EFSA European Boat & Line Class Championships, 19th- 23rd September 2011, Weymouth, England.
There were a total of 153 competitors from 16 Sections, some of whom had returned to Weymouth after competing in 2007 and previous years plus others who had yet to sample the delights of fishing in this venue. Weymouth is a popular venue not only for national & international angling but also for the pleasure anglers.
There were a total of 15 boats booked for the weeks fishing plus one spare that would double as the press boat, this proved invaluable in providing a viewing platform for guests and the all important photos of the angling..
With around 250 people taking part in the parade, headed by a trio of African drummers, it was quite some spectacle. The wind assisted in showing off the national flags and at least the rain was only in isolated showers. The traffic was halted by the local police as the parade started from the Jubilee clock tower and headed to the Pavilion where we were to be greeted by the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Margaret Leicester. The wine, refreshments and nibbles went down well as people took their seats, EFSA England Chairman, Neil Bryant, introduced the dignitaries. EFSA Chairman / President, Horst Schneider, announced that the outgoing General Secretary, Hamish Holmes, had retired after many years service to EFSA, his successor, Marcus Wuest, will we trust prove to be a worthy replacement. The two lasting moments that will remain with many were the emotions displayed by Horst & Hamish whilst the specially commissioned oil painting was being presented, and Neil’s face when he was asked to wave the flag to mark the opening of the Championships.
With a 15mile limit from Town Bridge the Shambles, Adamant & Kidney Banks, Stennis Ledges and numerous Wrecks could all be explored.
Christina Schulte caught a 4 ½ lb plaice only problem being she had hooked it in the tail! Pat Shortt had her 1st ever Black Bream, a fine specimen of around 1 ½ lb.
Ray Barron was the only angler to win his boat on all 4 days and regain his title of European Champion for the 3rd time, with Heiko Dreier & Colin Searles close behind. Ray and Heiko are now level on three European gold pins each, quite some feat when you look at the quality of the anglers in our Championships.
Of the numerous species available 17 species made it onto the score sheet, not including mini species, Cod, Dogfish, Conger, Garfish, Bull Huss, Cuckoo/Ballan Wrasse, Bream, Rays, Mackerel, Pouting , Gurnard , Pollack, Plaice, Bass, Scad & Smoothound. Unfortunately the much talked about Tuna did not make an appearance. One notable fish was a fabulous Plaice of 6lb 9ozs for the Russian angler Mikhail Dyshlyuk.
Line Class Championship.
The 8kg Ande line is quite superb so long as the rest of the tackle is well balanced and the drag set to allow the fish to take line. The points system encourages anglers to go for the bigger fish, Congers being the most valuable. A very sportsman like gesture on “Topcat” from Dave Francis and Frank Spruyt as they both cut their line to allow Robin Amor to land his Conger. On “Rocket” Simon Norman had a 81cm Blonde Ray, this was larger than the best Ray in the main event. A considerable number of Conger were caught with England’s Tony Hudson and lady angler Liv Ogland from Norway both landing specimens estimated by their skippers at 58lb. Liv caught her large eel aboard ‘Supernova’ and spent nearly half an hour after the finish time to land it. The Congers were all brought to the side of the boat and released after the skippers had issued an estimated weight. Simon Norman did well to get a 26lb Blonde Ray to the surface on the 16lb line, Ted Entwistle landed a 20lb Ling and Neil Bryant took a 14lb Pollack on Conger bait, Kim Bowden captured a Bass of 66cm, the only one caught during the whole 5 days.
Top rod on the day was Section England angler Gareth Croft, who became our new Line Class Champion with an impressive 1325cm of Conger plus 1 Tope, quite a clear lead over the Silver and Bronze pin winners, Scott Gibson & Joop Schik/Andre Machiels.
For a full set of the overall and day’s results:
The Presentation & Gala Dinner.
With so many prizes and prize winners it was hard to keep up with it all, I am sure that everyone got the picture that they wanted as there was many a picture taken. Congratulations to all who fished well enough to make it to the rostrum.
The 3 course meal was exceptional and the idea of mixing the nationalities went well with most tables enjoying having some new faces joining them. The live band was a nice touch, not quite sure if they took time getting warmed up or the audience were slow getting up after all that food, either way they were very entertaining. Some of the organisers remained at the bar until 4am, a well deserved relaxation period as they have worked extremely hard to ensure that this event went as well as it did.
Now we look ahead to 2012, a very special year for EFSA, this being our 50th anniversary where we return to where it all started in 1962, Tananger Norway. This really should be the birthday party to celebrate all birthdays!
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