Cap Cana, Dominican Republic (International Billfish Shootout) It was the team from Aruba aboard Alina that took the early lead from day one releasing six white marlin including a triple-header, plus a blue, and held on till the final day to take Top Boat honors as well as top team in the Barceló Rum Division in this year’s International Cap Cana Billfish Shootout. “Finally, after about fifteen years competing in the Shootout we won the whole thing. We have finished second or third a few times before but this time we made it”, commented an elated Captain Eric Mansur as he toasted with ice cold champagne with his team mates.
On day two the bite slowed somewhat with only 31 billfish releases compared to the 42 released on day one. Alina added two whites and a blue to their score, but it was Shark Byte’s day to shine winning the daily by releasing five whites thus placing them in second place in the Dewar’s 12 Division only a fish behind Tradition Prime Time in that division who had earned the daily on day one with a blue and four whites and added two more whites on that second day. That night Dewar’s 12 hosted their White Party where guests were treated to a very elegant trapeze act presentation, tasty hors d’ oeuvres and plenty of fine Scotch.
The numbers on day three were much the same as day two with a fleet total of 29 releases. Alina continued to maintain their lead as Top Boat as well as in their division by releasing three whites while Uno Mas had quietly moved up in the standings and Shark Byte kept pace with the leaders. The traditional Caribbean Beach Bash was held that evening at Juanillo Beach hosted by Barceló Rum and Presidente Beer where everyone feasted on tasty appetizers by Productos Chef along along with a delicious roast pork with rice and black beans Cuban style dinner while dancing into the wee hours. By far the best party of the year!
On the Lay Day, a much needed rest from three straight days of fishing followed by daily Happy Hours at the docks and nightly festivities, the stage was set for what promised to be a very exciting finish on the fourth and final day of fishing. Poised for a “reel shootout” atop the Dewar’s 12 Division were Shak Byte, Top Boat in 2012, and 2013 Top Boat Uno Mas; the latter ahead by only 90 points.
The factory demo boat Viking 70’ gave a valiant effort on the fourth and final day of fishing releasing three whites and a blue falling just short of the leaders but the surprise at the end of the final day was provided by the Michigan Team aboard Tradition Prime Time that leap-frogged from fifth to first place releasing five whites and edging out Uno Mas who finished in Second and Shark Byte who came in third in the Dewar’s 12 Division.
When it was all said and done at lines out on that fourth and final day, the fleet of 20 tournament boats with participants from 9 different countries had released a total of 101 white marlin, 22 blue marlin and 2 sailfish. In the individual angler category Uno Mas’s Brooks Smith repeated as the tournament’s overall Grand Champion having won the same honors in 2013. Brooks was also Top Individual Angler in the Dewar’s 12 Division followed by Singularis’ Jeff Stolarz in Second and Thunder’s Tim Meaux in Third.
In the Barceló Rum Division Bluebird and Bandolera finished Second and Third respectively behind Alina, while in that division’s individual angler category it was Alina’s Christian Mansur in first, Blue Bird’s Humberto Quintana in Second and Bandolera’s Luis Mario Fernandez, Sr. in Third.