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Team Utopia Takes 1st Place!

February 14, 2014

Total # of Boats: 69                                                                Total # of Releases: 256

Any expectations for a slow bite were blown out the water when 258 Sailfish and 1 Blue Marlin were released during the 2014, one day, Sailfish Challenge. 69 boats fishing out of 3 different inlets for a purse in excess of $360,000 made for quite the competition in the 1-day Challenge.

With a strong morning bite and an even stronger afternoon bite, Team Utopia released 12 sailfish to secure the 1st place position in the Sailfish Challenge!  The win marked their first ever victory in any of the Quest for the Crest tournaments. Ft. Lauderdale locals, Utopia headed out of Lake Worth inlet and saw their first Sail at 7:47am. Multiple doubles and a quad later, Team Utopia climbed their way up the leader board and took home a check for $56,000!

Only 2 releases behind Utopia, Team Liquid was not going to let Utopia just run away with the tournament. With 8 releases just before noon, Liquid made a strong push to the top of the leader board early in the tournament.  They fished just south of Utopia and had the bites to win the tournament but came up a little short.  Where they did not come up short, is in the AR department.  Liquid finished 2nd, however, much like the 2nd place team last year, they won the most prize money by far - $146,820 to be specific!

The third place team, Vitamin Sea Too, nabbed $79,780 with 9 releases in the tournament.  John Hubartt on Vitamin Sea Too took home the Master Angler award as well.  Interestingly, the top 3 boats in the tournament all checked out of different inlets with the 1st place title going to Palm Beach Inlet, 2nd place title to Hillsboro Inlet and 3rd place title to Government Cut in Miami.  Both Liquid and Vitamin Sea Too are also cast member teams on a new TV series called Wild Billz.  The show follows 5 teams on their journey to win the Quest for the Crest and the title of world’s best sailfishing team.  There is guaranteed to be some great action for both Liquid and Vitamin Sea Too from this 2nd leg of the series!

The Top Female award went to Lauren Cobern of DeBaitable and Christian Adrian of 4 Aces was the Top Junior. Top Senior was Frank Napurano of Miss Annie. Besides Sailfish, a 48.3lb Kingfish was weighed by Native Premonitions.  They earned a $14,310 check for the heaviest meat fish.

Top Teams are not the only ones who win recognition in the Sailfish Challenge. The top-performing boat manufacturer has the chance to win The Boat Builders Throwdown award. With points from Doing it All/Team Hardway in 5th place, Double Diamond in 8th and Live Wire in 15th, Contender boats scored a total of 66 points and won the 2014 Boat Builders Throwdown!

The conclusion of the Sailfish Challenge means that half of Quest for the Crest points are already spoken for. Competing teams only have two more tournaments to show what they are made of. Each release could affect one’s standings in the Quest race. Each tournament is a turning point for any team. The hope of taking home the highest accolade in competitive Sailfishing could be just within reach. With a 5th place finish in both Operation Sailfish and the Sailfish Challenge, Doing it All/Team Hardway is leading the pack with 52 points. Miss Annie is in 2nd with 51 points after a first place win at Operation Sailfish and a 11th place win at the Sailfish Challenge.  Vitamin Sea Too is right behind them in 3rd with 50 points and Liquid sits in 4th with 47 points.

The next tournament in the Quest for the Crest, The Jimmy Johnson National Billfish Championship, will take place March 5-8th in Key Largo. In early April, with Final Sail being the grand finale, one team will be recognized as the most dominant Sailfishing team in the world. For more information about the Sailfish Challenge visit www.sailfishchallenge.com or call 954-725-4010.  For complete results visit: https://www.bluewatermovements.com/sfc_results/.

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