Just eight minutes after lines in, Rosalie Apostoleres released a sailfish on the 50-foot Viking Roenick, the first release of the Viking Key West Challenge. A minute later, Capt. Casey Hunt called in a sail for her husband, Nick. That began a torrid two days of fishing for the team, who tallied an amazing 24 sailfish releases during the tournament to sweep nearly every position on the leaderboard: Top Boat, Top Angler, Top Lady Angler and Top Sailfish Boat, among many others. In addition to their tableful of trophies, the Apostoleres also won a Spot Zero mobile unit and Switlik Coastal Passage raft.
Game Changer, Robert Boyce’s Viking 80, had a strong Day Two with 10 sailfish releases, taking home second place in the sailfish division with a total of 15 releases. Boyce’s son, Matthew, had five of those to win the Top Junior Angler trophy. Fishing on his 72-foot Manna Ray, Jack Sheehan and his team rounded out the top three with 11 sailfish. The 50-boat fleet, which included four Valhalla center-consoles this year, also enjoyed a lay-day poolside barbecue, kid’s dock tournament, bar crawl, poker run and other festivities.
This article was originally published in the August/September issue of Marlin.