Tournament officials said the team amassed $136,835 in prize money out of a total tournament purse of nearly $682,000.
The team consisted of boat owner Rob Gothier Jr. of Ocean Reef in Key Largo, Florida; Bryce Barr of Key West; Jim DeMarco of Pompano, Florida; Chris Dillon of Islamorada, Florida; and Miami residents Jorge Corzo, Justin Miller, Rudy Espinosa, Michelle Espinosa and Raul Gonzalez.
BAR South’s Gothier earned the title of top male angler for releasing four of the team’s sails.
Gothier said the team used sardines, threadfins and goggle eyes as bait while dealing with challenges that included significant weed and little wind to fly kites.
“There were fish there, but there was no way to pattern them,” Gothier said. “Art Sapp and Bryce Barr did just a great job of finding us the fish.”
Gothier reported enjoying the competition with the team that was BAR South’s closest rival — in more ways than one.
“Contender One was literally 20 yards away from us,” he said. “It was really a cool battle.”
Led by Captain Quinton Dieterle of Miami, the Contender One team finished the tournament in second place with 10 releases. Team member Amanda Perryman-Sabin scored five of them to earn the top female angler trophy. She was designated the tournament’s master angler as well.
In third place, also with 10 fish but ranking behind Contender One based on time, was Sandman captained by Miami’s John Dudas.
A field of 18 boats fished the Final Sail, with anglers releasing 109 sailfish during the three-day contest.
The tournament was the grand finale of the Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series that consisted of four South Florida tournaments. Team Free Bird was named overall series winner, tallying 112 points during the prestigious competition for elite billfishing teams.