Los Sueños Resort and Marina, located at Playa Herradura on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific Coast, held the first leg of its sixth annual Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown billfish series, presented by Chantilly Air, January 16-19, 2019. A total of 44 of the world’s most competitive billfishing teams comprised of 210 individual anglers challenged each other over three days of fishing, releasing a total of 648 billfish, including 582 sails and 66 marlin for a per boat average of 15 billfish releases.
LADIES ONLY ONE-DAY TOURNAMENT
Held on Tuesday, January 15th the first annual Los Sueños Ladies Only Tournament, presented by Chantilly Air and sponsored by Maverick and Galati Yacht Sales, brought together 49 individual anglers participating on 17 boats. It seemed like a clear battle between Family and Friends and D.A. Sea who were tied both for points and on time just half an hour before lines out. Fish Tank (anglers Laura Jessen and Michelle Keeney) surprised everyone though, calling in a marlin hook up which they went on to release at 4:04 pm for the win, having released 8 sails and 1 marlin for 1300 points. D.A. Sea (anglers Valerie Dunn, Susan McCart, and Judy Duffie) ended up second with 1100 points with 6 sailfish and 1 marlin release, and Family and Friends (anglers Jackie Kopp, Kristin Feller, and Andrea White) rounded out the leaderboard in third with 1000 points after releasing 10 sails.
Awards were presented the following day and the ladies took to the stage to receive their cash prizes and trophies, sponsored by Gray Taxidermy. A total of $27,500 was handed out, 50% going to first, 30% to second, and 20% to third. Individual angler points follow the ladies through the Triple Crown and will be tallied to their total scores from that event to determine the Top Female Angler Overall. So far, Jackie Kopp of Family and Friends is well in the lead with 700 points from the Ladies Only and 1500 points from the first leg of the Triple Crown.
TRIPLE CROWN DAY 1
It was Numero Uno who fittingly released fish “numero uno” of the tournament at 8:05 am on Day 1, January 17th. By 10:00 am the competitive fleet of 44 teams and 210 anglers had released 89 billfish, including 84 sails and 5 marlin. Tarheel took an early lead with 800 points, over The King and I and Blue Eagle, each with 700 points. The King and Ishowed their stripes early with 1800 points by noon, taking a 600 point lead over Tranquilo with 1200 points and Outlaw with 1100 points. Over 40 fish were released in the next two hours, but the leaderboard changed very little, with The King and I releasing one more sail for 1900 points, Tranquilo staying steady with 1200 points, and Outlawrounding out the top three, also with 1 more sailfish release for 1200 points. Although The King and I ended the day in first with 2000 points, there was definitely some jockeying in the latter part of the afternoon; Wire We Here ended up releasing 6 sails and 2 marlin for 1600 points and second place, and Blue Eagle released the same fish for the same points, just 13 minutes later to take third for the day.
TRIPLE CROWN DAY 2
The King and I had a slow start to Day 2 with zero releases by 10 am, but managed to hold on to their first place spot. Wire We Here released four sails in the same period to tie The King and I with 2000 points, just 1 sailfish release and 100 points ahead of Reel Pushy. By noon the fleet had released a two-day total of 380 billfish and Fish Tank had pushed The King and I down to third on time after Wire We Here, both with 2100 points, and taking top spot with 2300 points. Family and Friends were keeping their name in front of spectators, taking top spot with 2600 points by 2 pm, followed by Fish Tank with 2400 points and Reel Pushy in third with 2300 points. By the end of the day Family and Friends had earned enough points after releasing 7 sails and 2 marlin for a two-day total of 2600 points, to keep their first place position. Reel Pushy released 7 sails and 2 marlin on Day 2 for a two-day total of 2500 points, and Fish Tankrounded out the top three with 2400 points after releasing 9 sails on Day 2. The top 9 teams were all within one marlin and one sail of the lead going in to Day 3.
