Few tournaments in sportfishing are as competitive as the Presidential Challenge of Central America, and this year proved that once again the PCCA hosts some of the world’s most talented light tackle anglers. With a stellar Day Three performance, Team OBX emerged victorious in Guatemala with a three-day total of 4200 points aboard the Rum Line with Capt. Chris Sheeder. They also finished third in the Costa Grand Champion standings for the season with 7,650 points. The team’s roster this year includes Mike Viveiros, Dell Dembosky, Craig Johnson, Gary Tarpley, Ebby Hall and Mike Huling. In 2011, Team OBX competed in the Presidential Challenge of Costa Rica, the Aruba Caribbean Cup and the PCCA Guatemala.
In second place in the tournament was the Casa Vieja Lodge team, anchored by Lodge manager and executive chef Juan Cruz-Anon with 4,200 points. They fished the Makaira with Capt. Jason Brice and also had an outstanding third day to wrap up the event. Additional team members included Yefry Garcia and Chico Alvarenga. Finishing third was The Billfish Foundation team, fishing on the Intensity with Capt. MikeSheeder at the helm; they tallied 3,900 points for the tournament. Team members include Steve Fanscy, James Cambridge and Andrew Cox.
For the tournament there were 346 sailfish, three blue marlin and two striped marlin released, all using Berkley 20-pound test line and non-offset circle hooks. Certified observers were aboard each vessel to ensure compliance to all tournament rules. Casa Vieja Lodge served as the tournament’s host, with terrific cocktail parties each afternoon after fishing in addition to a sumptuous welcome dinner and gala awards celebration at the conclusion of the tournament. Casa Vieja once again proved that its reputation as a world-class destination is richly deserved. Zacapa also joined this year’s event as a primary sponsor, supplying plenty of top-shelf rum throughout the tournament.
In the Costa Grand Champion Team division, the Southern Pride emerged victorious with 8,300 points, just 50 points ahead of the Sea Angel team at 8,250. The Southern Pride fished in all four PCCA events this year, winning the Caribbean Cup in Aruba for the second time in a row in 2011. The Sea Angel in turn won PCCA Costa Rica and the Papagayo Cup for a stellar year on their own, fishing three of the four Presidential tournaments.
Congratulations to all who competed in the 2011 Presidential Challenge tournament series. Over $25,000 was raised for billfish conservation and an important satellite tagging project was completed this year in Aruba. The Presidential Challenge Charitable Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit charity whose goals are two-fold: raise awareness of sportfishing tourism throughout Central America and the Caribbean, and also to serve as a fundraiser for marine conservation in these areas in addition to funding local improvement projects in the towns where the tournaments are held. For more information, please visit www.preschallenge.com.
First Place Team: Team OBX, 4,200 points
Second Place Team: Casa Vieja, 4,200 points
Third Place Team: Team TBF, 3,900 points
First Place Angler: Yefry Garcia, 2,000 points
Second Place Angler: Russ Petranto, 1,700 points
Third Place Angler: Craig Johnson, 1,700 points
First Place Boat: Rum Line, Capt. Chris Sheeder; 4,200 points
Second Place Boat: Makaira, Capt. Jason Brice; 4,200 points
Third Place Boat: Intensity, Capt. Mike Sheeder; 3,900 points
Eagle Claw Grand Champion Angler
First Place: Arturo Moreno
Second Place: Mike Viveiros
Third Place: J. Godwin
Costa Grand Champion Team
First Place: Southern Pride
Second Place: Sea Angel
Third Place: Team OBX