneo De Pesca De Aturo Puerto Calero (Spain). Pena released two blue marlin and eight Pacific sailfish, plus weighed in a 49.6-pound dolphin, for a total of 2,649.60 points. Anglers Elisangela Pina (XIV Billfish Challenge, Angola), Miro Vrlja (Kup Grada Hvara, Croatia), Nilo Cottini Filho (Torneio De Peixes De Bico, Brazil), Matheus Assad (Torneio Marlin do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Sam Worden (2011 Offshore World Champions, U.S.) followed in second through sixth place, respectively.