2021 Costa Offshore World Championship Goes Down to the Wire in Costa Rica

Just one billfish release separated the top three finishers

The winning team, representing the Presidential Flamingo Fishing Rodeo Costa Rica.Courtesy OWC

The Costa Offshore World Championship, held April 11–16, 2021, once again gathered anglers from many different countries who earned the special invitation by winning one of the qualifying events. The teams spend four days on the water fishing out of Marina Pez Vela in Quepos, Costa Rica, aboard a different charter boat each day, including the world-class Maverick Yachts Costa Rica boats. The tournament anglers follow IGFA angling and tackle rules targeting marlin, sailfish, tuna, dorado and wahoo using video verification to earn billfish release points. Gamefish must be 25 pounds or more and are limited to two per species per day to earn additional team points and awards. The competitors represent an international group of offshore teams competing in a demanding format requiring great angling skill to convert the bites into catches. The Costa Offshore World Championship represents one of the most exclusive titles in tournament fishing.

In 2021 that achievement went to a group of American anglers representing the Presidential Flamingo Fishing Rodeo Costa Rica. Scoring 3,500 points from 15 sailfish and one blue marlin release were anglers Michael Moretti, Dwight Wolf, JP Rodrigues and Dell Dembosky; the team received championship rings by VanMark Jewelry Designers, Bodo Muche Studio bronze trophies, Guy Harvey limited edition prints, Guy Harvey championship apparel, Costa sunglasses, Yeti Rambler tumblers, Garmin Quatix watches, Shimano reels, Flor de Caña rum, Big T lures, AFTCO tackle and Soundview Millworks custom cutting boards. Dell Dembosky was also the top angler for the tournament, releasing eight sailfish and one blue marlin for the team. As 2021 OWC Champions, the team has the opportunity to apply for the championship for many years to come.

A new group of anglers representing the Oregon Tuna Classic took advantage of the invite and came to Costa Rica for their very first time. They wisely communicated with the 2019 winners for advice and practiced for several days heading into the tournament. The team quickly adapted, scoring 3433.32 points and releasing 14 sailfish, one blue marlin, and weighing a 54.44-pound tuna, a 47.90-pound dorado and a 30.98-pound dorado, earning second place team honors for anglers Jason Ford, Josh Cloke, Troy Grasseth and Chris Mayeda. The second-place team received gold pendants by VanMark Jewelry Designers, Guy Harvey limited edition prints, Costa sunglasses, YETI Rambler tumblers, Garmin Quatix watches, Penn reels, Flor de Caña rum, Big T lures, AFTCO tackle and Soundview Millworks custom cutting boards. For their finish, the team also received an invitation to compete in the 2022 Championship.

This year’s third-place team qualified by winning the San Carlos Hammer Down Tournament in Mexico. The team of U.S. anglers included Pete Finocchiaro, Alex Hammer and Frank Kastl; they brought Capt. Gilberto Lachica of Mexico, who helped them earn the invitation, to round out the team. They scored 3,400 points from seven sailfish and four blue marlin releases. Kastl also earned fourth-place angler honors with Lachica taking second place in the angler division. The third-place team received silver pendants by VanMark Jewelry Designers, Guy Harvey limited edition prints, Costa sunglasses, YETI Rambler tumblers, Garmin Quatix watches, Penn reels, Flor de Caña rum, Big T lures, AFTCO tackle and Soundview Millworks custom cutting boards. For their finish the team also received an invitation to compete in the 2022 Offshore World Championship, which will be held Sunday, April 24 through Friday, April 29, 2022.