West Palm Beach, Fla. (Dec. 27, 2018) – Recognized as both the largest and richest sailfishing series in the world, the first leg of the Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series, Operation Sailfish, will be held at the Sailfish Marina in Palm Beach from January 16-20, 2019. Participating teams will battle it out on the high seas, sailfishing both Friday and Saturday for the chance to take home a custom set of champion dog tags and a stout payday with a cash purse worth over $800,000.
Other opportunities to reel in a win include the “Release Round-Up” jackpot. This winner-take-all category is approaching a $300,000 payout at Operation Sailfish with a buy-in of only $1,000. Win the tournament and the Release Roundup and your team could be cashing a check for over $500,000. The 2018 champion team and current titleholder, Weez in the Keys went home with a cash payout of $210,000 last year. Who will earn the prestigious title this year?
This two-day long tournament will give anglers a run for their boats, rods, and money. With a variety of prize categories available to enter, anglers will have many opportunities to collect some hefty checks and patriotic trophies. There are two tiers of optional entry through the daily categories that provide teams with an opportunity to win over $80,000 on a first place daily. Early and late bite categories also offer teams the chance to win some bonus cash in both the first and second half of the day.
Along with the competition, one of the most notable highlights of Operation Sailfish is the unique opportunity it provides anglers to give back to the men and women of the United States military. In partnership with its charity, Operation Homefront, each year this tournament holds a “Take a Hero Fishing Day,” which is designed to honor and support military veterans, active-duty soldiers, and wounded warriors by getting them out on the water for a fun day fishing. Held on Thursday, January 17, 2019, each participating team will be paired with a hero to enjoy a day of fishing, followed by a cocktail reception and awards ceremony, where top hero’s will be presented with trophies of their own!
The kick-off party is held on Wednesday, January 16 at the historic Sailfish Marina Resort in Palm Beach, with a color guard and national anthem ceremony. Competition days are both Friday, January 18 and Saturday, January 19, followed by a brunch and awards presentation Sunday, January 20 at Sailfish Marina Resort. Tournament registration is available online at www.operationsailfish.com. Registration remains open until the conclusion of the kickoff party on January 16th.
For more information on Operation Sailfish, visit the tournament website at www.operationsailfish.com or call 954-725-4010. The entire Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series schedule can be found at www.questforthecrest.com
After four legs of hard fought competition, the 2018 Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series wrapped up on April 21st with Final Sail, the grand finale of the series, hosted by Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina. The festivities began with a kickoff party along the Margaritaville pier featuring live music, open bar and an amazing spread of food.
Heading into the Final Sail, team Free Bird had the lead in the chase for the burgundy jacket with 85 points, followed by Sandman in second with 82 points and Weez in the Keys in third with 76 points. With just one release on Day 1, Free Bird fell behind Sandman and Weez in the Key was able to close the gap.
With no substantial change in conditions on Day 2, teams knew that they would have to make every bite count. Team Sir’ Reel came out swinging with a few releases early to claim the early bite and win the daily for $40,350. Sandman backed their Day 1 performance with another second place daily on Day 2. With less than two hours to go on Day 2 and no releases on the board, the burgundy jacket appeared to be slowly slipping away from Free Bird. Battling a zero-wind condition, Captain Nick Carullo made the call to put away the kites and start chasing floppers. It was a call that paid off. They caught a triple off a flopper before lines out to boost the team into the third place spot for the day. More importantly it brought them back within a 1-point margin of team Sandman for the burgundy jacket and the #1 title. In true championship format, it would all come down to the final day.
In the midst of the battle between Free Bird and Sandman, team BAR South had quietly moved themselves into striking distance for a Final Sail victory, sitting in third place heading into the final day. Day 3 belonged to Captain Art Sapp and the BAR South crew. They got off to a hot start with five releases in the first half of the day and went on to release one more in the afternoon for a total of 11 releases that would be enough to secure the victory and a $136,835 payday! Contender One battled back from a slow Day 2, releasing four fish on Day 3 to claim second place overall in Final Sail and a check totaling $85,125!
