Brazilian Team Wins 2024 Costa Offshore World Championship

A hot sailfish bite sets the stage for a prestigious victory
The first place team of the 2024 Costa Offshore World championship celebrating at the awards ceremony.
The winning team, representing Marlin Rio from Brazil. Courtesy OWC / Out Your Front Door

While Costa Rica is well-known for its vibrant culture, lush natural scenery and friendly locals—as well as the unrivaled excitement of its offshore fishing action—this Central American gem really pulled out all the stops as the host nation for the prestigious 2024 Costa Offshore World Championship, with title sponsor Costa Sunglasses and destination sponsor Instituto Costarricense de Turismo, the Costa Rica Tourism Institute. This year, 42 teams and 198 anglers descended upon the Pacific seaside community of Quepos from the four corners of the sport-fishing world to enjoy four days of head-to-head competition amid one of the most consistent billfish fisheries on the planet. They would not leave disappointed. 

The only event of its kind with a truly international draw and worldwide appeal, the 2024 OWC attracted more than 250 anglers, sponsors and other participants from 24 nations: Angola, Australia, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, France, Grenada, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Slovenia, Spain, St. Maarten, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. Collectively they traveled more than 1.2 million miles to fish this event; the team representing Papua New Guinea had the longest journey, spending more than two days on the move. With the exception of Antarctica, every continent on the planet had a team fishing in this year’s event. Truly a global billfishing championship, all competing anglers are required to hook their own fish under International Game Fish Association rules and have earned their spot in this invitational tournament with a top finish in an official qualifying event.

The second place team celebrating at the 2024 Costa Offshore World Championship.
The tournament’s second-place team, Yacht Clube da Bahia. Courtesy OWC / Out Your Front Door

Once fishing commenced out of tournament host Marina Pez Vela each day, participants enjoyed a classic Costa Rican bite, with plenty of sailfish in the baits in virtually flat-calm tropical conditions. The fishing actually improved during each of the four days, with the fleet releasing 119 billfish on Day One, 124 on Day Two, 184 on Day Three and a whopping 272 on Day Four. For the tournament, there were 686 Pacific sailfish and 13 marlin released in four days of competition, for an average of 16.64 billfish per boat. 

While Brazil has always fielded a strong contingent of teams for the Costa Offshore Championship, 2024 proved to be an exceptional one for the South American nation. Emerging victorious and representing the Iate Clube do Rio de Janeiro was the Marlin Rio team of Pedro Guimarães, Luis Felipe Guimarães, André Mattos, Alexandre Cabral and Alberto Lorenzo. Proving that consistency is a key component to victory, they steadily marched their way through the leaderboard. A slow start on Day One with just four sailfish releases led to an improvement on Day Two with six, then 11 more sails on Day Three. Saving their best effort for the final day, Marlin Rio vaulted to victory with 12 sailfish releases on the fourth and final day for a total of 6,600 points. In addition to a lifetime invitation to defend their title, the team took home the gold Championship rings from VanMark Jewelry Designers and will also be the first team represented on the new OWC Perpetual Trophy, on permanent display at Marina Pez Vela. The excitement of the win reverberated through the marina complex on Friday evening during the awards presentation. 

The third place team of the 2024 Costa Offshore World Championship celebrating at the awards ceremony.
The third-place team, 2008 OWC Champions. Courtesy OWC / Out Your Front Door

In second place was another Brazilian entry, representing the Yacht Clube da Bahia. Hernani lopes de Sá Neto, Ricardo Uanus Balazeiro, Ricardo Harth Balazeiro, Breno Murai and Jose Roberto Martinez Do Canto combined to release 28 sailfish, good for 5,600 points. They brought home the prestige as well as armloads of trophies and prizes to their home port of Salvador, Brazil. 

Finishing in third was the team representing the 2008 OWC Champions: Audrey Koocher, Matt McLean, Robert Collins and John Domanic. They released 26 sailfish and landed a 21.18-pound dorado for a total of 5,221.18 points. They also took home first place in the tournament’s new Billfish Release Points optional jackpot. With eight sailfish releases, Koocher was the event’s highest-scoring lady angler. 

The Top Angler holding awards at the 2024 Costa Offshore World Championship.
Adrian de Silva was this year’s top angler. Courtesy OWC / Out Your Front Door

Representing the Spice Island Billfish Tournament, Adrian de Silva was the event’s top angler with one blue marlin and 15 sailfish releases, while Matthew Rose from the Sunshine Coast Game Fishing Classic weighed the heaviest dorado at 51.6 pounds. Christopher Spalding from the Bermuda Big Game Classic team landed the event’s largest yellowfin tuna at 92.6 pounds. 

2024 Costa Offshore World Championship Sponsors

The Costa Offshore World Championship is sponsored by many industry-leading companies, including title sponsor Costa Sunglasses, The Marlin Group, Marina Pez Vela, Parador Nature Resort and Spa, Yeti, Salt Life, Garmin, King Sailfish Mounts, AFTCO, Flor de Caña, IGFA, Bodo Muche Studio-Foundry, Pacifico Travel Services, Seakeeper, Release Marine, 2Costa Rica Real Estate, VanMark Jewelry Designers, Coastal Carolina Cutting Boards, Starbrite, Penn, Guy Harvey, Big-T Lures, IWS ScaleMaster, Baby Je Creations and Adri Gyotaku Marine Life Prints.

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