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In January, HMY Yacht Sales was at the Ocean Reef Yacht Club and Resort in Key Largo to cover all the action and excitement at this year's 32nd Annual Ocean Reef Cup. The four-day sailfish tournament attracts boats from all over Florida and this year's turn out was strong with 63 teams participating, most of which were fishing on board Viking yachts. There were plenty of fish caught during the tournament including a whopping grand total of 157 sailfish releases. The HMY video team was invited to join the anglers on "Freebie", a 64' Viking Yachts Convertible owned by HMY clients Jody and Steve Lewis, along with HMY Sales Professionals Jeff Creary and Alexie Creary. The collaboration resulted in footage of some incredible moments during the legendary Ocean Reef Cup.
"This event is very unique and as they say, true to the tradition of original sailfishing in Key Largo". Since 1986, the famed Ocean Reef Cup sailfish tournament has been representing everything we appreciate about boating and the sport of offshore fishing. It is a beloved South Florida event known for it's sense of comraderie and faithful, longtime tournament participants. Many of the boats that attended this year's installment have been fishing in the Ocean Reef Cup since its inception 32 years ago.
The first tournament set off from the waters of Ocean Reef on January 8, 1986 and teams consisted of 25 sportfish boats with homeports from Texas to South Carolina. They all joined together at Ocean Reef Club for a weekend of serious Florida Keys sailfishing and nightly celebrations. What these anglers didn't know is that their weekend of fishing and fun in the late eighties would start what has become one of Ocean Reef Club’s highest-regarded traditions, the Reef Cup. Since then, the Reef Cup has experienced it all, from heartbreaking slow-bite days to record-breaking, thrilling triumphs. As you can see, the long-time tradition is still going strong today, with a fleet of over 60 boats respectfully yet fiercely competing for a place in Reef Cup history each year. "What's really nice is every year it seems another boat and another crew win this event, it's just perfect", said 14-year Reef Cup veteran and Viking Yacht owner Ron Ellenbause.
As a sailfish tournament that undoubtedly puts the emphasis on tradition, family and fun, the Ocean Reef Cup is an event that is sure to stand the test of time as it continues to make a legendary mark on fishing history. "It's not all about the number of fish that are caught, it's about the spirit of the tournament", said HMY Sales Professional Jeff Creary. A most appropriate statement on what fishing tournaments, at their core, are truly all about; comraderie, friendly competition and living in the moment.
2017 Ocean Reef Cup Official Results
First Team Overall Seraphim - 900 points - Capt. Jerry PohlCarl H. Lindner III - Carl Lindner IV - Vanessa Falk - Tim Grote
Second Team OverallLights Out - 800 points - Capt. Chester SimsWilliam Haugland - Guyon Moseley - Randy Weichbrodt - Eddie Arazoza
Third Team Overall Sharkey's Revenge/Kahuna- 800 points - Capt. Steve CunninghamRob Ruwitch - Albert Castro - Rich Arnold - Billy Flynn - Shawn Stevenson
First Individual OverallVanessa Falk - 500 points - Seraphim
Second Individual OverallAlbert Castro - 400 points - Sharkey's Revenge/Kahuna
Third Individual OverallKen Karl - 300 points - Mollie K
Day One, Wednesday, Jan. 1844 ReleasesFirst Place Boat - Finish Line - 400 points First Place Angler - Tim Carey- 200 points – Finish LineFirst Fish of the Day - Tim Carey (8:32 am) – Finish LineLast Fish of the Day - Vanessa Falk (4:58 pm) – Seraphim
Day Two, Thursday, Jan. 1929 ReleasesFirst Place Boat - Sempre Duro - 400 points First Place Angler - Jason Stavola - 200 POINTS - Sempre DuroFirst Fish of the Day - Ed Breese (9:13 am) – BarefootLast Fish of the Day - Mario Grasso (4:24 pm) – Mollie K
Day Three, Friday, Jan. 2035 ReleasesFirst Place Boat - Sharkey's Revenge/Kahuna - 600 points First Place Angler - Albert Castro - 400 points - Sharkey's RevengeFirst Fish of the Day - Ben Zifferer (8:38 am) – Catchin' ZsLast Fish of the Day - Carl Lindner III (3:51 pm) – Seraphim
Day Four, Saturday, Jan. 2149 ReleasesFirst Place Boat - Finish Line - 400 points First Place Angler - Tim Carey - 200 points – Finish LineFirst Fish of the Day - Tim Carey (8:32 am) – Finish LineLast Fish of the Day - Vanessa Falk (4:58 pm) – Seraphim
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