Sandman released their first couple of fish on Day 3 and appeared to be on their way to becoming the first 2-time winner of the burgundy jacket. True champions rise to the occasion and that is exactly what team Free Bird did. They answered the call releasing five fish on Day 3 to finish the tournament in fourth place overall with nine releases and season earnings of $224,400. More importantly they sealed their fate as the new #1 sailfishing team in the world with a two-point margin of victory over team Sandman. Free Bird set a new series record scoring 112 points out of a possible 124 in the series. They posted a first place finish and three fourth place finishes, never falling out of the Top 5 in the most competitive billfish tournaments the sport has to offer. Sandman finished the season in second place with total earnings of $312,940 followed by Weez in the Keys in third place with total earnings of $299,150.
Combined payouts across all four legs of the series tallied $2.1 million dollars. For a complete list of results for Final Sail visit: https://www.bluewatermovements.com/final_sail_results/
For a complete list of the standings from the Quest for the Crest, visit: https://www.bluewatermovements.com/quest_for_the_crest_point_standings/
Fifty-eight teams competed for a purse in excess of $581,000 in the 15th Annual Sailfish Challenge, leg 3 of the Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series. With a 3-inlet format and a boundary from south of Miami to north of Jupiter, teams were stretched out from end to end looking for the best conditions and the hottest bite. As it turns out, the bite was fairly spread out on both ends of the boundary, however, team Ice Box/High Gear landed in the fish in a big way on Day 1. Fishing out of Hillsboro Inlet, they ran north on their 37’ SeaVee and got into a red-hot bite off Boynton Inlet. They won the early bite and the late bite on Day 1 with a total of 13 releases and a commanding lead in the tournament.
The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishes on Day 1 were split between the three different inlets in the tournament. Fishing off Miami, team Sandman released 9 sailfish to secure the second place position on Day 1 and $43,600 in daily winnings. Fishing out of Palm Beach, team Good Call released 7 sails and put themselves in contention heading into the final day of competition. Miss Annie had 7 releases on Day 1 in 4th place and De-Bait-Able rounded out the top 5 with 6 releases.
Coming off their 2017 world title in the Quest for the Crest, there were no doubts about whether Captain John Dudas and his Sandman crew could handle pressure when the money is on the line. They stayed hot on day 2, releasing 8 fish to win the daily and a grand total of $189,380 in prize money. Sandman needed just 18 minutes on one of their sailfish releases to run the table in the winner-take-all Release Roundup Jackpot and win an additional $244,800! The pot remains unclaimed and will roll over to the final leg in Key West on April 17-21 where it is expected to exceed $275,000!
Ice Box/High Gear finished the tournament with 15 releases in second place and a $16,675 payout. Team Priceless charged hard on Day 2 in their 39’ Contender, releasing 8 fish to jump into 3rd place overall and claim a $63,265 payout! Team Blue Moon Fish Company weighed the heaviest meatfish of the tournament, a 42.3-pound kingfish, to win the Bluewater Bonanza and $14,770 in prize money. Sandra MacMillan, team Sandman, was the top female angler with 6 releases and her teammate, Alex Castellanos, won the top male angler and master angler trophies with 6 releases as well. Fishing on board Lisa L/The Fishing Experience, Tyler Walsh won the top junior angler division with 1 release. Branch Office was the top non-pro team with 3 releases and a $2,000 bonus payout. They also landed an 18.6-pound blackfin tuna that was the heaviest tuna of the tournament for an additional $1,000.
With 1 leg remaining in the 4-leg series, all eyes are on the burgundy jacket and the #1 title in competitive sailfish tournaments around the globe. Team Free Bird, posted another strong 4th place finish at the Challenge with 11 releases. They remain in first place overall with 85 points followed by Sandman in second with 82 points. Weez in the Keys finished in 9th place at the Challenge with 9 releases to maintain the 3rd place spot overall with 76 points heading into the final leg of the series. It will be a true ‘clash of the titans’ in Key West, FL as we determine who has what it takes to don the coveted burgundy jacket and become the new world champion of competitive sailfishing.
