LOS SUENOS, COSTA RICA -The first leg of the 2007 Los Sueños Signature Billfish Series presented by CABO Yachts ended on Sunday, January 21, 2007, after 3 days of tough competition. 54 teams battled it out, catching and releasing a combined total of 454 billfish, including 49 marlin and 405 sailfish.
The fishing was slow but spirits were high at the start of the tournament. Predictions were flying at check-in and registration on January 18th; the marlin bite would separate the winners from the losers. Word around the docks was that the marlin bite was excellent, but that teams would have to search hard and far to find the sails. This would surely be an interesting tournament.
Day 1 started off slow, which made for some fierce competition. It was clear though from the very beginning that Stephanie Lee, a 63’ Acy, was the one to watch. With 13 sailfish releases and 1 marlin, Captain Tony Carrizosa and anglers David Trombley, Jeff Stafford, John LaGrone, and Mitchell Pierson took a commanding lead. Dealer’s Choice, High Hook, El Jefe Grande and Adios charged the line again and again, but in the end it was Stephanie Lee who won the daily with 1800 points and a 400 point lead over Dealer’s Choice.
Day 2 proved to be more than just an angling competition. The teams were on the hunt for fish, taking their boats out to fish along the 50-mile tournament limit. Stephanie Lee showed her peers once again who was in command by catching and releasing 3 sailfish and 2 marlin. She raced to the front of the line with 1300 points and a 200 point lead over anglers Robert Del Vecchio, Peter O’Leary, Ty Visscher and Ron Schatman aboard Desperado, a 60’ Bertram captained by Jeffrey Schatman. High Hook, a 45’ CABO captained by Carlos Arguedas, came in third with 1000 points after anglers Larry Allison, Einer Tenorio, Carlos “Coco” Cambronero and Elmer Narvaez released 5 sailfish and 1 marlin.
Day 3 was even more exciting as the competition for second and third place became even more difficult. Stephanie Lee was well pass the other teams and had already guaranteed her first place finish overall. However, El Jefe Grande, a 62’ Viking captained by Victor Lopez, slid into first place for the day after anglers Daniel Arrieta, DeCarol Williamson, Sean Patrick and Miguel Villaga caught and released 6 sailfish and 2 marlin for a total of 1600 points.
In the end, Stephanie Lee took her rightful place at the top of the podium with 4600 points over three days of fishing. High Hook came in second overall with 3000 points and El Jefe Grande placed third with 2500 points.
At the awards dinner sponsored by CABO Yachts later that evening, Los Sueños President and CEO William Royster presented the winning teams with checks for their share of the tournament’s US$140,250 cash jackpot ($70,125 to first, $40,075 to second, $28,050 to third) and trophies featuring Bodo Muche bronze billfish sculptures. Each angler also received Costa Del Mar sunglasses. All 3 winning teams received a humidor with cigars provided by La Casa del Habano and a framed print from Rick Bogert. The first place boat also received individual trophies for the captain, anglers and crew.
Tournament participants enjoyed four days of dinner events and entertainment, including dockside cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. The awards dinner on January 21st was out of this world, with live entertainment – including ESPN personality Chris Fischer, from Offshore Adventures – a jaw dropping tournament show filmed and produced by Fischer Productions, open bars and fireworks. The Los Sueños Signature Billfish Series has been christened the “Super Bowl” of sportfishing tournaments, with fishing, fun and events that outdo even the highest expectations year after year.
The success of the Los Sueños Signature Billfish Series is due to the cooperation of many staff and volunteers and of course to the generosity of our tournament sponsors CABO Yachts, Viking Yachts, Marlin Magazine, Dockwise Yacht Transport, Salt Water Sportsman Magazine, Yachting Magazine, Caterpillar, Toyota, Contender Yachts, Westrec Marinas, Banco Interfin, BLP Abogados, HMY Yacht Sales, MTU, Sportfishing Magazine, the World Billfish Series, the International Game Fish Association, the Rolex/IGFA Offshore Championship, Gray Taxidermy, Stewart Title Costa Rica, Blue Water Chairs, Rick Bogert (tournament artist), IK Yacht Design, Bodo Muche Studios, Flor de Caña, Costa Del Mar, La Casa del Habano, Marriott, Riviera Yachts and Costa Rica Dreams Sport Fishing Charters, Costa Rica Luxury Rentals, Cebaco Bay Sportfishing Club, Durman Esquivel, Northern Lights, Tropical Clothing.
The Los Sueños Signature Billfish Series presented by CABO Yachts is sanctioned by the World Billfish Series (WBS) and the Rolex/IGFA Offshore Championship. Anglers competing in the Los Sueños tournaments are automatically enrolled in the WBS and compete for points in the Pacific Rim Division. The winners from the January and March Los Sueños tournaments will be eligible to compete in the 2008 Rolex/IGFA Grand Championship. For further information, please visit www.worldbillfishseries.com or www.igfa.org.
The 2007 Los Sueños Signature Billfish Series wraps up with the second and final tournament to be fished March 15-18. The March tournament is now full; however entries for the 2008 tournament series (January 9-12 and March 12-15) are now being accepted via the official series website, www.LStournaments.com. The total cash prize jackpot is expected to exceed $300,000, and the boat with the highest combined score from the first and second tournaments will receive a guaranteed grand prize of US$50,000 from the tournament promoter, Los Sueños Resort and Marina.
For further information, please contact Ashley Bretecher, Tournament Director, toll-free 1-866-865-9759, ph: 011-506-637-8886, ext. 1075 or via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on the tournament series can also be found online at www.LStournaments.com. Information on Los Sueños Resort and Marina is available on-line at www.lsrm.com.
For more information on Los Suenos Resort and Marina, click here.