We don’t usually brag around here, but we will make an exception this time. Last week, a colleague of ours, Keith Kelty (Managing Director at FundHaven, Ltd.), was in beautiful Quepos, Costa Rica for the 2013 Offshore World Championship (OWC). The OWC is considered one of the most prestigious fishing tournaments in the world. Participants are invited only after winning an OWC qualifying tournament during the previous 12 months. Keith has competed twice before in 2010 and 2011 when the tournament was held in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. He placed 2nd overall on both occasions.
This year Keith & his team were up against 68 teams from 21 countries. The fishing was consistent for them during the first 3 days. On Day 1 they released 5, Day 2 they released 4, Day 3 they released 5. Keith’s team was pleased with the results and were in 8th position overall going into Day 4 but felt they had not had the opportunity to get “on top” of the fish. They had been p[laying it safe, fishing alongside the general fleet while following the advice of local captains.
Day 4 was definitely different. They were 12 fish behind the leaders and 4-5 fish behind the 2nd place team. The leaders had a few amazing days having ‘found’ the fish and were so far ahead that they had optimistically set their sights on going for 2nd as 1st place was virtually impossible to achieve in one day.
On Day 4 they decided to gamble on running down to Los Suenos which was where the leaders had fished the previous 2 days. Los Suenos was near the outer boundary limit of the tournament and if there were no fish there they would not be able to come back to the fleet, positioned 20 miles off Quepos. On the morning of Day 4, Keith’s team discovered a dozen or so other boats had the same idea. They got to the spot just after 8 am and released their first Sailfish within half an hour of getting to Los Suenos. They consistently caught sails all day having double and triple hook ups at times.
By lines out, Keith’s team released 16 sails and had one Dorado to weigh. They were confident they had 15 perfect releases that would score points plus the Dorado that seemed to be over the minimum 25 LBs weight requirement. When they got back to the Marina they learned that the leaders had caught 3 sails and a Dorado. It was then that they thought they might be in the running for 1st!
Keith & his fishing team waited patiently as the videos were reviewed. Their Dorado weighed in at 27 Lbs. Big sigh of relief! The other team weighed their Dorado but were under the required 25 LB minimum for it to count.
In the end, Keith’s team won the Title of Champions thanks to the Dorado. They finished 27 points ahead of the second place team. It was the closest finish ever in OWC history and also was described as the biggest comeback ever.
Congratulations to Keith on his amazing accomplishment!