The grand finale of the Quest for the Crest, Final Sail, takes place April 17th – 21st in sunny Key West, FL at the Margaritaville Resort & Marina where a world champion will be crowned. To register for this event visit www.finalsail.com
Sailfishing teams arrived at Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina on April 25th in search of a great bite and a great time during Final Sail, the grand finale of the 4-leg Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series. The tournament did not disappoint.
With an $868,000 purse up for grabs and a world champion title on the line, the stakes were high. Heading into Final Sail, team Sandman held the lead in the chase for the burgundy jacket with 79 points, generated from a 3rd, 7th and 4th place finish in the first three legs of the series. Team Sailsmen/Advanced Roofing was hot on their heels in 2nd with 71 points followed by Contender One and Miss Britt/Contender each with 69 points.
On the dawn of Day 1, Captain John Dudas let the fleet know that team Sandman came to play when they jumped out to a hot start winning the early bite with five releases. As the day progressed, Captain Jamie Ralph and his Old No. 7 team found the fish and capitalized on nine releases to take the late bite and the Day 1 daily for a $67,200 payout. Sandman finished the day with eight releases in 2nd place and a $33,120 payday. A total of 121 fish were released on Day 1.
Heading into Day 2, the wind picked up out of the southeast and the bite picked up with it. Silent Hunter found the fish early releasing eight sails before noon. The afternoon belonged to 2015 Quest champions, BAR South. They released eight fish between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. and a total of 12 releases for the day to win the $67,200 daily. Three other boats, HellReyzer, Silent Hunter and Family Matters, also posted double digits with 10 releases each. Team Seraphim grabbed the lead on the big fish scoreboard when they weighed a hefty 47.8-pound dolphin at the tournament scale on Day 2. The big mahi turned out to be the heaviest dolphin of the tourney earning the team a bonus $1,500 payout. A total of 159 fish were released on Day 2.
After two hard days of fishing, a much needed lay day provided a fun opportunity for teams to let loose and enjoy the Key West night life during a pub crawl along the world famous Duval Street. With the lay day shenanigans behind them, only one day remained for teams to capitalize on the opportunity to close out the season on a high note.
At the start of Day 3, BAR South held the lead with 18 releases followed by Old No. 7 and Lights Out in 2nd and 3rd with 16 releases each. Old No. 7 caught three sails by 9:15 a.m. to take the lead over BAR South. Shortly after, BAR South answered with a double to jump back into the lead with 20 releases. The lead didn’t last long. Minutes later, Captain Jamie Ralph called in two more releases to push Old No. 7 back to the top of the leader board with a total of 22 releases. In the midst of the battle for first and second, Sandman jumped in the mix releasing six fish by 12:34 p.m. to move into 3rd place with 21 releases and striking distance with 90 minutes of fishing left in the tournament.
Contender One, contenders for the burgundy jacket, got hot on Day 3 and released eight fish to grab the 1st place daily and bump themselves into 7th place overall for the tournament and runners up for the jacket with 93 points. They also finished strong in the earnings column with a $97,720 payout at Final Sail and over $191,000 in earnings for the season. Team De-Bait-Able took 2nd on Day 3, just behind Contender One on time with eight releases and a check for $49,400.
Despite BAR South’s best effort, Old No. 7 would simply not be denied of their first ever victory on the Quest for the Crest trail. They finished the tournament with 23 releases and total winnings of $219,675! BAR South finished in 2nd place overall with 22 releases and took home a check for $137,725. That payout also pushed the team’s net earnings to more than $1,000,000 in the Quest series. A total of 124 fish were released on Day 3.
Sandman finished the tournament in 3rd place overall with 21 releases and $79,470 in prize money. More importantly, it secured their position as the #1 sailfishing team in the world and recipients of the Quest for the Crest burgundy jackets. They join an elite fleet of teams that have been able to conquer one of the most difficult feats in competitive billfishing today and they did it in record style. Under the leadership of Captain John Dudas, Sandman never placed outside of the top 10 in all four legs of the series. They became the first team ever to break the 100-point threshold with a grand tally of 107 points for the season. To put things in perspective, a perfect score (1st place in all 4 tournaments) would equate to a score of 121.
