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IT WAS ‘TEAM RELEASE’ ALL THE WAY AT THE SOLERA OPEN INTERNATIONAL LA GUAIRA BILLFISH SHOOTOUT

La Guaira, Venezuela, March 12th, 2006 – Anglers Jaime Riveiro, Luis Millan Jr and David Benzaken, fishing aboard the 51’ Riviera, Release, with Captain Luis ‘Loro’ Millan jumped out to an early lead on day one with four blue marlin and never looked back during the prestigious all release Solera Open International La Guaira Billfish Shootout held in La Guaira March 7th thru 12th. By the end of the third and final day, Team Release had amassed a total of 4,700 points with nine blue marlin plus one sailfish releases in the three days of competition marking the first time in its twelve year history that the Shootout is won by a local Venezuelan team.

Despite strong challenges on day 3 from the local anglers aboard Adelina who released 3 blues and 2 sails on the final day placing them second in the overall team standings with a final tally of 3,400 points and the Puerto Rican team aboard Mojito who scored a thousand points on day three to finish third with a total of 3,000 points for the 6 blues they released during the event, Team Release managed to hold on comfortably even though they only caught one blue on that last day.

The blue marlin action in this year’s Solera Open Shootout was fast and furious where every tournament boat, without exception, competing with the official tournament line Sufix Supreme released at least two blues during the tournament, for a final per boat average of almost five blues. This is the second best per boat blue marlin average in the history of the 12 year old event and is only exceeded by the 6.4 blues per boat average recorded in the record breaking 1999 Shootout when a total of 256 blues were released in 3 days aboard 40 boats.

In the individual angler category there was another first for Venezuela with one of their favorite sons taking top honors for the first time in Shootout history. Luis Millan Jr of Team Release posted an impressive point total of 3,500 points releasing five blues. He was followed by anglers Massimo Ortisi also from Venezuela fishing aboard Adelina with 2,200 points resulting from 4 blues and a sail, and American Larry I’anson fishing aboard Guarimba with 2,000 points for the 4 blues he released.

There was yet another first for Venezuela in this year’s Shootout. In the annual softball game played on the lay-day pitting Venezuela vs All Visitors, Venezuela prevailed for the first time in the 3 year tradition crushing the Visitors by a score 14 to 4. The game had to be called on account of lack of equipment after the Venezuelans knocked all game balls out of the park with several consecutive home runs!!! We’ll see what happens next year . . . Special thanks go out to our Title Sponsors for making sure nobody went thirsty during the game and the entire tournament for that matter by providing plenty of Solera Premium Beer, Pepsi, 7UP, Gatorade and Minalva Bottled Water. Also, special thanks are in order to angler Luis Angel Rincon, owner of Mango Marina and his staff for hosting and making the Pirates of the Caribbean Rum Bash held on the night before the game, another tremendous success. Maybe the visitors partied a little too much at the Rum Bash and that’s why they were so badly defeated the next day?

Mark your calendars for the upcoming Venezuelan International Super Slam scheduled for September 27th thru October 2nd. The tournament promises to be another great one. Observers interested in participating please contact Michelle Zelones at bluefin@usa.com or 561 310 3474. For charter boats contact FishQuest Sportfishing Adventures at 1 888 891 3474 (from outside the U.S. 706 896 1403). For dockage please email info@intlbillfishtourns.com. Register online at www.intlbillfishtourns.com. We look forward to the pleasure of your company.