As winter slowly creeps into spring, fishing teams from all across the globe ready their gear and mindset for one of the most highly anticipated tournaments of the season. The 17th Annual Offshore World Championship (OWC) tournament returns for the fourth time to the prolific waters of Quepos, Costa Rica, from April 17-22, 2016, in hopes of repeating the tremendous fishing its participants enjoyed over the past three events. Teams competing in 2014 and 2015 events experienced back-to-back record catches, releasing 5,575 billfish in just eight days of fishing — a truly incredible number. Will the bite return for the 17th OWC and make tournament history once again?
This year, organizers expect more than 60 teams with anglers from 25 different countries to take part in this unique “earn-your-spot” format where each team must win in a qualifying event to receive an invitation. This means that the doubles, triples and quads of big, hungry Pacific sails, marlin and gamefish that come into the spread will run into some top-notch anglers that have come up through the ranks and fought their way to the top in fishing events at home. The teams also rotate from boat to boat each day to provide a level playing field for the international group of teams.
Quepos — long known as a sleepy fishing village that put Costa Rica sport fishing on the map in the early ’90s — came alive when Marina Pez Vela opened its first phase of docks and a fueling station in 2010. Now the thriving community and marina host world-class events that draw charter and private boats from all over the world. Marina Pez Vela is the perfect host marina for the OWC. It continues to evolve, offering completed on-site condos, six of the region’s best dining options and a full-service Yacht Yard featuring Central America’s only 200-ton Marine Travelift. Marina Pez Vela recently announced slip expansions that will bring the marina to 200 slips. Anglers will enjoy the marina’s close proximity to the fishing grounds, dockside socials and gala awards banquet.
Once again, the luxurious Parador Resort and Spa plays its part in the tournament, hosting the OWC from the edge of a pristine rainforest. The resort blends into nature like no other, and it has earned a number of prestigious awards for its passionate commitment to both the environment and the local community. Built high above the sweeping Pacific coastline on Punta Quepos, Costa Rica, the resort covers 12 acres of rainforest and encompasses several hiking trails. The resort’s beauty is matched only by the high quality of service provided to each and every guest.
For more information on the Offshore World Championship, and to follow team scores during the tournament April 17-22, visit offshoreworldchampionship.com.
Sponsors for the Offshore World Championship include the Costa Rica Tourism Board, Marina Pez Vela, Lucas Marine Products, Costa Sunglasses, Geoffrey Smith Galleries, Garmin Electronics, Parador Resort, Flor de Cana, Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic, King Sailfish Mounts, Guy Harvey, Aftco, Van Mark Jewelers, Yeti, Penn, Accurate, Dragonfly Sportfishing, Melton International Tackle, 2CostaRica Real Estate, Toyota Rent a Car and Scale Master.
About Offshore World Championship
Founded in 2000 by the International Game Fish Association, Offshore World Championship is a true angler/team tournament, and the only tournament in the world that requires the entire team to fish from different boats each day. Teams must qualify by winning one of the many quality Offshore World Championship-sanctioned tournaments to earn an application to fish the event.
About Costa Rica
Costa Rica is located in Central America, nestled between Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south; it is bordered on the east by the Caribbean Sea and the west by the Pacific Ocean. With an abundance of unique wildlife, landscapes and climates, this small country proudly shelters approximately five percent of the known biodiversity in the world. In order to protect and preserve its wealth of natural resources Costa Rica has become a global leader in sustainable practices with protected areas comprising 26 percent of its land mass. With a peaceful spirit, emphasis on education and an economy based on tourism, technology and exportation, Costa Ricans and visitors alike enjoy one of the highest standards of living and organized tourism infrastructure in Latin America, among a tropical paradise of lush rainforests, mystical volcanoes, and cloud forests and beaches that meet mountains filled with monkeys and macaws. Offering a broad terrain of activities and accommodations, visitors to Costa Rica will find a range of hotel options ranging from small beachside bed and breakfasts, to authentic intimate boutique mountain lodges, to major international business hotel brands and everything in between; Costa Rica’s accommodations offer something appealing for everyone’s desires. The phrase “Pura Vida” can be heard echoing throughout Costa Rica from coast to coast. Used as a greeting or expression of happiness, the phrase literally translates to “pure life,” however its true meaning is “full of life,” which accurately describes the adventure and wonder that await visitors.
About Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT)
Established in 1955, the Costa Rica Tourism Board spearheads the vital task of regulating and promoting Costa Rica’s extensive tourism offerings. The ICT and its partners in the private sector work tirelessly to garner recognition, standardize practices, provide insightful research data and foster cultural development for the country’s coast-to-coast, one-of-a-kind tourism products and resources.