In the angler category, Stephanie Choate from Miss Britt/Contender made history by becoming the first angler to sweep a category in all four legs of the series. She was the Top Female Angler in each tournament with a Master Angler title in Leg 3 as well. Carl Lindner of team Seraphim took the Top Male Angler with 13 releases and edged Stephanie out of the Master Angler title at Final Sail based on time. Seraphim’s big dolphin held on to the big fish lead on Day 3 until Reel Rodeo pulled up to the dock and dropped a 64.2-pound wahoo on the scale to steal the $13,650 pot in the Big Fish Bonanza.
Combined payouts across all four legs of the series tallied $2.5 million dollars. For a complete list of results for Final Sail visit: https://www.bluewatermovements.com/final_sail_results/
For a complete list of the standings from the Quest for the Crest, visit: https://www.bluewatermovements.com/quest_for_the_crest_point_standings/
Fishing Days 3- April 13-15, 2016 Lines i [Read more…]
Patriotic Sailfish Tournament Poised to Invade the Waters of West Palm Beach
The top sailfishing teams in the country are heading back to West Palm Beach, FL on December 9-13 for the 4th Annual Operation Sailfish, the first leg of the Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series. This year the estimated purse for the entire series is $2.5 million and teams are amped up to get their first slice of the pie at Operation Sailfish.
Money isn’t the only reason these teams are gearing up to fish the largest sailfish series in the country. The most iconic achievement in competitive sailfishing is up for grabs – the Quest for the Crest Jacket. Operation Sailfish is the first opportunity for teams to accumulate points towards the series, getting them one step closer to the Crest Jacket and the title of the top sailfishing team in the world. In order for a team to be able to take home this title and sport the most prestigious award in competitive sailfishing, they will have to perform at the highest level throughout all four legs of the series. Last year’s champion, BAR South, did just that by scoring a total of 97 points for the entire series to take home over $358,570 in prize money.
BAR South also claimed the top spot in last year’s Operation Sailfish, with a total of 12 releases and a payout of $157,170. They received a set of 6 custom jewelry style dog tags to celebrate their achievement, designed and presented by Altier Jewelers of Boca Raton. Following closely behind BAR South was team Swagger in 2nd Place, also with 12 releases, earning them a check for $92,980. The total purse for last year’s Operation Sailfish was $541,270 – a number that is expected to be even larger this year!
A new optional entry category called the ‘Release Roundup’ has been added at each leg of the series this year. In this rollover style category, there are 4 rounds of fishing, each lasting 4 hours, and a number from 1 to 8 is drawn from a sealed container at the start of each round. The number drawn represents the minimum number of sailfish a team must release in order to advance to the next round. At the conclusion of the final round, if there is no winner, the prize money in the pot will roll over to the next tournament of the series where it will continue to grow until one lucky team hits the jackpot!
The patriotic spirit of Operation Sailfish is enhanced through its support of Operation Homefront, a national 501c(3) military based charity that provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. The tournament plans to honor the men and women who have courageously served our country by donating a portion of the proceeds to the charity. Together they will also host a ‘Take A Hero Fishing’ day on Thursday, December 10th where military heroes will be invited to fish with some of the teams competing in the tournament.
The kick-off party and captain’s meeting for Operation Sailfish is December 9th at the Buccaneer, which is next door to Sailfish Marina on Singer Island. Operation Sailfish opens with a presentation of the colors and singing of the national anthem to recognize and show our deepest gratitude for the men and women who serve the greatest country in the world! Tournament fishing days are December 11 & 12 with an awards brunch back at the Buccaneer on Sunday, December 13th. Credentials are required for access to all event activities. Early entry for the tournament is $3,750 per team (plus tax) valid through November 20th. After November 20th, registration is $4,500 per team (plus tax). For more information on Operation Sailfish visit www.operationsailfish.com or call (954) 725-4010. The entire Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series schedule can be found at www.questforthecrest.com.
