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2017 Rules

General Rules

  1. Registration: Please visit www.sailfishchallenge.com to complete the registration process online. Early entry fee is $842 per team (tax included) and is valid through 2/1/17.  Entry fee after 2/1/17 is $1,584 per team (tax included).  Registrations at the kickoff must be paid by cash, Amex, Mastercard or Visa. General entry fees are not refundable for any reason.  For questions regarding registration call (954) 725-4010.
  2. Entry Forms: Entry forms must be completed by the captain or owner with appropriate fees and registration information.  Officials in the Sailfish Challenge reserve the right to refuse application or entry into the tournament at their discretion with or without cause.
  3. Date & Location: Tournament competition days will be held on 2/24/17 & 2/25/17 with a kickoff party & final registration on 2/22/17 from 6pm-10pm at Bokampers Sports Bar & Grill, 3115 NE 2nd Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308. The awards ceremony will be held on 2/26/17 from 4pm-6pm at Blue Moon Fish Company, 4405 W. Tradewinds Ave., Lauderdale by the Sea, FL 33308.
  4. Eligible Species: Sailfish, White Marlin, Blue Marlin, Dolphin, Wahoo, Kingfish, Cobia & Tuna.
  5. Maximum Anglers: All anglers should be listed on the entry form. There is no limit on anglers. Additional crewmembers or mates may accompany the team if desired.  Any teams with angler changes or substitutions should notify the committee prior to the start of fishing.
  6. Maximum Lines: All boats are permitted to fish up to seven lines in the water in the Sailfish Challenge. 
  7. Tackle: All fish must be caught on rod and reel.  Wire lines are permitted.  No electric reels (except kite rods and downriggers).  All teams must use a non-offset circle hook in the tournament.  The length of the leader may not exceed 15 feet.  The combined length of the double line and the leader may not exceed 20 feet in length. Up to 2 artificial or natural dredges are permissible in the tournament.
  8. Bait & Bait Fishing: Fishing with live bait is permitted in the tournament; however, live chumming is not permitted.  Frozen block chum is acceptable. No dead baits (whole or chunk) may be used for chumming. Bait fishing is permitted during the day however, teams can not be Sailfishing at the same time they are bait fishing.
  9. Hook & Catch: All anglers must hook, fight, and catch their own fish.  Once a fish is hooked, that angler must fight the fish until it is properly released, boated, or lost.  Anglers may not pass rods to fellow anglers once a fish has been hooked.  A fish is considered to be hooked once a strike occurs and the drag is engaged or the bail is closed.  The use of a rod holder to hook a fish is allowable provided the individual that engages the drag is the same person that fights the fish until release, catch, or loss.
  10. Tournament Channel: The tournament committee will operate on channel 68.  Channel 74 will be used as an alternate.  The tournament channel is reserved for specific announcements and the report of angler releases.  All discussions among competitors should be conducted on alternate channels. 
  11. Boundaries: North: 26.57  South: 25.35  East: 79.35  
    When fighting a fish, the fish may exit the boundary, however, the boat may not.
  12. Check-Out: There is not a land based checkout location for Sailfish Challenge. Prior to the start of fishing each day, all teams must video the time and their GPS coordinates to confirm that they are within the stated boundaries for the tournament. Video must show time, date and GPS location. Boats may not deploy any lines in the water until they are within the stated boundaries.
  13. NO BIMINI START:  Upon checking out, all boats should exercise idle speed until clearing the inlet.  Once beyond that point all boats may proceed safely towards their fishing grounds to await the official announcement for lines in the water over channel 68 at 8:00 am.  No boats may be trailered to or from their fishing locations during the tournament.
  14. Check-In:  Lines are out of the water at 4pm on Friday and 4pm on Saturday.  Boats with release cards and SD cards to turn in or fish to weigh must do so via the boat fished aboard during the tournament that day and by visually displaying their boat # to the check-in committee at Miami Beach Marina, Hillsboro Inlet Finger Docks or Sailfish Marina by 6:00 pm each day. Boats that do not check in by the designated times will be ineligible to submit their release cards or weigh their fish. 
  15. Weigh-In:  Fish may be weighed in at all three check-in locations. The weigh stations open at 4:00 pm.  All fish must be brought to the weigh station in the boat that they were caught.  Boats will be called to the weigh station in the order that they check in.  Listen for your boat number to be called on channel 68 before approaching the weigh station docks.  All decisions of the weigh master are final.
  16. Weather:  In the event that weather conditions arise deemed unsafe for the average registered boat, by the tournament officials, the tournament schedule may be altered to accommodate the best weather and fishing conditions available to participating teams. Any schedule adjustment due to inclement weather will be made at the sole discretion of the tournament committee.  No refunds will be made in the event of cancellation.  Any notice of cancellation will be broadcast on channel 74. It is expressly understood that the permitting of fishing by tournament officials does not ensure the safety of registered anglers or any other occupants of their vessels.  Captains, anglers, and all other members of registered boats must determine in their own judgment whether to fish under the given conditions based on factors including but not limited to the seaworthiness of their boat and their own seamanship.
  17. Competition Day: The schedule calls for hours of fishing from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm on day 1 & day 2 of the tournament. Best effort will be made to ensure the full fishing schedule is met for each day of competition.  At least 4 hours of tournament fishing must occur on any given day in order for the points from that day to be factored into the overall score & standings for each team.  Should inclement weather or any other force majeure condition occur that limits the tournament to only 1 day of fishing, the daily calcutta money allocated for the cancelled day will be returned to the teams that are registered for the affected calcutta.  All other general prize and calcutta money will be paid according to standard procedure based on the standings from the single day of fishing.
  18. Protests:  All protests must be submitted in writing along with $500 cash or check to the tournament officials within four hours of the conclusion of the day of fishing.  Protests should be made based on first hand eyewitness information.  All decisions of the tournament officials regarding protests are final.
  19. Polygraph: By entering the tournament all captains, anglers, and occupants of their boats voluntarily consent to submit to a polygraph examination as deemed necessary by tournament officials.  All decisions of the polygraph examiner will be final.  Any captain, angler, or occupant of a registered boat who refuses to take a polygraph or provides untruthful answers as determined by the examiner will be disqualified from the tournament without further notice.  Such a disqualification will eliminate payment or provision of any prize money, awards, and/or refund of entrance fees.
  20. Tournament Discretion:The tournament director reserves the right to implement his or her discretion at any time during the tournament as it may apply to the rules or any other circumstance that should arise during the course of the event.
  21. Release:  All registered captains, anglers, and occupants of their boats consent that tournament officials may use without payment or restriction, any photographs or video in which he or she appears for any purpose whatsoever, including but not limited to resale, advertising, and promotional material. 
  22. Hold Harmless: It is expressly understood that all registered participants and non-registered occupants of their boats enter into the Sailfish Challenge voluntarily and at their own risk.  Further, each registered and non-registered participant on behalf of other family members and/or executors agrees to release and hold harmless Bluewater Movements Inc, tournament officials, sponsors, and all other persons connected directly or indirectly with operation of said tournament from any liability for libel, slander, loss, damage, negligence, harm, injury, or death suffered by any participant, entrant, sportfishermen, their companions, boat captains, mates, crew members, vessels or their equipment during the tournament.
  23. Signature: By registering for a tournament, the captain/owner agrees that all anglers and occupants of their boat will abide by all tournament rules.

