Kicking off this year’s Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown with the 1st annual Ladies Only Tournament 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 I showed 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 Outlaw rounding 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 Tank rounded 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.