Relive The Action Of The 2017 Ocean Reef Cup

Relive The Action Of The 2017 Ocean Reef Cup

By Michael Cummins   February 23, 2017

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 Pohl
Carl H. Lindner III - Carl Lindner IV - Vanessa Falk - Tim Grote

Second Team Overall
Lights Out - 800 points - Capt. Chester Sims
William Haugland - Guyon Moseley - Randy Weichbrodt - Eddie Arazoza

Third Team Overall
Sharkey's Revenge/Kahuna- 800 points - Capt. Steve Cunningham
Rob Ruwitch - Albert Castro - Rich Arnold - Billy Flynn - Shawn Stevenson

First Individual Overall
Vanessa Falk - 500 points - Seraphim

Second Individual Overall
Albert Castro - 400 points - Sharkey's Revenge/Kahuna

Third Individual Overall
Ken Karl - 300 points - Mollie K


Day One, Wednesday, Jan. 18
44 Releases
First Place Boat - Finish Line - 400 points
First Place Angler - Tim Carey- 200 points – Finish Line
First Fish of the Day - Tim Carey (8:32 am) – Finish Line
Last Fish of the Day - Vanessa Falk (4:58 pm) – Seraphim

Day Two, Thursday, Jan. 19
29 Releases
First Place Boat - Sempre Duro - 400 points
First Place Angler - Jason Stavola - 200 POINTS - Sempre Duro
First Fish of the Day - Ed Breese (9:13 am) – Barefoot
Last Fish of the Day - Mario Grasso (4:24 pm) – Mollie K

Day Three, Friday, Jan. 20
35 Releases
First Place Boat - Sharkey's Revenge/Kahuna - 600 points
First Place Angler - Albert Castro - 400 points - Sharkey's Revenge
First Fish of the Day - Ben Zifferer (8:38 am) – Catchin' Zs
Last Fish of the Day - Carl Lindner III (3:51 pm) – Seraphim

Day Four, Saturday, Jan. 21
49 Releases
First Place Boat - Finish Line - 400 points
First Place Angler - Tim Carey - 200 points – Finish Line
First Fish of the Day - Tim Carey (8:32 am) – Finish Line
Last Fish of the Day - Vanessa Falk (4:58 pm) – Seraphim

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