Flamingo, Costa Rica: The first leg of the new all-virtual Presidential Challenge of Central America hosted teams fishing from four different nations in the region—Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama—for two days of fishing, with scoring taking place using the popular CaptApp mobile application, which allows teams to shoot video that is automatically time- and date-stamped as well as geo-located. The unique format was a hit with the 10 participating teams, who took to the water June 4-5, 2021, for the first of two legs of the PCCA.
The team fishing aboard Allure II, captained by Chris “Kiwi” Leeuwen, emerged victorious, fishing out of Chiapas Marina in Puerto Madero, Mexico. Over the course of the two-day event, they released 17 sailfish and three blue marlin for a total of 3,100 points. Their team name will be the first on a PCCA perpetual trophy which will be on permanent display at the new Marina Flamingo in Costa Rica upon the marina’s completion. In second was a Guatemala team, Sur Reel, with 2,100 points. Sur Reel was the winner of the 2020 PCCA. In third place with 800 points was a Nicaragua-based team, Carlota. The Wet Ass II was the top team from Costa Rica, and Day Tripper was the top boat from Panama.
Funds raised by the Presidential Challenge Charitable Foundation will be used to promote a variety of conservation and education efforts throughout Central America. The second leg is slated for Dec. 5-6, 2021, and is open to any boats from Guatemala to Panama. The event features a low base entry fee of just $500 per team, with optional jackpots available; fishing is all-release for billfish species with trophies available for the largest tuna, dorado and wahoo, and scoring for all species takes place using the CaptApp application.
“As we transition to an all-virtual tournament series, we really feel this opens up the competition throughout Central America,” says event coordinator, Joan Vernon. “The app is very easy to use—you do not have to be in cell range during the day, it will upload your videos once you’re back in range, so scoring is reliable. We had some great fishing in the first leg and look forward to another good tournament in December!”
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