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Returning Champs Jump to the Lead on Day One of the IGFA Offshore World Championship


Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - The winners of the 2008 IGFA Offshore World Championship jumped to the lead on Day One of the 2009, 10th anniversary edition of the tournament hoping for back-to-back titles in the highly coveted event. The striped marlin action kicked into high gear and the

2008 champions, including Robert Collins, John Timura, Kenny Longaker, Scott Salley and Taylor Walsh released five striped marlin on the day to move to the top of the leader board. With the marlin bite just a few miles off shore of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, the 43 teams in the event released more than 70 billfish on the day.

      Salley and Walsh both released two marlin for their team while Longaker released one to help the returning champions take the lead.

Following behind the 2008 champs in a close second place for the day was the team representing the Presidential Challenge of Guatemala. Team members Ebby Hall, Gary Tarpley, Michael Huling and Michael Viveiros caught three sailfish and two marlin on the day to score 1,200 points and secure second place. The team found a concentration of sailfish just after 10 a.m. and all of their sailfish were caught within 10 minutes of each other. The bite kept them busy, but they weren't alone.

      Sitting in third place at the end of Day One was Sean Mendonca, Derrick Tardieu, Mark Vilain and Clint Quong Sing, of the International Marlin Madness Game Fish Tournament of Trinidad and Tobago. Sean Mendonca caught an 800-plus-pound blue marlin off the waters of Trinidad and Tobago in 2008 to set a new junior world record in the event, and brought his good luck to Cabo as his team released three marlin for third place on the day.

      Rounding out the top five spots for the opening day action of the IGFA Offshore World Championship were the Bermuda Anglers Club International Light Tackle Tournament and the Torneio De Marlin Azul de Rio De Janeiro, both with 700 points respectively.

      The bite continued to rage as teams prepared for Day Two and all teams were still in the hunt for the title of world champions. The all-release billfish tournament represents the largest international field of competitors in the world of offshore sport fishing. To qualify for the Offshore World Championship teams must first win one of 120 qualifying tournaments held around the globe. With such a wide international field of competitors, the Offshore World Championship has earned the title of the "Olympics" of offshore fishing.

      For the first time in the history of the IGFA Offshore World Championship, the scoring is broadcast live online. Follow all of the action by visiting and clicking on "live scoring." Each catch is posted online immediately after release so viewers can keep up to date on all the action.


Lynda L. Wilson

Assistant Tournament Director

Bonnier Marine Group

460 N. Orlando Ave., Suite 200

Winter Park, FL  32789

P: 407-571-4517

F: 407-637-3531

C: 407-712-3373