After 4 months of high stakes competition that covered the waters from Palm Beach to Monroe County, a new world champion in sailfishing was crowned at the Westin Resort & Marina in Key West, FL where the grand finale of the 2015 Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series was held. With combined finishes in 1st, 19th, 3rd and 5th in the 4-leg series, team BAR South became the 3rd team in the history of the series to don the coveted burgundy crest jacket and claim their spot as one of the elite sailfishing teams around the globe. In the process, they also set a new series record with 97 points tallied across 4 events. Previous winners, team Blue Time and Doing It All/HardWay posted 74 points and 92 points respectively during their victory seasons in the Quest for the Crest. In addition to the jackets, BAR South also knocked down a total of $358,570 in prize money over the course of their 2015 season in The Crest series. Team Swagger finished in 2nd place in the chase for the jacket with 79 points followed by DeBaitAble in 3rd with 68 points.
Tough fishing conditions in Key West forced teams competing in the Final Sail event to fish even harder and make every bite count. Whether fishing is good or bad, championship teams rise to the occasion in a championship event. And, that is exactly what Team SeaHunter did at Final Sail in Key West. Captain Ralph Montolvo and his crew released five sailfish on Day 1 of the competition, three on Day 2 and three on Day 3 for a total of 11 releases and a check for $70,570 that consisted of $50,000 for first place with another $20,570 in added value categories. Bernie Perez, onboard Team SeaHunter was also the Master Angler of the tournament with six releases. While Final Sail was the first appearance for Team SeaHunter in the Quest for the Crest Series, it’s not likely to be their last!
Team OCD, a Naples based team, claimed 2nd place in Final Sail with a total of 10 releases. They only managed to catch 2 fish on the first 2 days of the tournament; however, they turned the heat up big time on Day 3 catching 8 fish to top the fleet on the final day. CeCe Imbrie on OCD also took the Top Female Angler category in the tournament with 4 releases. She battled fiercely against her friend and fellow female angler, teammate Suzanne Adams, for the female angler title. Suzanne finished 2nd right behind CeCe on time with 4 releases. The Top Junior Angler title went to Erik Perna on board ECO Fishing Team with 2 releases. Erik won a unique palm frond sailfish from Key West and a $150 gift card from Bass Pro Shops.
The 3rd place spot and the highest payout in Final Sail went to the Silent Hunter fishing team. Captain James Platt and his team on Silent Hunter posted nine releases in their Mercury powered SeaVee to claim a check for $143,565. Much like Team SeaHunter, Final Sail also marked the first event of the series for the Silent Hunter crew. Not a bad showing for their first appearance!
Although Final Sail is focused primarily on sailfish, there is also some good money up for grabs for the heaviest dolphin, wahoo, kingfish, tuna and cobia caught in the tournament. Team Cash Out caught the heaviest wahoo of the tournament at 42.3 pounds. The wahoo was also the single heaviest fish of the tournament netting the Cash Out team a total of $13,700 in prize money. A total of $685,100 was handed out to winning teams in the 2015 Final Sail event.
When the final tallies were run at the end of the series, a total of $2.2 million dollars in prize money was handed out across the 4 events in the Quest for the Crest. 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/