MARINA PEZ VELA [Quepos, Costa Rica] – The PELAGIC Triple Crown of Fishing Tournament Series rocked Costa Rica as the 2nd Annual Rockstar! Offshore Tournament saw 45 teams compete for over $300,000 with Team GAME PLAN taking home an impressive $107,070!
Reminiscent of The Kentucky Derby, forty-five fine-tuned vessels took their place at the ocean’s starting line to take part in sport fishing’s version of the prestigious race. In front of Marina Pez Vela, the warm, Pacific waters churned as varying sportfishers – large and small – jockeyed for position in anticipation of the iconic shotgun start. Grown men donned their neon mohawks and 80’s hair band wigs to the tunes of Guns ‘N Roses and Metallica while boat crews put the finishing touches on their heavy arsenal of tackle for the day. The air stood still – if only for a moment – before emergency flares shot to the sky signaled “It’s Go Time!” and throttles were pushed to full as each mechanical steed galloped towards the horizon. Put your bull horns up… that’s the way of The Rockstar! Tournament, baby…
Below: Tournament Director Colin Sarfeh signals the official start of the 2nd Annual ROCKSTAR! Offshore Tournament // The PelagicGIRL Team ready to rock Costa Rica! // Teams are greeted in true ROCKSTAR fashion as they proceed to the shotgun start!
The PELAGIC Rockstar! Tournament is a team event focusing on the wide variety of species available in the fertile offshore waters of Pacific Costa Rica. Labeled as the country’s “Funnest Big Game Fishing Event”, The Rockstar! features multiple marina-side bashes, live rock ‘n roll concerts, and offshore tournament extravaganza.
Below: Team GAME PLAN takes the billfish crown along with $107,070 in prize money! // The PelagicGIRL team with the ON LOCATION crew getting in the ROCKSTAR spirit! // Bull horns and fireworks - does it get anymore ROCKSTAR then this?
Host Marina Pez Vela is a true gem of Costa Rica… Tucked along the rugged Pacific coast and dividing the towns of Quepos and Manuel Antonio, Marina Pez Vela is an angler’s paradise offering over 200 wet slips, 8 restaurants/bars, luxury condos, charter and tour center, and full-service yacht-yard with a 200-ton Marine Travelift. In addition, PELAGIC has just opened a flagship store right along the waterfront where patrons can shop the largest selection of PELAGIC Gear found in Central America.
Below: Team BILLFISH CARTEL aboard TUNA BITE celebrates their big win in the Dorado Overall and a $28,770 payout!
Below: A Day 2 Tuna Jackpot for angler Jay Quave of Panama Jack and an Overall Tuna category win helped Team DRAGIN' FLY bring home a $26,520 check.
Below: A view from above - Host port Marina Pez Vela. // A view looking back at the new PELAGIC flagship store offering the biggest selection of PELAGIC Gear in Central America under one roof. // PelagicGIRL Marissa Everhart and her Day 1 dorado
This tournament hosted both a large (35’ and over) and small (34’ and under) boat category, with general divisions of: Billfish Release, Tuna, and Dorado. Over $300,000 in cash prizes were presented to teams for their performance in releasing the most aggregate billfish points (sailfish, blue marlin, black marlin, striped marlin) and/or weighing the heaviest two-fish total of each gamefish species (tuna & dorado) during the two-day tournament.
Below: Team TENACIOUS tight to a Costa Rican blue marlin. // The official PELAGIC ROCKSTAR! boat cashing in on the hot dorado bite! // Doubleheader dorado for Pelagic girls Nicole Spencer and Michelle Dalton.
The event kicked-off in fine fashion on January 11th as forty-five teams with 243 anglers committed their entries and jackpot bets to the tunes of the Kin Rivera Rock Band playing live on the main amphitheater stage. Rockstar! Tournament Village was anchored by the recently-opened PELAGIC Flagship Store, brand-new to Marina Pez Vela’s unique, waterfront retail landscape. Here, tournament participants can find a giant selection of PELAGIC product including custom Costa Rica/Pura Vida apparel.
Below: The Kin Rivera Rock Band setting the ROCKSTAR vibe on the main amphitheater stage at Marina Pez Vela. // The newly added PELAGIC store offers anglers a giant selection of PELAGIC offshore gear.
Next to the PELAGIC Store and also a new addition to the marina, the PELAGIC Beach Club was the hub of all things party. Teams could pose with the PelagicGIRLs with the option of using props from the “Rockstar! Photo Station”; food service was provided by Z Gastro Bar and Runaway Bar & Grill; while our friends and sponsors at Flor de Caña hosted an open bar for their fine selection of rum and other spirits.
Below: // The ROCKSTAR Tournament Admin crew setting the tone for the week! // An impressive 57 blue marlin were released over the 2-day event. // PELAGIC 's President Ron Kawaja and Team TRANQUILO in full Rockstar mode!
As the night waned, the electric atmosphere set the stage for an exciting tournament ahead… and with over $300,000 on the line, anything could happen…
The first day saw excellent fishing for the 45-boat field, with 84 total billfish released and scales abuzz with lots of quality dorado and tuna brought in. In the Billfish Release Division, Team WOLF PACK aboard The Hooker racked up 1200 points for releasing (1) Striped marlin and (3) Blue marlin, earning them the 1K and 5K Daily jackpots totaling $75,750. Team FRENZY weighed in a 36.4-lb. Yellowfin tuna to take the Tuna daily of $11,700 while Team GOOSE brought a 42.9-lb. dorado to the scales, earning them the Dorado daily jackpot of $13,950.