Competition Rules

  1. Scoring: Billfish Points - Registered anglers will receive 1 point for each eligible billfish released in the tournament.  All team and individual prize categories will be awarded based on the individual or team’s overall point standings.  In the event of a tie, winners will be determined by the team or individual that releases their last fish first.
  2. Scoring: Dolphin, Wahoo, Kingfish, Cobia & Tuna Points- These species must weigh a minimum of 10 pounds to be eligible in the tournament.  Each boat may weigh in a maximum of 1 fish per species.  Each fish meeting weight requirements will be given a score of one point per pound.  These points will not be included with points awarded for billfish releases when determining the top team standings.  See prize structure for details on funfish prize categories.  Mutilated fish will be disqualified.  All decisions of the weighmaster are final.
  3. Billfish Release Criteria:  All billfish must be properly released in order for 1 point to be scored to the registered angler and his or her team.  The requirements for a release are as follows: (1) The double line and leader must leave the tip of the rod once a strike occurs, unless they have already exited the rod. (2) At the conclusion of the fight the fish must be brought close enough to the boat for a mate or crewmember to touch the leader, not the double line.  (3) In a continuous sequence, video footage must clearly identify the fish as well as the leader touch by a crew member. (4) Evidence on video of the leader being cut at the time of release. (5) The proper color card and confirmation # should be displayed on video to mark the completion of a catch.
  4. Video Requirement: Every billfish released in the tournament must be verified by video footage clearly identifying the release.  Each team is responsible for providing their own SD card video camera and the appropriate number of SD cards to record video footage that documents the releases on their boat.  Video media will not be provided to teams by the tournament committee.  Acceptable video formats are SD cards only.  The first video clip to be shot by all teams should be of time, date & gps location prior to the start of fishing each day.  If you fill your first video and need to switch to a 2nd video during fishing please contact the radio room for an establishing shot to begin your video.
  5. Continuous Video Sequence:  To ensure the authenticity of the releases, each team will be required to maintain a continuous video sequence from the time video evidence of the fish is established up to the time the leader touch is verified on video.  If a break in the footage should occur, the team must reestablish video evidence of the fish again with a continuous video sequence up to the leader touch and leader cut.   
  6. Break Image: Once a release has occurred, the captain must contact the radio room for a confirmation # and instructions on which color card to shoot before footage of a subsequent release begins.  If a team is hooked up to multiple fish, a crewmember should state that on camera with video evidence to support it.  In the case of a multiple, if necessary, one color card can be used for the break image, provided the video evidence can clearly distinguish multiple sailfish and anglers fighting those fish and the necessary criteria referenced above for qualification of the release on video. 
  7. Release & Catch Verification:  All billfish releases should be reported to the tournament committee immediately following the release.  Individuals calling in a release must include the boat number and angler name in their report.  A release will be official once the radio controller responds to the respective angler with a confirmation number.  That confirmation number should be recorded on the registered angler’s release card.  Any boat unable to contact the committee should contact another boat for a relay.  A tournament cell phone # will also be provided to teams at the Captain’s meeting.  Boats that intend to fish in areas with poor cell phone coverage are still responsible for maintaining communication with the tournament committee on all releases.
  8. Non-Pro Division: Two primary factors will be considered when determining whether a team qualifies to compete for the prize money in the non-pro division. #1: If any team member, mate or guest on the competing team's boat has ever earned money in the past 10 years on the water in South Florida as a full-time or part-time fishing captain, guide, mate or commercial fishermen then that team shall not be eligible for the amateur prize money. #2: If any team member, mate or guest on the competing team's boat has ever placed in the top 8 of any Quest for the Crest tournaments then that team shall not be eligible for the amateur prize money. The tournament committee reserves the right to exercise final discretion in determining any team's eligibility for this category.
  9. Winnings:  All winners are required to provide their social security number prior to receiving any awards.  Awards and prize money will be withheld as required by law if a social security number is not presented in advance of the awards presentations. 
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