Native Son Takes the Mayor’s Cup

Native Son


January 28, 2008, Miami, Florida - One of the hottest topics in sailfish tournaments is the “Big Boat versus Small Boat” issue.  The Big Boat camp claims that the outboards have a distinct speed advantage.  The Outboard camp holds that Big Boats have a height advantage due to towers and fly bridges.  In reality, each type of boat has distinct advantages, but in the end it’s all about the team.

This was the case in this year’s Sea Vee / Mercury Mayor’s Cup.  The top three boats were outboard powered boats; Mercury Verado powered to be exact.  The recent run of inboards winning some tournament peaked this debate but this past weekend’s results have quelled the argument.  It seems that outboards can hang in there with the big boys… even beat them.

The top team was Art Sapp’s “Native Son,” a 32 Sea Vee with twin Verados.  They took the lead early on the first day and never gave it up.  Known for their prowess in meat-fish tournaments, captain and owner Art Sapp commented, “This is defiantly a highlight of my fishing career.”  The second place team “Gilligan’s Revenge” threatened several times throughout the two-days of fishing.  They even tied “Native Son” on the final day.  But during the last few minutes of competition, “Native Son” released one more sailfish for a 10-release total.  “Gilligan’s Revenge” finished in second with 9 releases and “Reel Tension,” another Mercury-powered Sea Vee ended in third place with 8 releases. 

The Amateur division also saw some heated competition and the lead was exchanged several times during the weekend.  By the close of the second day of fishing, it was the crew on “Bill Collector” owned and captained by Aris Angelo. They finished with 5 releases.  “Woooohooooo!” commented 4-Aces' MarlinAngelo.  “This is an awesome feeling!”  Second place was taken by Mike Berkowitz’s “Plan B” and third place was captured by “CyberAngler.”  The amateur division is a staple of the Mayor’s Cup. It helps introduce younger anglers to the sport.  In fact, “Gilligan’s Revenge” who finished in second place overall started in the Amateur class.

Although the Mayor’s Cup is primarily a sailfish tournament, there are other billfish which do count in the scoring.  “4 Aces” out of Miami Beach got one of their releases off of an estimated 500-pound blue marlin.  The marlin was caught and released by Jimmy David in 150 feet of water just off of Miami.  The catch was even more incredible as the tackle being used was a 20-pound outfit.  “She ate a gog [goggle-eye bait] on the long line,” explained Debbi David, Jimmy’s wife.  “She stayed behind the boat for a long time as we backed down on her.  It was a beautiful experience.”

Another storyline of the tournament was the race for the Dewar’s 12 Billfish Championship Series title.  Dewar'12 Champs - Wound UpThe Mayor’s Cup is the second tournament of the two-tournament series which starts out with the Sailfish Kickoff in December.  “Native Son” took the early lead in the series, but was overtaken on the final day of fishing by “Wound Up.”  The team led by Warren Sands and captained by John Dudas ended the series with 3400 points or 14 billfish releases.  They ended the Mayor’s Cup and the Series with a total of $72,000 plus four gold and diamond championship rings.  Their total winnings for the series was nearly $95,000. 

The Mayor’s Cup trophy has had a short and colorful history.  The Mayor’s Cup is set to reside in the winning city’s city hall for one year until it goes up for grabs again.  In its first year of existence, “The Cup” was won by a team from Chicago.  So off to the Windy City it went where it sat in City Hall for a year.  It was then brought back to Miami successfully for three years.  Now, it’s off to Pompano Beach where Art Sapp lives. 


Sea Vee/Mercury Mayor's Cup FYI Sailfish Kickoff Bahamas Wahoo Challenge Sea Vee/Mercury Grove SLAM! Yamaha/Contender Kingfish Masters King Of Bimini Dewar's 12 Billfish Championship