TRIPLE CROWN DAY 3
Day 3 followed the same trend as the first two days with a good morning bite. By 10 am the fleet had released 61 billfish for a three-day total of 522 billfish (469 sails and 53 marlin). The King and I were vying for the leaderboard and had amassed 3300 points to take first over Reel Pushy in second with 3100 points, and Tranquilo in third with 2800 points. At noon it was still anyone’s game. Fish Tank was in first with 3500 points. The King and I was in second, now with 3400 points, and Reel Pushy in third with one more sailfish for 3200 points. The 2 pm leaderboard would end up being a prediction of the Leg 1 finishers, showing Fish Tank in first with 4200 points, The King and I in second with 3400 points, and Reel Pushy in third with 3300 points. Fish Tank went on to release four more sails, ending the day – and the tournament – with 4600 points. The King and I and Reel Pushy kept the same points, Reel Pushy tying with Tranquilo on time, but releasing their last fish two hours before.
On behalf of the tournament committee, congratulations to all winners!
CASH PRIZES & AWARDS
Nearly 650 guests came together under the stars at the Los Sueños Beach Club to enjoy a phenomenal buffet dinner and live tropical calypso music by Acustica Lounge’s Pachanga Boys. Immediately preceding the presentation of trophies, prizes and checks to the tournament winners, guests enjoyed the highly anticipated dock show filmed and produced by Rich Christensen and Michael Butler. The ceremony was closed out by a spectacular fireworks display by Faisa and a jam-packed after party hosted at the Hook Up. Tournament winners took to the stage to receive a total of $130,000 in cash, as well as other prizes provided by tournament sponsors, including trophies by Gray Taxidermy, apparel by Tunaskin, framed prints of this year’s tournament art by Steve Goione, YETI coolers, and Flor de Caña aged rum, as well as a prize donated by CAT to the top CAT powered boat.
The entire tournament organizing committee would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who came together to support this event. Our gratitude goes out to all the anglers, captains, mates, observers, technical advisors, cameramen and videographers, spectators, Los Sueños staff and of course, our sponsors (in alphabetical order): BLP Legal, Bristol Marine Supply, Canvas Designers, Caterpillar/Matra, Chantilly Air (presenting sponsor), Costa, CR Marine/Gato Gordo Golf Carts, Cummins, D Dey Response Group, FishTrack/Buoyweather official weather provider, Flor de Caña, Galati International Yacht Sales, Gost, Gray Taxidermy and Gray FishTag, Huck Buckets, Marlin Magazine (Bonnier Corporation), Marriott, Maverick Yachts, MTU/SVF, Los Sueños Resort and Marina, Poms & Associates, Promerica Bank, RK Creative Productions, Seakeeper/A.G. Marine Services, Sevenstar Yacht Transport, Steve Goione Marine Artist, Tunaskin Aquatic Apparel, Vanmark Inc., Viking Yachts, Yeti Coolers. For more about our sponsors, please visit www.lossuenostournaments.com and click on Sponsors.
OWC QUALIFYING EVENT
The top team from each leg of the Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown will be eligible to compete in the 2019 Offshore World Championship. For further information, please visit www.offshorechampionship.com.
ABOUT THE LOS SUENOS LADIES ONLY TOURNAMENT
2019 marks the 1st Annual Los Sueños Ladies Only Tournament, a one-day only team event, designed to showcase truly competitive non-professional female anglers. Entry is free for boats participating in all three legs of the 2019 Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown. Individual angler points are tallied with those earned during the Triple Crown to determine the Top Female Angler Overall in March.
ABOUT THE LOS SUENOS SIGNATURE TRIPLE CROWN
2019 marks the 6th Annual Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown billfish tournament series. The Triple Crown consists of three annual tournaments, in January, February and March each year, and is fished out of the world class Los Sueños Resort and Marina in Costa Rica. The dates for the next two legs in 2019 are Leg 2: February 27 – March 2, and Leg 3: March 27-30. Mark your calendars for the 2020 Triple Crown! Leg 1: January 15-18, Leg 2: February 26-29, Leg 3: March 25-28.