TEAM USA CLAIMS INAUGURAL B.A.S.S. INTERNATIONAL CUP
Casscoe, Ark. - Oct. 17, 2002 - Team International claimed three of the six head-to-head competitions on Thursday, but their efforts proved futile as Team USA captured the inaugural B.A.S.S. International Cup by a final score of 9 to 3.
"The international anglers were not pushovers," said Team USA captain Denny Brauer. "They showed that today."
Team International earned three points on Thursday as South Africa's Lionel Botha defeated Mark Davis 7 pounds 9 ounces to 4-7, Zimbabwe's Gerry Jooste defeated Jay Yelas 7-5 to 4-10, and Team International's captain, Gary Yamamoto, edged Kevin VanDam 6-14 to 6-9.
Team USA claimed victory in head-to-head match-ups against Spaniards Juan Arnal and Sergio Longas. Tim Horton defeated Arnal 6-13 to 2-7, Davy Hite held off Longas 4-15 to 4-11, while Brauer outweighed Japan's Takahiro Omori 6-12 to 5-8.
"I had a great time this week," said Omori. "But Team USA had a strong team; they were tough to contend with."
In the special format of the two-day B.A.S.S. International Cup, anglers were allowed to keep only three bass each on the final day.
Entering the final round, Team USA needed only one point to claim victory in the event, but the tension mounted when the international squad captured each of the first three points. The competition was not over until Horton weighed in a 4-8 bass to seal the victory for the Americans.
"I had three little fish with just 15 minutes to go," explained Horton. "Then I caught the big one. This has been an extremely exciting competition."
With the Americans taking a 6-0 lead into day two and needing only one more point to clinch, Brauer's strategy called for each pair of anglers to work as a team, something quite uncommon in bass fishing. Once an angler caught a good bass, he took control of the boat to try and complete his three-fish limit.
"The fishing was a lot tougher than I thought it would be today," said Brauer. "This has been an awesome week, though. We all came in here as friends, and we are leaving as better friends. There are not that many sports where that happens."
Interesting to note that on the final day, the International team actually caught more weight than Team USA by a margin of 4 ounces. Despite the large margin of victory in points, 9-3, only 1 pound 15 ounces separated the two teams for the overall competition.
SPECIAL PAINT SCHEMES AND APPAREL
Anglers for both teams were operating Skeeter and Triton boats with special paint schemes designating their teams. The craft were powered by Yamaha and Mercury motors. Additionally, each angler wore a customized jersey provided by Bass Pro Shops designating the team he represented. They also were provided with jackets from Columbia Sportswear Company.
The event will be telecast on ESPN2 according to the following schedule: Episode #1 Saturday, January 4th 10:30 a.m.; Thursday, January 9th 4 pm.; Friday January 10th 11 a.m. and Episode #2 Saturday, January 11th 10:30 a.m.; Thursday, January 16th 4 p.m. and Friday January 17th 11 a.m. All times Eastern.
Sponsors of the B.A.S.S. International Cup included: CITGO Petroleum Corporation, Busch Beer, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Bass Pro Shops, Yamaha Outboards, Mercury Marine, Columbia Sportswear Company, Motorola, Chevy Trucks, Lowrance, MotorGuide, Flowmaster Mufflers and Kumho Tires.
For additional information contact B.A.S.S. Communications at (334) 272-9530
B.A.S.S. INTERNATIONAL CUP
Day Two Standings
Mark Davis (USA) 6-12 vs. Lionel Botha (South Africa) 7-9 (INT)
Jay Yelas (USA) 4-10 vs. Gerry Jooste (Zimbabwe) 7-5 (INT)
Kevin VanDam (USA) 6-9 vs. Gary Yamamoto (Captain) 6-14 (INT)
Tim Horton (USA) 6-13 vs. Juan Arnal (Spain) 2-7 (USA)
Davy Hite (USA) 4-15 vs. Sergio Longas (Spain) 4-11 (USA)
Denny Brauer (Captain) 6-12 vs. Takahiro Omori (Japan) 5-8 (USA)
Team USA 9 points Team International 3 points