Old No. 7 Tops the Fleet at Final Sail

Sandman wins the 2017 Quest for the Crest series

2017 Final Sail Quest for the Crest series old no. 7 first place team
The Old No. 7 team won just under $220,000 for their first-place win at Final Sail.Courtesy Endless Imagery

Located at the very tip of the Florida Keys, Key West holds a special place in the heart of any bluewater enthusiast, but doubly so for those in the high-stakes Quest for the Crest tournament series. This four-event circuit highlights the best in the sport of competitive sailfishing. With big money on the line, every bite is critical.

Going into Final Sail, the final event in the 2017 series, Sandra MacMillan's Sandman team had a slim lead over Team Sailsmen/Advanced Roofing, Contender One and Miss Britt/Contender for the Quest for the Crest title and the coveted burgundy jackets. After Day One, Sandman, led by Capt. John Louie Dudas, had released five sails to further solidify their position as the lead dog in the race. Meanwhile, Old No. 7, captained by Jamie Ralph, took the top daily prize with nine sails released.

Day Two saw the 2015 Quest for the Crest champion team on BAR South having a banner day with 12 releases and the daily win, with three other boats releasing 10 sailfish each. Final Sail was destined to come down to the last hour. A much-needed lay day gave everyone a chance to relax and enjoy a tournament-hosted pub crawl on world-famous Duval Street before the action resumed.

And although the action was hot and hectic in the final hours, Old No. 7 proved to be a tough competitor, winning its first Quest event with a total of 23 sailfish released over three days and earning $219,675 in prize money along the way. BAR South held on to finish in second place with 22 sails released, good for $137,725. Sandman landed in third with 21 sailfish released and nearly $80,000 in cash but it was more than enough to secure their spot as the top team in the Quest for the Crest series. They finished in the top 10 in each of the four tournaments, capping an incredibly consistent season.

2017 Final Sail Quest for the Crest series first place team sandman sandra macmillan
Sandra MacMillan and the Sandman team, winners of the 2017 Quest for the Crest series and third place at Final Sail.Courtesy Endless Imagery

In the angler standings, Stephanie Choate from Miss Britt/Contender swept the top lady angler division in each of the four tournament legs. Carl Lindner on Seraphim was the top male angler at Final Sail with 13 releases.

Combined payouts across all four legs of the Quest for the Crest series totaled a whopping $2.5 million dollars. The fleet of 34 boats released 404 sailfish during the three days of Final Sail, further cementing Key West’s notoriety as an outstanding tournament location.

Keep scrolling for a photo gallery from this year's Final Sail tournament.

2017 Final Sail Quest for the Crest series old no. 7 first place team
The winners on Old No. 7 begin the celebration once their victory was announced.Courtesy Endless Imagery
2017 Final Sail Quest for the Crest series bar south second place team
BAR South finished in second place at Final Sail.Courtesy Endless Imagery
2017 Final Sail Quest for the Crest series oak and cane rum
The ladies from Oak and Cane rum kept everyone in good spirits throughout the tournament.Courtesy Endless Imagery
2017 Final Sail Quest for the Crest series absolut joy baits up
Live bait plays a critical role in Key West. Absolut Joy baits up in the pre-dawn hours.Courtesy Endless Imagery
2017 Final Sail Quest for the Crest series sandman with release flags
Sandman returns after a great day of Key West sailfishing.Courtesy Endless Imagery
2017 Final Sail Quest for the Crest series 4 aces peter adrian
Peter Adrian's 4 Aces team, ready to hit the water.Courtesy Endless Imagery
2017 Final Sail Quest for the Crest series absolut joy drone shot
An aerial view of Absolut Joy as they leave the harbor.Courtesy Endless Imagery
2017 Final Sail Quest for the Crest series key west drone shot
Key West proved to be an excellent host for Final Sail.Courtesy Endless Imagery
2017 Final Sail Quest for the Crest series bar south heads out
BAR South gets set for a big day on Day Two of the tournament.Courtesy Endless Imagery
2017 Final Sail Quest for the Crest series contender one
Joe Neber and the Contender One team had a great tournament.Courtesy Endless Imagery
2017 Final Sail Quest for the Crest series drone key west docks
The docks in Key West were jammed with sport-fishers throughout the weekend.Courtesy Endless Imagery
2017 Final Sail Quest for the Crest series seraphim fourth place team
Seraphim was fourth place at Final Sail. Carl Lindner was the event's top male angler.Courtesy Endless Imagery
2017 Final Sail Quest for the Crest series john louie dudas top captain
Sandman's John Louie Dudas was the top captain for the 2017 Quest for the Crest series.Courtesy Endless Imagery
2017 Final Sail Quest for the Crest series lights out heads out
Lights Out heads for deep water on Day Two.Courtesy Endless Imagery
2017 Final Sail Quest for the Crest series reel rodeo
The fun-loving team on Reel Rodeo, always up for a good time.Courtesy Endless Imagery