The Pelagic Pura Vida Blue Marlin Classic featured several innovative twists as the first event of its kind in Costa Rica to focus on blue marlin as the primary species. First, the tournament had a “no boundaries” rule, putting the offshore seamounts in play for the first time. Teams were allowed to depart at midnight on the first day and could remain at sea for the duration of the event if they elected to do so, rather than fish within the conventional 50-mile boundary. There was also a separate division for those boats using omni sonar versus those who were not, making this one of the first tournaments to differentiate between the two classes of vessels. Blues would be worth 500 points per release, followed by black marlin at 250 points, striped marlin at 100 points and sailfish at just 1 point each. Marina Pez Vela in Quepos hosted the event, proving itself once again to be a premier destination for tournament anglers.
After two days offshore, the team fishing on Trilo Bite tallied five blue marlin releases and claimed first-place honors as the top nonsonar boat. They also added top lady angler honors for multiple IGFA-world-record holder, Stacey Parkerson. Placing second was the Tuna Trappe team with a blue marlin and five sailfish, followed by Pelagic in third in the nonsonar division.
Despite having a slow second day, the team fishing on La Belle, captained by John Cochrane, held on to victory thanks to their Day One total of six blue marlin. Sadly, Cochrane was killed in an automobile accident in Texas shortly after returning home from the tournament.
Vaquero had a strong Day Two, releasing 17 sailfish and a blue marlin to finish with three blues and 43 sailfish for second place. Eight Eights was third with two blue marlin, a striped marlin and 16 sailfish, also earning top angler honors for Kyle O’Connor.