Below: Team WOLF PACK aboard THE HOOKER were the big winners on Day 1 taking home $75,750. // A 36.4-lb. yellowfin on Day 1 helped Team FRENZY score a check for $17,400. // Team GOOSE took home $19,650 anchored by a 42.8-b. dorado!
On a side note: Team SANTE weighed a whopping 52.1-lb. dorado, but were unfortunately not entered in the Dorado Jackpots.
Below: Team SANTE brought in the largest dorado of the tournament.
In the Small Boat Division, Team LOS GATOS and MAR1 each earned 300 pts for (1) Blue Marlin release, however LOS GATOS released their fish earlier in the day, earning them the Billfish daily of $1,350. A 21.3-lb. yellowfin tuna earned Team GAMEFISHER II $1,125 and a 25.5-lb. dorado earned Team AMY’S DREAM $1,350.
Below: Team AMY'S DREAM earned $1,350 for their 25.5-lb. dorado. // The PelagicGIRL team celebrating their successful day offshore.
On Day 2, fishing was red-hot as 117 combined billfish were released and the dorado bite was on fire. Team GAME PLAN led the way for Billfish with (4) Sailfish and (4) Blue marlin releases, earning them 1600 points and the 1K and 5K Daily Billfish jackpots. Team DRAGIN’ FLY brought in the largest tuna on Day 2 (33.4-lbs) to take the Tuna Daily of $11,700. Team BILLFISH CARTEL aboard TUNA BITE took home the Dorado Daily of $13,950 with a solid 43.8-lb. fish.
PELAGIC's President & Founder, Ron Kawaja, and the beautiful PELAGIC girls waiting on a Rooster bite aboard ROCKSTAR!
In the end, 243 anglers released a whopping 135 sailfish and 65 marlin (5 Striped, 3 Black and 57 Blue) along with 85 dorado and 14 tuna.
Below: Sailfish dominated the Billfish Release category with 135 fish released over the 2-day event. // Adrian Gray Photo
On the final night, the marina was rocking to the sounds of Los Mojados as teams and onlookers alike were anxious to hear the final results. As a surprise treat, a giant inflatable TV screen was erected just before the awards ceremony and the entire crowd was treated to an incredible ROCKSTAR! Tournament recap video.
Below: Just before the Awards Ceremony, a high-energy ROCKSTAR tournament recap video set the tone for the evening!
PELAGIC’s, Colin Sarfeh, and the beautiful PelagicGIRLs soon took the stage in true Rockstar! fashion with stage fireworks shooting off as the large crowd roared with excitement. Awards were announced, and large ceremonial checks & trophies were presented to each winning team.
Here’s how the final results played out:
The big winner of the tournament was Team GAME PLAN. An epic second day pushed them atop the fleet as they tallied a total of (5) Sailfish and (5) Blue Marlin for the two-day tournament for a score of 2000 points – they took the Day 2 1K and 5K Billfish Dailies. They also won 1st Place in the Billfish Division, as well as took 3rd place in the overall Tuna category. In total, GAME PLAN took home an impressive $107,050!
Team BILLFISH CARTEL aboard TUNA BITE brought a 43.8-lb. dorado on the second day to take the Dorado Daily Jackpot. Combining that fish with their Day 1 fish of 23.2 lbs. gave them a 2-day aggregate total of 67 lbs. – enough to take the Overall Dorado category and total winnings of $28,770.
A solid 33.4-lb. tuna helped Team DRAGIN’ FLY not only win the Day 2 Tuna Daily Jackpot, but combined with their Day 1 yellowfin of 28.9 lbs. propelled them to a 62.3-lb. aggregate total and an Overall Tuna category win for total winnings of $26,520.
GAMEFISHER II was the winning team in the Small Boat Division taking home $7,800 for Tuna Daily 1 and 2, and Overall Tuna with their 21.3-lb. tuna. They also won the Day 2 Dorado Daily Jackpot with an 18.3-lb. dorado and the Overall Dorado with their combined dorado weight of 42.9 lbs.
Below: Renowned Costa Rican Capt. Richard Chellemi and Team GAMEFISHER II celebrating their big win in the Small Boat Division!
13 of 45 teams won cash prizes in the 2018 PELAGIC ROCKSTAR! Offshore Tournament:
Male Division – Juan Molina on Game Plan with 1900 points (4 Sailfish and 5 Blue Marlin)
Female Division – Laura Jessen on with 500 points (2 Sailfish and 1 Blue Marlin)
As Team GAME PLAN celebrated their victory, Los Mojados jammed Queen’s hit single “We are the Champions” as fireworks filled the skies of Marina Pez Vela. The celebration had only begun as throngs of people enjoyed the rock-n-roll concert while enjoying a tasty cocktail provided by Flor de Caña.
Below: Los Mojados jamming out with fireworks lighting up the skies during the final evening of the 2nd Annual PELAGIC ROCKSTAR! Tournament!
PELAGIC would like to give a huge THANK YOU to Marina Pez Vela for hosting this incredible event as well as our fine sponsors and friends at Flor De Caña, Z Gastro Bar, Runaway Bar & Grill, Double Hook Bar & Grill, and iFish Quepos for always stepping up to help make this such a fun and successful event.
Thank you to all tournament participants and make sure to keep your eyes peeled and calendars cleared as the 3rd Annual PELAGIC ROCKSTAR! Offshore Tournament returns to Marina Pez Vela in January 2019!
Enjoy this high-energy tournament recap video and extensive photo gallery below!
PHOTOS COURTESY OF PELAGIC GEAR AND SEAN SULLIVAN