EUROPEAN SHORE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2010
The event was a repeat of the very successful 2007 championships, fished on the same beaches around Pwllheli over 3 days. It all started on the evening of Wednesday 3rd November when 50 competitors from 7 countries across Europe returned to Caernarfon to the Celtic Royal Hotel to attend registration for the event. Once again Gwynedd County Council and their representatives had helped enormously in the staging of the championships, both in preparation of the brochure, helping the Welsh section with sponsorship and for making many arrangements on the ground. So it was fitting that some prizes were presented and competitors addressed by the Chairman, Tudor Owen, accompanied by his wife Brenda, at the Gala Dinner, medal & trophy presentation ceremony on the final night, with the event being opened by another local dignitary, the Mayor of Caernarfon, Councillor Huw Edwards.
This time the weather was not balmy as it had been in 2007 as the first day and night’s weather was horrendous with South Westerly gales gusting to 60 mph and lashing rain. However, despite this, which in all fairness was forecast, it was due to the legwork put in by Ken and Alan on the Wednesday that we had somewhere to fish the Thursday’s session, fished from daylight into dark and that was Llandudno foreshore where at least the inclement weather came off our left shoulders. Thankfully, following that gruelling session, not fish wise, as there were plenty to catch, the weather moderated and behaved itself for the rest of the competition when we could fish the intended Pwllheli beaches. Friday was probably the best session, fished on Pwllheli beach itself. Not only did we have an abundance of fish to catch, Scotsman Billy Murray having to stop early as he had filled his 43 fish card, but as it was Guy Fawkes Night we benefitted from free firework displays along the seafront. The final session, fished on the Saturday and entirely in the daylight, so that everything was done and dusted before the Gala Dinner, Presentation and Closing Ceremony that same evening, involved a long walk along Abererch Sands to get to grounds likely to produce fish. In all fairness they did, not the best of the 3 days, but there were only 1 or 2 blanks which was good; as it gave skill a chance to come to the fore rather than having a lucky fish throw the results out of kilter.
At registration the anglers were drawn 10 each into 5 zones, in which the matches would be fished, there being one angler from each international 5 man team in each zone, in this strictly catch, measure and release event, with individuals fitted in around them. Individual pegs were drawn on the beach in the zones 1 hour prior to the start, which worked and went down very well with all the anglers as a fair way to do things. Where you finished in your zone would determine the points you were awarded with numbers of fish caught being used for count back purposes in the event of any ties, and as expected, catches weren’t that great. On the first night only 5 anglers blanked, with most landing more than 1 sizeable fish, mainly whiting with a sprinkling of Lesser Spotted Dogfish and 1 or 2 dabs and 1 Flounder. Once again, as in 2007, top man was Irish angler Ken Forsyth! Friday was much better and could be described as hectic in some places along the beach. Again most of the fish landed were Whiting with a few Dabs and more Dogfish than the previous evening. Only 1 angler blanked and Billy Murray easily won the day with his enormous 43 fish bag caught in less than the allotted 5 hours. Saturday was the calmest day and least productive due to fishing entirely in the daylight but only 3 anglers failed to trouble the scorers with, this time, most of the fish being Dogs. Top angler on the final day was Dutchman Sjaak Nuijt with 6 Dogfish and a Whiting but it wasn’t enough to get him into the medal placings ending up a very creditable 8th.
So, with the fishing over it was time to compute the results and to award the prizes followed by that all important presentation of those coveted pins. Winner of the Gold Pin and EFSA European Shore Champion for 2010, was Welshman Ken Gainfort with 2 zone wins and a third over the 3 days, by 1 point from fellow Welshman Haydn Cole, who took the Silver Pin with 1 zone win and 2 thirds. Third and winner of the Bronze Pin, was popular Irishman Mick Quinn with zone win, a second and a third. The Senior event was won by the another popular angler Englishman Reg Clough, the Ladies by Dutchwoman Miranda Koop and the Life Members by Bronze medallist Mick. In the International Team event, in which the worst score is discarded each day, the Welsh A team played a blinder. They led by 2 points after day one and 3 points after day 2 but blitzed the opposition on the final day to win by a massive 12 points. Second was the Dutch B team of Miranda 7 Frank Koop, Mart Brouwers, Eddy Op Den Brouw and Jan Van Pietersen with the Dutch A team of Clarinda & Frank Van Der Zande, Theo Rijnberg, Jan Gorissen and Arno Vermieren in third. The 2 man event Miranda and Welshmen Mike Watkins and Matthew Lustig and the 4 man by a truly International team of 2 Welsh, Philip Lustig and Haydn Cole joined by Dutchman Arno Vermieren and German Hans Dieter Nold. Finally, the longest flatfish was caught very first cast on the very first day by Welsh Lady Tina Lustig, a 34cm Flounder; but the longest round fish, also 34cm, was a 4 way tie with 3 Whiting, Haydn Cole, Sjaak Nuijt & Frank Van Der Zande and a Bass caught by Irishman Warren Doyle on the last day.
To round off the championships the Gala Dinner & Presentation went very well with thanks to the staff of the Celtic Royal Hotel for putting it on and managing to feed and cater to the needs of all the hungry anglers. Thanks are also due to them for the way they looked after everybody during the 4 night stay at the Hotel, a credit to the hospitality of the Welsh and especially those in North Wales. Well done and thank you.
The success of an event such as this depends on the hard work & goodwill of a lot of people so a lot of thanks are due to all of these. Our main Sponsors were Daiwa, Ammo and Gwynedd County Council whom we thank very much indeed together with other sponsors, in no particular order:- Pure Fishing, Swift Tackle, Gemini Tackle, Shamrock Tackle, Ron Thompson Fishing, Kamasan Hooks, Penderyn (Welsh) Whisky, Rembrandts Jewellers of Tenby, Lloyds Jewellers of Pembroke Dock, the Lustig family, Haydn Cole, Ken Gainfort and Steve Rees. Main thanks for the organisation must go to Shore Festival Officer for both EFSA HQ and EFSA Wales Philip Lustig, who did a mountain of work running around and liaising with all sorts of people, both before and during the event, to make these championships the success they were. He was ably backed up by his family, behind the scenes leading up to the event, as all organisers have to be, or they start off on a sticky wicket. Thanks are also due to Barry Davies, Alun Williams & others of Gwynedd Council for their groundwork in the north prior to the event, to Matt Lustig, Steve Rees, Wayne Prior, Steve Lewis & David Davies for pegging the beaches, Steve Lewis for also helping with bait distribution, John O’Connor for collating and computing the results, Ken Gainfort for making & organising the pegs, Ken And Alan for finding Llandudno for the and the Pwllheli Harbourmaster and his staff for help with bait storage etc. Without the input and effort of all these people it would have been impossible to run the championships and we thank them all.
Llandudno on the first evening Thursday, unfortunately not demonstrating the rawness of the weather
What a difference on the last day
The victorious Welsh A team with the Chairman of Gwynedd County Council,
The 3 Top Men and Pin Winners with the EFSA HQ Shore Festival Officer. (Picture courtesy of Northfishing.net.) (L to R) Haydn Cole, Ken Gainfort, Mick Quinn.
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