There will also be a pre season party to kick off the Quest for the Crest at the Saltwater Brewery in Delray Beach. The party is scheduled for Thursday, November 19th and is sure to be a great time! There will be live music, delicious cuisine from one of the local food trucks and free Quest for the Crest Ale for all registered teams.
Congrats to team De-Bait-Able for winning the 400.
De-Bait-Able Wins The Inaugural Sailfish 400!
Total # of Boats: 43 Total # of Releases: 119
An unusually slow bite forced 43 teams to make every opportunity count in the inaugural Sailfish 400 tournament held in Miami on January 16 & 17. A purse in excess of $574,000 kept the teams on their toes despite lackluster fishing. At any second, one fish could make the difference between 10th place and 1st place. After 18 hours of battle and several lead changes, team De-Bait-Able took the winner’s position with 6 sailfish releases that paired with a total payout of $174,510!
During Day 1 of the competition Finster, in their 34-foot SeaVee, took the lead with five releases, winning the Tier 1 Day 1 optional entry calcutta for a payout of $29,700. Following closely behind was Asian Pearl in 2nd with four releases and OCD in the 3rd place spot also with four releases. The tables turned on the second day of fishing as teams that placed at the bottom of the leader’s board pushed their way to the top. BAR South, winners of Operation Sailfish, moved up to 2nd place for Day 2 after no releases on Day 1. That jump earned them over $50,000 in winnings. Team Priceless placed 1st for Day 2 with 4 releases and took home more than $36,000 in prize money.
It was anyone’s tournament to win on Day 2 of fishing but team DeBaitAble separated themselves from the pack with a total of 6 releases collectively for both of the competition days. Their top position earned them High Point Over 40’, Leaders Board 1st Place, The Big Easy 1st Place, Top (561) Team and a piece of three of the daily calcuttas. Asian Pearl also had 6 total releases and came in second place based on time, taking home $88,800 in winnings that included Early Bite Friday, Late Bite Saturday, High Point Boat Under 40’, 1st Place Tier 2 Daily on Day 1, the Charity Calcutta and Top (305) Team. The top 4 teams in the tournament were all tied with 6th releases, the winner being determined by which team released their last fish first.
Master Angler went to Taylor Walsh of DeBaitAble with 4 releases and Top Female Angler went to Marie Diaz of Asian Pearl with 3 releases. Top Senior Angler for the Sailfish 400 was Charlie Greenberg with Crescendo and the Top Junior Angler was presented to Zach Murck of Never Say Never.
The Big Fish Bonanza winnings totaled $13,950 and went to team Liquid with a 20.4lb tuna. They also netted over $48,000 in prize money with some daily earnings on Day 1 of the tournament. Vitamin Sea Too won the Mono A Mono division against 15 other teams and also took home the title for Top (954) Team along with 2nd place in the Big Easy for a total of $48,000 in winnings.
Ties to NASCAR, Homestead Miami Speedway and it’s charity ‘Driving for a Cause’ were the inspiration behind the race theme for Sailfish 400. As an added bonus, the top 8 teams also had the chance to win an amazing prize pack from Homestead Miami Speedway. Six tickets to the Ford Championship Weekend that included the Ford EcoBoost 200, Ford EcoBoost 300, Ford Eco Boost 400, Pre-Race Pit Passes, Post-Race Victory Lane Access, Pace Car Rides and a VIP Parking Pass went to team Finster! Finster was also one of the top earning teams with a total of $48,340 in winnings.
There are only two more legs to go of the Quest for the Crest before a world champion sailfishing team is crowned. Leg 3, Sailfish Challenge, takes place February 5-8 in Fort Lauderdale and the finale stops is in Key West on April 15-19. For a complete breakdown on the tournament results for Sailfish 400, visit www.sailfish400.com. For a complete list of the point standings in the Crest race, visit www.questforthecrest.com